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Whatever happened to “Ignorance of the law is no excuse?”

Today, Congress is voting on a very dangerous proposed amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

As indicated in the attached ACLU article, this is a bill that would prohibit someone from suing a business for noncompliance with Title III (public accommodations) unless the person first gave the business written notice and waited for six months for the business to comply. And even then, the business would still be able to delay compliance if it could show that it was making “substantial progress” towards that end.

This bill is touted as a way to stop predatory lawyers from filing frivolous damage claims under the ADA. But the problem is that with this part of the ADA, monetary damages are not allowed. The only remedy is to fix the problem (i.e, build the ramp or install the grab bars). The effect of this change would be that as long as a business could show “progress,” it could continue to delay – justice.

As citizens of this country, we are all expected to know about the laws we are expected to follow. Why should it be any different when the victims of noncompliance are people with disabilities?

Congress Wants to Change the Americans with Disabilities Act and Undermine the Civil Rights of People with Disabilities American Civil Liberties Unio







I am an attorney with a disability, and I co-teach a class on disability law. But because laws are just words, I would like to learn and convey more of the real world of living with a disability in the 21st Century.

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