UPDATE: February 12, 2018
HR 620 is expected to come to a vote on the House floor this Thursday (2/15)! We need all hands on deck to educate Members of Congress on why this bill will harm people with disabilities. Please join us in participating in the following days of action:
Monday, February 12
- Email Representatives urging them to VOTE NO on HR 620
- Save the ADA Call-In Day – Call your Representative
- Social media opposition to HR 620 – #StopHR620 #HandsOffMyADA
- Continue calling and emailing Members, urging them to vote no
- Call your Representatives
- Tweet your Representatives
- Attend rallies and protests (if you are in the DC area)
- Call your Representatives
- Tweet your Representatives
Messages and counter messages:
- H.R. 620 removes the civil rights of all citizens with disabilities; it causes people with disabilities to wait for their right to access and service that all citizens have access to immediately. H.R. 620 asks people with disabilities to wait months, and in some cases, years, to be able to enter a restaurant, hotel, store, theater, or to shop on-line. This would never be asked of any other group.
- If businesses are concerned about bad actor lawyers, then stop the bad behavior of the lawyers; don't eliminate the rights of over 50 million Americans because there are a handful of dispicable attorneys.
- If the civil rights of 50 million Americans can be eliminated, then the civil rights of other groups can as well.
- Vote no on H.R. 620.
In addition to the resources listed in the full alert below, you can utilize this HR 620 Toolkit developed by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD). In this Toolkit, you will find:
- Sample email/letter template
- Sample call script
- Sample social media posts
Thank you for your efforts to protect the ADA and to block passage of this bill.
The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620) was passed out of the House Judiciary Committee last year, clearing the way for a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, which is expected sometime next week (February 12-16, 2018). This bill would seriously weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by delaying requirements that businesses be accessible to people with disabilities.
The proposed legislation requires a person with a disability to provide inaccessible businesses with a written notice of the barrier, after which the business has 60 days to even acknowledge there is a problem, and then another 120 days to begin to fix it. No other civil rights group is forced to wait 180 days to enforce their civil rights!
This bill has bipartisan support with 108 co-sponsors (97 Republicans and 12 Democrats).
The House Rules Committee is likely to set the process for consideration of the bill on Tuesday, February 13th. This means a vote on the full House floor is possible by Wednesday (2/14) or Thursday (2/15). The time to act is now!
We urge you to contact your Representatives and tell them to vote no on H.R. 620!
Don't let this bill weaken the ADA and the rights of people with disabilities!
All Members of the House of Representatives need to hear from the disability community. Make them aware of this ill-advised and damaging bill.
The Members below could be particularly influential on whether this bill passes or not:
- California delegation
- Illinois delegation
- Florida delegation
- Colorado delegation
- Texas delegation
- New Mexico delegation
- Arizona delegation
- Nevada delegation
- Oregon delegation
- Collin Peterson (D-MN)
- Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
- Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
- Jacky Rosen (D-NV)
- Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)
- Jared Polis (D-CO)
- Dwight Evans (D-PA)
- Mike Doyle (D-PA)
- Kathleen Rice (D-NY)
- Terri Sewell (D-AL)
- Bill Foster (D-IL)
- Jim Costa (D-CA)
- Jackie Speier (D-CA)
- Ami Bera (D-CA)
- Luis Correa (D-CA)
- Pete Aguilar (D-CA)
- Scott Peters (D-CA)
- Henry Cuellar (D-TX)
- Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Message / Talking Points
- Vote “NO” on H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017.
- The ADA Education and Reform Act would seriously weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act and would turn people with disabilities into second-class citizens.
- H.R. 620 would require a person with a disability who encounters an access barrier to send an exactly written notice and gives the business owner 60 days to even acknowledge that there is a problem – and then another 120 days to begin to fix it. No other civil rights group is forced to wait 180 days to enforce their civil rights.
- The ADA is already very carefully crafted to take the needs of business owners into account. Compliance is simply not burdensome – existing businesses are only required to provide access when doing so is readily achievable. But this bill would remove any reason for businesses to comply. Instead, they can take a “wait and see” attitude, and do nothing until they happen to be sued or sent a notice letter. This shifts the burden of enforcing the ADA onto individuals with disabilities.
- Title III regulations of the ADA went into effect in 1992, providing accessibility standards for private businesses (also known as public accommodations). Businesses have had over 25 years to comply with these regulations.
- H.R. 620 calls for education by the Department of Justice (DOJ). But there are already extensive federal efforts to educate business owners about their ADA obligations, including the in-depth DOJ ADA website (ADA.gov), which received 30 million visits in 2016 and 2017, the DOJ ADA hotline, which received over 97,000 calls, extensive DOJ technical assistance materials, etc., and by the 10 federally-funded regional ADA Centers (ADATA.org) that provide in-depth resources and training in every state.
- Proponents of this bill have raised concerns about monetary damage awards. But that has nothing to do with the ADA, since the ADA does not allow money damages. Such damages are only available under a handful of state laws. This bill will do nothing to prevent damage awards under state laws.
- It is troubling that this bill blames people with disabilities for public accommodations’ failure to comply with the ADA. Why should disabled people pay the price of an inaccessible environment, where we cannot live our lives like everyone else?
Meet with your Representatives
You can arrange a meeting in Washington, DC or in your home state, depending on when Congress is in session. Contacting Congress allows you to request a meeting with your Member of Congress. You can also check the Town Hall Project for congressional events in your area.
Call your Representatives
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative.
Email your Representatives
Contacting Congress provides unique links to email your Representative directly.
Tweet your Representatives
Twitter has become a powerful tool to communicate with elected officials directly. Find your Representative on Twitter and tell them to oppose this bill. Use the hashtags #StopHR620 and #HandsOffMyADA. Some sample tweets are included below:
- Tell Congress to stop chipping away at the #ADA - Vote "NO" on #HR620. #StopHR620 #HandsOffMyADA https://goo.gl/3SdLHc
- #HR620 would force people w/ disabilities to wait 180 days to enforce their civil rights - Vote "NO" on H.R. 620. #StopHR620 #HandsOffMyADA https://goo.gl/3SdLHc
- Businesses have had nearly 3 decades to comply with the #ADA - no more excuses! Vote "NO" on #HR620. #StopHR620 #HandsOffMyADA https://goo.gl/3SdLHc
- #HR620 won't stop "drive by" #ADA lawsuits, but it will strip civil rights from people with disabilities. #StopHR620 #HandsOffMyADA https://goo.gl/3SdLHc
- [insert Representative handle] protect the #ADA and the rights of people with disabilities - Vote "NO" on #HR620! #StopHR620 #HandsOffMyADA https://goo.gl/3SdLHc