This act would require a 90-day notification to ensure ADA compliance prior to proceeding against an entity that is not ADA compliant. The following letter was signed by members of the MDA National Task Force Steering Committee and mailed on August 30, 2000, to those indicated at the top of the letter.
Individually addressed to:
Representative Bill Archer, Chairman, House Ways and Means Committee
Representative Charles B. Rangel, Ranking Member, House Ways and Means Comittee
Representative Henry Hyde, Chairperson, Committee on the Judiciary
Representative Charles Canady, Chairperson, Subcommittee on the Constitution,
Committee on the Judiciary
cc: President Bill Clinton
National Council on Disability
RE: Opposition to the ADA Notification Act, H.R. 3590
On this the 10th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is a disgrace that compliance with this landmark civil rights legislation is still so poor that it is necessary to even consider legislation such as the ADA Notification Act, H.R. 3590. The ADA Notification Act will make the ADA even more difficult to enforce.
In our country, ignorance of the law has never been the defense. Since the ADA has come into effect, hundreds of thousands of businesses have complied with the law making their operations accessible to persons with disabilities. There has been plenty of time for businesses to learn what the ADA requires of them and for them to make those changes. The ADA Notification Act condones the misconduct of those businesses that have not complied with the law by giving them more time and more notice than their competitors have had. The ADA Notification Act is a step backward in our country's efforts to end discrimination against people with disabilities. Our nation's efforts should be focused on assisting people with disabilities in their efforts to become part of the American mainstream. Adding notice provisions and 90-day waiting periods to the procedures that must be followed to enforce an ADA claim runs contrary to these purposes.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association's voluntary Task Force on Public Awareness is comprised of individuals with neuromuscular diseases who advise the Association on issues that are of importance to the people it serves, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Task Force, on behalf of MDA, urges you to reject the ADA Notification Act.
The Members of the Steering Committee of the MDA National Task Force on Public Awareness
/s William W. Altaffer
/s Jan Blaustone
/s Shelley C. Obrand
/s Chris Rosa, Ph.D.