Minot, North Dakota
On Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the political action committee Disability Action for America released a statement in opposition of the so-called
ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620)
. This harmful legislation would undermine the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the landmark civil rights law for disabled Americans.
Do not be misled by the name of this bill; this bill is not an attempt to educate or reform, but an unabashed attempt by Congress to weaken the ADA and discriminate against individuals the ADA was meant to protect by allowing public accommodations to remain inaccessible. Furthermore, this bill would force people with disabilities to jump through bureaucratic hoops to secure the same rights that were promised to them under the ADA 28 years ago.
Disability Action for America’s call to action highlights the importance of holding incumbents responsible for “ripping away disabled people’s rights to access public accommodations,” stating, “it’s our time to defeat and unseat elected officials who refuse to promote disability rights, and repeatedly commit disability wrongs. Last year, we exerted our power through protest: Let’s make 2018 the year that demonstrates the power of the disability vote!”
Disability Action for America is calling upon people with disabilities to hold their members of Congress accountable for threatening the rights of disabled Americans. The National Council on Independent Living and Independence, Inc.fully support this call to action and will continue to fight with our community against the unjust treatment of Americans with Disabilities.
“We recognize there are problems with unscrupulous lawyers who pursue lawsuits to make a quick buck, but this bill won’t solve that problem,” said Kelly Buckland, Executive Director of the National Council on Independent Living. “We tried to work with Congress to find a real solution that won’t undercut our rights but they slammed the door in our face.”
Independence, Inc. encourages advocates to contact United States Congressman, Kevin Cramer to help protect the rights guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act and prevent the fear of lawsuits in other states from limiting the protections provided to North Dakotans with Disabilities.