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SABE’s Mission:

To ensure that people with disabilities are treated as equals and that they are given the same decisions, choices, rights, responsibilities, and chances to speak up to empower themselves; opportunities to make new friends, and to learn from their mistakes.

 


HR 620

Hi, all. I’m writing to let you know that the House of Representatives will most likely be voting next week on a bill that will strip away civil rights of people with disabilities.

HR 620 would do the following:

Eliminate the need for businesses and other entities that offer services to the public to meet accessibility requirements until a complaint is filed against them

  • Limit the ability to file a complaint unless it is in writing, specifies the exact part of the law that is being violated, whether the person complaining has made a direct complaint to the business, and whether the barrier or lack of access is permanent or temporary
  • The person with a disability must then wait up to 180 days for the business to “fix” the complaint; therefore denying the person with a disability access to the services for the waiting period
  • Also, a business could have more than 180 days to fix the complaint if they are making “substantial progress” to fix the complaint

This bill attacks the rights of people with disabilities because of “frivolous” law suits being brought by lawyers against businesses. This “problem” is about lawyers who are bad actors and should not be “solved” by gutting the rights of people with disabilities.

Tuesday the 13th—The House Rules Committee will meet to set the process for consideration of the bill

Wed or Thursday (14th or 15th)—probable floor vote on the bill

For national folks, I’ve checked in with Dara Baldwin and have given her this information but I wanted to let everyone know that this is happening. 

There are vulnerable Democrats who may sign onto the bill in AZ, CA, FL, HI, NY, and WA. They need to know they should not be supporting the bill.

In addition, Republican disability supporters need to hear from people to vote against the bill, folks such as Reps. Harper, McMorris, Rodgers, Senssen, Brenner, Sessions, and others.

The House leadership looks like they really want to push this through next week. Congressmen and women in the House of Representatives need to hear from the community now.

Attached is a resource list for advocating efforts. Also attached is a copy of the House Judiciary Committee report on the bill.  The dissenting views section (pp. 17-27) is very good and can be used to argue against the bill. As a summary of talking points on the bill here is what can be said:

HR 620 will take away the civil rights of people with disabilities

  • It will make people with disabilities wait for up to 180 days for services that other people have immediate access to
  • The wait may be even longer than 180 days because a business that is making “substantial progress” toward fixing a problem can take even longer than 180 days
  • HR 620 will eliminate the need for businesses to be accessible until a complaint is received; there will be no need to make a business accessible until someone complains; that will mean many groups building new buildings, renovating buildings, opening new businesses will not make their services accessible
  • HR 620 shifts the burden of accessibility from those who offer services to the person with a disability; no other group needs to prove their right to access to publically offered services
  • We should not be gutting the rights of people with disabilities; if there is a problem, we should be limiting the actions of a small number of lawyers who are bad actors
  • HR 620 will take away the civil rights of people with disabilities; would we ever think about eliminating the rights of any other group of Americans? This is disgraceful

Thanks for all your efforts to get folks out and pushing as hard as possible.

Michael Gamel-McCormick


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CHECK IT OUT

What voters with disabilities told us about their voting experience when choosing our President

 

SABE’s Voter Project just released their 2016 Report on the voting experiences of 810 voters with disabilities from 40 states.  The vote survey was done in partnership with self advocacy groups and Disability Rights organizations.  One of their jobs is to help people with disabilities with voting problems and questions.

SABE promised that they would share your honest and specific answers with election officials and legislators.  These are the people who can take what you recommended to make future elections better.

What makes this report different from others is that it had first-hand comments from voters. The voters told us that the responsibility to vote is shared:

  • the voter must prepare to vote

  • the local election officials must make voting safe and accessible

  • the laws must provide guidelines to make this happen

 

Click the picture to download the Report

Please feel free to share this report with others at www.govoter.org  We want to let others know that the right to vote is not equal to all citizens.  If you would like to become more involved with this project and/or would like to learn more about it, please contact Essie Pederson, essie.pederson@gmail.com or Teresa Moore, mooreadvocacy@hotmail.com


 


Learn more about Medicaid Cut click on the link below

MEDICAID CUTS = DISABILITY CUTS THE TOOLKIT