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Friday, September 15, 2017

A Plea Against a Bill That Would Weaken ADA

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the civil rights of people with autism and other disabilities

From The Congressional Record, September 14, 2017:
Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Speaker, today, I rise to express my strong opposition to H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act, which recently passed out of the Judiciary Committee.

For 27 years, the Americans with Disabilities Act has made a difference in millions of lives, including my own, by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a disability and requiring accessibility  in places of public accommodation.
Mr. Speaker, H.R. 620 decimates the underlying intent of the ADA by allowing entities to wait before addressing barriers to access. It would roll back years of progress, and it sends a message to the disability community that we are not worthy of being included like everyone else. I urge my colleagues to consider the true implications of this policy.
Mr. Speaker, I was injured in 1980, a full 10 years before the ADA was enacted. I remember what our country was like before the ADA. I do not wish to go back. Instead of weakening our civil rights, let us work together to protect them.