A bill aimed at strengthening the Americans with Disabilities Act may not be what it seems. The U-S House could vote this week on The A-D-A Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620), which would give businesses accused of not complying with the law a grace period to fix alleged infractions on their properties before they are subject to litigation. Proponents claim it will curb frivolous lawsuits. But Marilyn Golden with the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund argues most lawsuits filed under the A-D-A are not about money but instead, well-intentioned efforts to make buildings more accessible.
A-D-A enforcement essentially relies on people with disabilities challenging violations. Golden says the legislation would complicate the complaint process and greatly lengthen the time it takes to bring a business into compliance. The House could vote on the bill as early as Wednesday.
The A-D-A has been law for 28 years, which Golden says means businesses have had ample time to understand the law’s requirements and comply. And she contends it’s not an onerous process.
She adds that while it’s an issue that may not impact people without disabilities now, it very well could in the future.
Opponents also note the bill was not crafted with the consultation of the disability-rights community.