U.S. Lawmakers Call for Restoration of the ADA

July 26, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Lawmakers who claim the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has strayed too far from its original purpose, to prevent discrimination, will ask Congress to consider legislation meant to restore that intention.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, (D-Maryland),is making his push to restore the ADA on the 17 th anniversary of mammoth bill that barred discrimination against Americans with disabilities in the workplace, public accommodations and other settings.

The legislators are rallying to change the way that “disability” is interpreted in the Act.

“However, despite our progress, the courts – including the U.S. Supreme Court – have narrowly interpreted the ADA, limiting its scope and undermining its intent,” Hoyer said in a press release. “How can it be, for example, that people with diabetes, epilepsy, heart conditions and even cancer have had their ADA claims dismissed?”

Hoyer also addressed how the courts have interpreted “disabled,” saying that they have ruled that “medication or other corrective measures have made ADA claimants ‘too functional’ to be considered ‘disabled’ under the law.”

Hoyer and Representative James Sensenbrenner, (R-Wisconsin), will introduce the Americans with Disabilities Restoration Act 2007 in the House and Senator Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa), will propose the bill in the Senate.

According to the press release, the House bill will restore the original intent of the ADA by:

  • amending the definition of “disability” so that people who Congress originally intended to protect from discrimination are covered under the ADA, and
  • preventing courts from considering “mitigating measures” – such as eyeglasses or medication – when determining whether a person qualifies for protection under the law.

For more information about current ADA rules visit  http://www.ada.gov/ .