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Protect Key Provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Defending and expanding the rights of individuals with disabilities is one of the core civil rights priorities of the 21st century. Legislation was introduced that would undermine some of the most important measures that protect equal accessibility for individuals with disabilities. It is important to make our voices heard that no undermining changes should be made to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Urge your Member of Congress to oppose any legislation similar to the ADA Education and Reform Act (H.R. 620 in the 115th Congress/S. 3446 in the 114th Congress), legislation that would reverse the progress the ADA has ensured for over 25 years.

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  •  Background on the ADA Reform Bill

    Businesses have had 26 years to adjust to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Allowing businesses to wait until they are forced to change, instead of incentivizing accommodating facilities from the beginning, would be a hazardous step backwards. The ADA does not allow people with disabilities to financially benefit from lawsuits seeking to make businesses more accessible. The lawsuits only require businesses to make changes that render their facilities accessible under ADA guidelines. State laws are the only ones that allow ADA lawsuits to yield financial damages to businesses. This bill would therefore not change concerns over frivolous lawsuits allegedly filed for financial reasons.

    The ADA Education and Reform Act, which was first introduced in the 114th Congress, would require people who find an inaccessible public accommodation such as a restaurant, clothing store or laundromat to wait for an extra period of time before they can seek legal channels to require the business to comply with the rules of the ADA.

    Lawsuits under ADA protections occur rarely, but are necessary tools for achieving justice and ensuring that all public places are accessible to all those who wish to enter.

    Jewish Values and Accessibility

    Jewish tradition speaks explicitly about the importance of creating a world that is accessible for all people. Leviticus teaches us, “You shall not insult the deaf, or place a stumbling block before the blind” (Leviticus 19:14). We must work to ensure that there are no barriers to inclusion and access for all members of our community.

    More information

    For more information, please contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Jonah Baskin at 202-387-2800.