[NFBOK-Talk] Opposing H R 3765 the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015.pdf

Jeannie Massay jmassay1 at cox.net
Wed Sep 21 21:31:39 UTC 2016


The following letter was sent to each House Representative from President


Re Opposing H R  3765 the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015.pdf

NFB Logo

National Federation of the Blind 

September 8, 2016 

Mark Riccobono, President | 200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230 | 410 659 9314 | www.nfb.org 

United States House of Representatives 

Washington, DC 20515 

Mark Riccobono, President | 200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230 | 410 659 9314 | www.nfb.org 

Re: Opposing H.R. 3765 the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015 Dear

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) opposes H.R. 3765. For
seventy-six years, NFB members have fought for, and to protect, the rights
of people

with disabilities in the United States. In 1990, our members worked closely
with our partners in the disability community and Congress to secure the

of the Americans with Disabilities Act, (ADA). The ADA revolutionized the
way we, as people with disabilities, interact with and access government

commerce, and participate in our local communities. The passage of the ADA
affirmed the principal that people with disabilities are first-class

with rights and protections under the law, like all other Americans.
However, H.R. 3765, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015 now threatens
to undermine

the mechanisms of the law that afford us those protections. 

Under the framework of H.R. 3765, a person with a disability confronting
access barriers would be required to give a written notice to the business

who then has 60 days to even acknowledge the problem, followed by an
additional 120 days to take corrective action. No other group is required to

180 days to enforce their civil rights. 

One of the “problems” proponents of H.R. 3765 refer to when talking about
this legislation is that business-owners are unfairly being victimized by

accessibility requirements set forth by the ADA. However, this flawed
approach neglects to recognize the daily experiences of millions of
Americans with

disabilities, who every day are discriminated against by public facilities
and e-commerce that fail to meet even the most minimal accessibility

Furthermore, the ADA was carefully crafted to ensure that such requirements
are not overly burdensome, and our experience as Americans with disabilities

has taught us that when included from the design and development stages,
accessibility features do not result in increased construction and


Proponents also argue that monetary incentives are behind most civil action
under the ADA. However, 

title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which applies to privately
operated public accommodations, 

commercial facilities, and private entities offering certain examinations
and courses, prohibits money 

damages.i A handful of states allow damages according to their state laws,
and this bill will do nothing to 

prevent damage awards under state laws. 

i 42 U.S.C. § 12188; 42 U.S.C §§ 12182 and 12181(7); 42 U.S.C. §§ 12183 and
12181(2); and 42 U.S.C. § 12189. 


Furthermore, this bill would force disabled Americans, who face wage,
employment, and other forms of discrimination that can impact our financial

to pay attorneys to draft the notice. No attorney would take a case without
the prospect of receiving payment for their work. That is why the drafters

of the Americans with Disabilities Act included attorney’s fees; it is what
makes the ADA function. 

Finally, there are a multitude of resources available to help small
businesses comply with the ADA. However, there are very few resources
available to

help blind and other disabled Americans receive the equal access we need to
live in society. This bill would severely limit one of the few tools we have

at our disposal to ensure we are provided an equal opportunity to

Despite the major accomplishments of the Americans with Disabilities Act,
people with disabilities continue to confront systemic accessibility

and rather than exacerbating this experience, Congress should work to build
upon the ADA’s progress to ensure that blind and all other disabled

can live the lives we want. H.R. 3765 will not be a step forward, but
rather, a step back. I strongly urge you to vote nay on H.R. 3765 


Mark A. Riccobono 

President, National Federation of the Blind 


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