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Author Topic: H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act  (Read 815 times)

Description: SPEAK UP

Offline Macabre

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H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act
« on: February 13, 2018, 12:43:38 AM »
I got this text from the Loudon County Special Ed advisory group. This bill affects those dealing with disability in every state in the US.



Potentially as soon as next week (posted last Friday, so THIS week) the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on legislation to significantly weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), our nation's foremost civil rights law for persons with disabilities.
 
If enacted, H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act, would establish a 180-day waiting period before a person with a disability could enforce their rights to gain access to businesses, social services agencies, educational institutions, or other covered entities. This legislation also puts the responsibility on the person with the disability to educate the entity not in compliance with the ADA about their infraction(s).  Consequently, this legislation would limit the influence of the ADA and reduce compliance with the law, as it currently exists.

Psychological research has strongly demonstrated the pervasive nature of stigma associated with disabilities and the adverse mental health effects of such discrimination. The American Psychological Association (APA), where I worked in executive leadership for many years, has been a proponent of the ADA since its passage in 1990.

APA, along with numerous other organizations, stands firmly opposed to this rollback of civil rights protections for the millions of individuals with disabilities in our nation.  Congress should be using its resources to ensure people with disabilities have full access to the community through the strong enforcement of the ADA, and not considering restricting their civil rights or adding to their burdens when they wish to fully participate in their communities.

Personally, I urge you to please ask your U.S. Representative to vote NO on H.R. 620, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act so we can protect students wtih disabilities.

-Carol Williams-Nickelson, PsyD
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
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Offline gvmom

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Re: H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 09:48:09 AM »
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/620/text

Shown Here:
Reported in House (01/30/2018)
Union Calendar No. 403

115th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 620
[Report No. 115–539]


To amend the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to promote compliance through education, to clarify the requirements for demand letters, to provide for a notice and cure period before the commencement of a private civil action, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 24, 2017
Mr. Poe of Texas (for himself, Mr. Peters, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Bera, Ms. Speier, and Mr. Conaway) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

January 30, 2018
Additional sponsors: Mr. Aguilar, Mr. Abraham, Mr. Correa, Mr. Collins of Georgia, Mr. Foster, Mr. Denham, Ms. Sinema, Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Issa, Mr. Emmer, Ms. Sewell of Alabama, Mr. Coffman, Mrs. Roby, Mr. Cuellar, Mr. Russell, Mr. Costa, Mr. Smith of Texas, Mr. Valadao, Mr. Marchant, Mr. Bacon, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Duncan of South Carolina, Mr. Burgess, Mr. Tipton, Mr. Byrne, Mr. Gallagher, Mr. Crawford, Mr. Bilirakis, Mr. Curbelo of Florida, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Stivers, Mr. Williams, Mr. Walker, Mr. Brooks of Alabama, Mr. Smith of Missouri, Mr. Moolenaar, Mr. Schweikert, Mr. Graves of Louisiana, Mr. Nunes, Mr. Grothman, Mr. Carter of Georgia, Mr. Johnson of Louisiana, Mr. Lamborn, Miss González-Colón of Puerto Rico, Mr. Gohmert, Miss Rice of New York, Mr. Gosar, Mr. Womack, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Dent, Mr. McClintock, Mr. Westerman, Mr. Long, Mr. Mooney of West Virginia, Mr. Luetkemeyer, Mr. Rogers of Kentucky, Mr. LaMalfa, Mr. Guthrie, Mr. MacArthur, Mr. Amodei, Mr. Buck, Mr. Sam Johnson of Texas, Mr. Lewis of Minnesota, Mr. Tiberi, Mr. Harris, Mr. Turner, Mr. Barr, Mr. Chabot, Mr. Ratcliffe, Mr. Yoho, Mr. Hill, Mr. Austin Scott of Georgia, Mr. Norman, Mr. Babin, Mr. Mast, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Francis Rooney of Florida, Mr. Holding, Mr. Comer, Mr. Knight, Mr. Cook, Mr. Cole, Mr. Marino, Mr. Barton, Mrs. Mimi Walters of California, Mr. Fleischmann, Mrs. Handel, Mr. Gaetz, Mr. Lucas, Mr. Pittenger, Mr. Biggs, Mr. Budd, Mr. Ross, Mr. Meadows, Mr. Rice of South Carolina, Mr. Messer, Ms. Jenkins of Kansas, Mr. Reed, Mr. Higgins of Louisiana, Mr. Hultgren, Ms. Herrera Beutler, Mr. Jody B. Hice of Georgia, and Mr. Wilson of South Carolina

