In 1990, the ADA gave people with disabilities the legal right to access in our communities. 28 years later, businesses are still trying to avoid their responsibility to their disabled customers by lobbying for a bill called HR 620. This bill would erode our protections under the ADA and make it easier for businesses to keep discriminating against us. The House of Representatives is voting on whether to roll back our ADA rights THIS THURSDAY – your Representative needs to hear from you right away!
This bill will put red tape between you and your rights. If it passes, you would have to go through all these extra steps to get a business to fix an access barrier:
- First, you would have to send a formal letter to the business describing the problem.
- If your letter doesn’t include all the technical legal language the law requires, it won’t count, and the business can ignore it.
- After receiving your letter, the business can put off fixing the illegal barriers that exclude disabled people for up to four months before you can sue for your rights.
- After those four months, a business can still postpone fixing the access barrier with no legal consequences – as long as they claim that they are making “substantial progress” toward fixing it the issue.
Americans count on civil rights laws to fight back against discrimination. Letting Congress chip away at our ADA rights puts other civil rights laws in danger, at a time when we need them more than ever. We all deserve access to the community–no exceptions.
That’s why we need you to call your Representative and tell them to vote NO on HR 620. You can find contact information for your Congressional Representative at contactingcongress.org. Here’s a script you can use:
My name is [Name], and I live in [your town]. I’m [calling/writing] to ask Representative [Name] to vote NO on H.R. 620. People with disabilities need to be able to shop for groceries, stay at hotels, and use other public accommodations. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects our civil rights, and weakening the ADA opens the door to weakening other civil rights laws. It has been 28 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act. Disabled people in our district have waited too long for access – and businesses have had plenty of time to provide it. Please protect the ADA and vote NO on H.R. 620.
If you don’t speak, you can call using your AAC device, or ask a friend to call in and read your message. Want to avoid talking to a person? Call after hours to leave a message on your Representative’s answering machine. If you need more information, check out our factsheet on calling your elected officials! After you call, you can email or fax your representatives using the same script.
The ADA was one of the most important fights our community ever won. We need, expect, and demand equal access, and we refuse to go back. So call your Representative, and let them know: when it comes to our rights, there will be nothing about us, without us!