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After years of being weakened in the courts, Congress is coming to the rescue of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the bipartisan civil rights protections signed into law in 1990. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the ADA Restoration Act of 2007 on July 26, the seventeenth anniversary of the ADA. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) have introduced the bill in the Senate.

This vital legislation will restate and clarify the intent of Congress in order to keep the promise of the ADA. Please take action now to encourage members of Congress to sign-on and pass this legislation which was drafted with the support of a broad coalition of disability organizations.  

Contact Congress
Click the link above to tell your representatives in Congress to support the ADA Restoration Act.

Sign the Petition
Click the link above to show your support for passage of the ADA Restoration Act. We will distribute the petitions to Congress and the media

Tell Your Story
Click the link above to tell your story about disability discrimination, how the ADA has helped you or how the promise of the ADA is still unfulfilled. We will share these testimonials with Congress and the media.

Get On the Bus
Click the link above to follow the Road To Freedom: Keeping the Promise of the ADA, our year-long, cross-country bus tour promoting the restoration of the ADA.   Freedom bus Check out the tour schedule, read the blog and view photos of our journey so far covering more than 14,000 miles, 30 states and 45 bus stop events.

Seventeen years ago, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with overwhelming bipartisan support. However, in recent years, a number of Supreme Court decisions have significantly reduced the protections available to people with disabilities in employment settings.

Courts are quick to side with businesses and employers, deciding against people with disabilities who challenge employment discrimination 97% of the time, often before the person has even had a chance to show that the employer treated them unfairly.

Indeed, courts have created an absurd Catch-22 by allowing employers to say a person is “too disabled” to do the job but not “disabled enough” to be protected by the ADA. People with conditions like epilepsy, diabetes, HIV, cancer, hearing loss, and mental illness that manage their disabilities with medication, prosthetics, hearing aids, etc. — or “mitigating measures” — are viewed as “too functional” to have a disability and are denied the ADA’s protection from employment discrimination.

People denied a job or fired because an employer mistakenly believes they cannot perform the job or because the employer does not want people with disabilities in the workplace are also denied the ADA’s protection from employment discrimination.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legislation is needed to reverse court decisions that have left most workers with disabilities without any on-the-job protections against discrimination, witnesses told the House Education and Labor Committee today.

The Americans with Disabilities Restoration Act (H.R. 3195), introduced by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), would restore the original intent of the historic Americans with Disabilities Act. The bipartisan bill would reverse recent court decisions that have made it easier for employers to discriminate against workers with disabilities. Read the rest of this entry »