Deleted sponsors: Mr. Rush (added May 19, 2017; deleted October 31, 2017) and Mr. Suozzi (added June 15, 2017; deleted July 20, 2017)

January 30, 2018
Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

A BILL
To amend the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to promote compliance through education, to clarify the requirements for demand letters, to provide for a notice and cure period before the commencement of a private civil action, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017”.

SEC. 2. COMPLIANCE THROUGH EDUCATION.

Based on existing funding, the Disability Rights Section of the Department of Justice shall, in consultation with property owners and representatives of the disability rights community, develop a program to educate State and local governments and property owners on effective and efficient strategies for promoting access to public accommodations for persons with a disability (as defined in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12102)). Such program may include training for professionals such as Certified Access Specialists to provide a guidance of remediation for potential violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

SEC. 3. NOTICE AND CURE PERIOD.

Paragraph (1) of section 308(a) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12188(a)(1)) is amended to read as follows:


“(1) AVAILABILITY OF REMEDIES AND PROCEDURES.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—Subject to subparagraph (B), the remedies and procedures set forth in section 204(a) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000a–3(a)) are the remedies and procedures this title provides to any person who is being subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability in violation of this title or who has reasonable grounds for believing that such person is about to be subjected to discrimination in violation of section 303. Nothing in this section shall require a person with a disability to engage in a futile gesture if such person has actual notice that a person or organization covered by this title does not intend to comply with its provisions.

“(B) BARRIERS TO ACCESS TO EXISTING PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS.—A civil action under section 302 or 303 based on the failure to remove an architectural barrier to access into an existing public accommodation may not be commenced by a person aggrieved by such failure unless—

“(i) that person has provided to the owner or operator of the accommodation a written notice specific enough to allow such owner or operator to identify the barrier; and

“(ii) (I) during the period beginning on the date the notice is received and ending 60 days after that date, the owner or operator fails to provide to that person a written description outlining improvements that will be made to remove the barrier; or

“(II) if the owner or operator provides the written description under subclause (I), the owner or operator fails to remove the barrier or to make substantial progress in removing the barrier during the period beginning on the date the description is provided and ending 120 days after that date.

“(C) SPECIFICATION OF DETAILS OF ALLEGED VIOLATION.—The written notice required under subparagraph (B) must also specify in detail the circumstances under which an individual was actually denied access to a public accommodation, including the address of property, the specific sections of the Americans with Disabilities Act alleged to have been violated, whether a request for assistance in removing an architectural barrier to access was made, and whether the barrier to access was a permanent or temporary barrier.”.

SEC. 4. EFFECTIVE DATE.

This Act and the amendments made by this Act take effect 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 5. MEDIATION FOR ADA ACTIONS RELATED TO ARCHITECTURAL BARRIERS.

The Judicial Conference of the United States shall, under rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or any other applicable law, in consultation with property owners and representatives of the disability rights community, develop a model program to promote the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, including a stay of discovery during mediation, to resolve claims of architectural barriers to access for public accommodations. To the extent practical, the Federal Judicial Center should provide a public comment period on any such proposal. The goal of the model program shall be to promote access quickly and efficiently without the need for costly litigation. The model program should include an expedited method for determining the relevant facts related to such barriers to access and steps taken before the commencement of litigation to resolve any issues related to access.

Union Calendar No. 403

115th CONGRESS
     2d Session
H. R. 620
[Report No. 115–539]
A BILL
To amend the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to promote compliance through education, to clarify the requirements for demand letters, to provide for a notice and cure period before the commencement of a private civil action, and for other purposes.
January 30, 2018
Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed


Went looking for the actual bill because the text sounded incredibly worrying.... reading the text of the bill, if this is what they are talking about, just on a skim, doesn't appear to be bad.  I don't have time to really go over it now and look for language to parse.... but.... maybe later. 

