faith in action

Preserve the civil rights of people with disabilities

Urge your senators to vote NO on HR620, The ADA Education and Reform Act.

More than 27 years ago, Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act. Now, they’re considering The ADA Education and Reform Act (HR620), which weakens this landmark bill and undermines the civil rights of people with disabilities.

The ADA already considers business needs. Yet, the proposed bill would give businesses even more time to comply with the ADA. On top of that, the new legislation would remove the consequences of noncompliance. This discriminates against people with disabilities, excluding them from free access to shopping, dining out and any other activity that others can enjoy freely.

Some of these businesses have already been in violation of the law for over a quarter of a century. They don’t need more time and weaker enforcement.

Its supporters tout the reform as a response to lawsuits that result in people getting wealthy from excessive monetary damage awards and unscrupulous lawyers earning substantial sums of cash.

In fact, those awards are only allowed in a few states, and the proposal will not stop them. Courts already have the power to prevent frivolous lawsuits and any other rare abuses. The Reform Act will not strengthen or improve those existing laws.

The ADA Education and Reform Act prioritizes the profits and convenience of businesses over the civil rights of people with disabilities.

The bill has already passed in the House of Representatives. We must stop it in the Senate.

Please call your senators, and urge them to vote NO on HR620. The phone number is 202.224.3121.

For more information on HR620, please visit these websites:

Sharon McCart is the chairperson of the DisAbility Ministries Committee of The United Methodist Church.