Who are the Political Friends of People with Disabilities?

ADA Restoration Headed to House Markup on Wednesday 
ADA Restoration Moves Forward in the House 
Disability, civil rights and employer groups are working hard to secure support for the negotiated legislated language that has been circulated on JFA and now has the support of more than 50 national and 60 state and local disability groups, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Society for Human Resource Management, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Human Resource Policy Association, and a growing list of companies, including McDonalds, General Motors and Honeywell. Lobbying on the House side for this negotiated deal began in earnest yesterday, focused on the members of the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Judiciary Committee (which also plans to mark up the bill next Wednesday).

To avoid confusion with the bill that was introduced last July, we have begun referring to the negotiated legislation as the ADA Amendments Act. In anticipation of next week’s markup, we are working to counter any efforts in either committee to attach an ADA notification requirement to the bill, a cause that was championed in prior Congresses by Representative Mark Foley of Florida and that is strongly opposed by the disability-civil rights employer coalition working to enact the ADA Amendments Act. We are also working hard to secure White House and Senate Republican support for the negotiated bill.

At this point, it looks like the bill will receive strong bipartisan support in the committee markups in
the House. We have included a list of the members of the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Judiciary Committee below.

·      Contact Members on the House Education & Labor Committee and the House Judiciary Committee between now and Wednesday morning and urge them to support the bipartisan negotiated language that will become the Chairman’s mark in both committees. The names are below.

Locate the Members’ contact information online, or call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-1904 (V) / (202) 224-3091 (TTY) and ask to be connected to their offices by name. 

·      If you haven’t already, consider having your organization "sign on" to the proposed deal language by sending an email to Anne Sommers, JFA Moderator, at aapdanne@earthlink.net. Support of the deal language means you not only approve of its language and terms, but that you also agree to defend it against all attempts by Members of Congress to amend it–unless both sides agree to the amendments.

We will continue to share the list of organizational support with Members of Congress as ADA Restoration moves forward in both the House and Senate in coming weeks. 

·      Attend the markup! The House Education and Labor Markup is scheduled for Wednesday, June 18th, at 10:00 in the Rayburn building, Room 2175. Advocates are encouraged to show their support through numbers. The accessible entrance to the building is the main entrance with the horseshoe drive off South Capitol Street.

Continue reading “Who are the Political Friends of People with Disabilities?”

Iowa blind advocates (Steve being one of them) disagree over court ruling on paper money

Advocates Disagree…(click for complete article)

Updated May 20. 2008 6:04PM
By Diane Heldt
The Gazette

A federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that paper money — indistinguishable by touch — is discriminatory to blind people was hailed by some advocates as a long-awaited step forward, while others said a change is unnecessary and plays into negative stereotypes about the blind.

Blind people have adapted and often fold money to distinguish the bills, but no longer would have to rely on others to help them if the Treasury Department makes bills of different sizes or prints them with raised markings, supporters of a change said.

"What’s at issue here is the ability to identify money without other people helping you," University of Iowa English Professor Steve Kuusisto, who is blind, said. "My view is, the most accommodations possible help the most people. To be opposed to accommodations that help people is narrow."

The American Council of the Blind sued for such changes, but the government has been fighting the case for about six years. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruling could force the Treasury Department to alter money, though the ruling is subject to appeal.

Continue reading “Iowa blind advocates (Steve being one of them) disagree over court ruling on paper money”

The ADA Restoration Act: What We All Need to Know

News From the Front

The attack is on and the fight is fierce. The ADA Restoration Act is currently being debated in Washington and the proposed legislation which is designed to restore the employment protections that were crafted as part of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act is now under attack from groups that want to severely limit  the kinds of work place accommodations that employees can and should receive in order to remain gainfully employed.

Because the hosts of this blog are advocates for the full employment of people with disabilities and because the high rate of unemployment among the blind and visually impaired remains at catastrophic levels we want to alert our readers to the fact that the Society for Human Resource Management (a “Management” oriented group) has issued a call to arms urging its membership to fight against this crucial disability oriented legislation. Their tactic? They tell their membership that if the ADA Restoration Act is adopted employers will have to make accommodations for people with minor headaches or disfiguring scars—that is, the SHRM has argued to its membership that under the proposed act, the definition of disability is so broad that “virtually every employee” will be disabled and will require some kind of accommodation. This is absolute nonsense and the sophistry and misrepresentation of both the ADA and the ADA Restoration Act that are utilized in the service of this disinformation is really shameful. But to paraphrase Lou Reed (who said “you can’t always trust your mother”)—“you can’t always trust human resource management”.

My friend and former colleague Scott Lissner (who is the superb ADA Coordinator for The Ohio State University) has written the following altogether cogent summary of the ADA Restoration Act and this is, in our view, the most accurate and succinct summary of the proposed legislation. Please read on.

Continue reading “The ADA Restoration Act: What We All Need to Know”

Our Support Needed for the ADA Restoration Act

The Road to Freedom leads us, among other places, to this list of 5 Things we can all do RIGHT NOW to support

"the ‘ADA Restoration Act’ that would restore vital
civil right protections for children and adults with physical, mental,
cognitive and developmental disabilities."

For more information, visit the ADA Restoration Act 2007 blog where you’ll find this ****ACTION ALERT!****



Cross-posted on Blog [with]tv