Anyone else have a take on this?
"...who knew that Black History Month was really about an Orange White guy" ~gvmom
"...but HILLARY!" is not ACTUALLY a legal defense in the real world.  ~gvmom
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Offline BensMom

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Re: H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 09:53:05 AM »

Offline Macabre

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Re: H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 09:53:14 AM »
You know, I thought the ADAAA would be what’s amended. I thought it took place of this.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

Offline gvmom

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Re: H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 10:54:57 AM »
Just double checking.... is what I posted the correct item Mac?
"...who knew that Black History Month was really about an Orange White guy" ~gvmom
"...but HILLARY!" is not ACTUALLY a legal defense in the real world.  ~gvmom
"Don't feed the trolls; nothing fuels them so much." ~Oscar Wilde
Trump=Idiot https://twitter.com/spikedcranium/status/966768001943875584

Offline Macabre

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Re: H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 06:08:45 AM »
GVmom, I’ll need to go find the text.

This is the Summary. It’s not mentioning the waiting period, but it does indicate the onus being on the disabled person.


Quote
Introduced in House (01/24/2017)
ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017

This bill requires the Disability Rights Section of the Department of Justice to develop a program to educate state and local governments and property owners on strategies for promoting access to public accommodations for persons with a disability. The program may include training for professionals to provide a guidance of remediation for potential violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

The bill prohibits civil actions based on the failure to remove an architectural barrier to access into an existing public accommodation unless: (1) the aggrieved person has provided to the owners or operators a written notice specific enough to identify the barrier, and (2) the owners or operators fail to provide the person with a written description outlining improvements that will be made to improve the barrier or they fail to remove the barrier or make substantial progress after providing such a description. The aggrieved person's notice must specify: (1) the address of the property, (2) the specific ADA sections alleged to have been violated, (3) whether a request for assistance in removing an architectural barrier was made, and (4) whether the barrier was permanent or temporary.

The Judicial Conference of the United States must develop a model program to promote alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve such claims. The model program should include an expedited method for determining relevant facts related to such barriers and steps to resolve accessibility issues before litigation.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
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Offline Macabre

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Re: H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 06:19:14 AM »
That is the full text.

Yes, more of a burden is placed upon individuals with disabilities, including a significant time burden, before accommodation is made.

I am not sure if the extent of locations this impacts, but I can easily see it being interpreted to include 504. Even if it didn’t, why should people with disabilities  be required to 1) jump through these hoops, being able to cite the part of the law that protects them in writing, 2) wait so long before an accommodation is made.

I’ll look forward to reading the full ACLU statement.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
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Online rebekahc

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Re: H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 09:44:37 AM »
The bill prohibits civil actions based on the failure to remove an architectural barrier to access...

It seems to me this bill is focusing on buildings, streets, sidewalks, etc.  They want a person to prove they need the curb removed from the sidewalk, etc.  I'm sure this is in reaction to all the municipalities that have been sued lately (by disability rights groups) and forced to make every sidewalk, cross walk, etc. disability friendly even when no need has been established.

Yes, municipalities and public buildings should be in compliance with ADA, but it seems like funds should be spent first where there is demonstrated need rather than on legal fees and renovation expenses incurred due to an outside rights group demanding something be fixed when there are other needs that should take precedence.  It sounds like this bill might be a way to sort of triage which barriers need to be fixed first because they are actually impacting a disabled person.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 09:48:50 AM by rebekahc »
TX - USA
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Offline gvmom

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Re: H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2018, 02:33:09 PM »
That is how I read it rebekah.

That is why I asked if I had the text right.  It would be interesting to me too if there was background about how this came about.  For example, aside from just thinking someone is trying to screw over people with disabilities, if there was something that is perceived to be a real issue that they are trying to address with this. 

Plus, I'd like to see analysis from a purely legal standpoint about it.  Not parties that are interested in interpreting it with a specific angle of nuance.
"...who knew that Black History Month was really about an Orange White guy" ~gvmom
"...but HILLARY!" is not ACTUALLY a legal defense in the real world.  ~gvmom
"Don't feed the trolls; nothing fuels them so much." ~Oscar Wilde
Trump=Idiot https://twitter.com/spikedcranium/status/966768001943875584