02/15/18 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – ACTION HAPPENING NOW
For More Information:
Gregg Beratan: (610) 247-4188
Laura Halvorson: (214) 738-1655
Marilee Adamski-Smith: (715) 204-4152
WHO: National ADAPT
WHAT: ADAPT Continues to Protest as HR620 goes to a vote on the House floor.
WHERE: The US Capitol Building
WHEN: Thursday, February 15, 2018, happening now
ADAPT Disability Rights Activists Continue to Protest to Defend Their Civil Rights Which is Under Attack by HR620 ADA Education and Reform Act
02/15/18 – Washington, D.C. The civil rights of people with disabilities will be severely eroded if a bill currently moving through Congress gets passed.
The disability rights organization ADAPT were instrumental in passing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. Hundreds of ADAPT activists literally crawled up the Capitol steps to highlight the need for the legislation. ADAPT members are attending the floor vote today protesting House legislation that would present the ADA practically meaningless, the ADA Education and Reform Act (House Resolution 620). HR620 is a regressive legislation that would require people with disabilities to perform additional time-consuming and exhausting procedures in order to secure their rights to equal access and full participation in public life, and at the same time removes any reason for businesses to proactively comply with the ADA. The passage of HR620 would be a devastating blow to the ADA.
“Businesses have had over 27 years to comply with the ADA,” said Anita Cameron, an organizer with ADAPT who was a part of the Capitol Crawl protest in 1990 that led to the ADA’s passage. “The civil and human rights of disabled people are being trampled upon. We demand access to public spaces to live our lives just like everyone else.”
Instead of ensuring that people with disabilities have access to businesses, as the ADA requires, HR620 influences businesses to wait to complete necessary changes until a customer is faced with an inaccessible environment and has completed a detailed notification process. Even then, the only action the business is required to make under HR620 is ill-defined “substantial progress” in removing the barriers described in the notice. A business waiting years without actually removing barriers could face no penalty for the delay. The bill removes any incentive for a business to take steps toward educating about ADA compliance and take steps toward accessibility prior to notification by customers.
“There must be consequences for elected officials who vote to rip away disabled people’s right to access public accommodations,” said Colleen Flanagan, Disability Action for America Co-founder & Executive Director who is also an ADAPT organizer in Massachusetts. “It’s our time to defeat and unseat elected officials who refuse to promote disability rights and repeatedly commit disability wrongs.”
ADAPT has worked for decades to secure and advance the civil rights guaranteed to disabled Americans under the ADA. Information about ADAPT’s history, currently prioritized issues, and its activities can be found at www.adapt.org, the NationalADAPT Facebook page and on the @NationalADAPT Twitter under the hashtags #ADAPTandRESIST. You can also follow fight against HR620 on #HandsOffMyADA, #StopHR620, and #CripTheVote