The new ADA bill of 2017 causes more harm than good

President George H.W. Bush signs the ADA - 1990.

ADA National Network

President George H.W. Bush signs the ADA - 1990.

Nadage Beausejour, Staff Writer

July 26th marked the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was signed by George H.W. Bush in 1990. It has been repeatedly attacked ever since, with the most recent attack introduced by Texas congressman Ted Poe (R). What comes with this new bill is a long, unneeded, discouraging process that makes the solution to the problem actually worse than the problem itself.

Before it was ADA – now it is the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017. The original law in 1990 states the civil rights of those with disabilities. It provides disabled people a fair chance in employment, access into stores, commercial facilities, and transportation without any form of discrimination.

This new bill recognizes a problem among people with disabilities that still needed to be corrected.

They were either being denied access into public places or the place had an architectural barrier that prevented them from entering. Seeing this, Congress jumped at the opportunity to make a difference like they always try to do. They couldn’t even wait until the anniversary celebration was over before they started dipping their hands into the pot.

Thinking that this Act will help people with disabilities is such a naïve thing, and whoever is thinking that needs to understand the true facts. This harmful bill isn’t helping anyone, what George H.W. Bush did  to help people with disabilities is now being changed to further hurt them..

“It signals the end to the unjustified segregation and exclusion of persons with disabilities from the mainstream of American life. As the Declaration of Independence has been a beacon for people all over the world seeking freedom, it is my hope that the Americans with Disabilities Act will likewise come to be a model for the choices and opportunities of future generations around the world,” said President Bush.

This new bill states, “A person with a disability would be obligated to provide written notice to a business owner who has violated the ADA. The business owner would then have 60 days to even acknowledge that there is a problem and another 120 days to make progress toward correcting the violation.”

Let me lay down the clear fact, this “new” bill will have people waiting in the dark for 180 days before the situation actually gets taken care of. The absurdity is overwhelming. All I’m seeing that this bill is doing is just classifying people with disabilities as “second-class citizens.”

Able-bodied individuals have the free will to get a job, walk into a store, and watch a movie without being stopped. Those who have disabilities will no longer these rights.

Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat, who represents Illinois in the U.S. Senate States that, “If Congress passed this misguided legislation, it would send a disgraceful message to Americans with disabilities that their civil rights are not worthy of strong enforcement. It is not too late to defeat this dangerous legislation and keep every American living with a disability from becoming a second-class citizen.”

This change has begun to gain acknowledgement of other Representatives. These Representatives are Collins (R-GA), Jolly (R-FL), Marchant (R-TX), and Lamar Smith (R-TX).

Notice anything yet? The ones who have acknowledged this act are all republicans.

“Republicans tend to oppose federal regulation on the grounds that regulation imposes heavy burdens on businesses,” says Brian Beutler, a senior editor at The New Republic.

George H.W. Bush first signed the ADA so that businesses would be aware of the limits they are putting on people. It was encouraging them to take down the barriers and put up supports so that people with disabilities can have equal access. If this is still a problem 27 years later we shouldn’t be changing the bill but educating owners on the ADA bill that George H.W. Bush had signed. (T

Why should anyone have to wait for their civil rights?

The supporters of this bill think that enforcing it will also help stop people from filing lawsuits only to gain money and not rights. While I agree that this is a problem, others should not be put at a disadvantage.

What was seen as a chance of opportunity is now being turned into a sideways glance at the real problem. What President H.W. Bush acknowledged is now being turn aside. This change is not a solution, it just has become another problem that needs to be fixed.