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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

An Update from the NCIL ADA / Civil Rights Subcommittee

This year, we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As we celebrate the victories, we also need to continue the fight for our civil rights. This year, the ADA Civil Rights subcommittee has been working hard.

The EEOC has proposed a regulation that allows employers and their health plans to require medical disclosures that would otherwise be protected by the ADA if part of a wellness program. The proposed rule allows employers to charge significantly higher premiums for health insurance if a person declines participation. To comment on the proposed rule search for ID: EEOC-2015-0006-0001 at regulations.gov. The deadline for comments is June 19.

In Washington and other states there are ADA Notification Acts and other efforts to limit our hard-won remedies. The national media has covered police mistreatment of citizens and we are working to ensure that police treatment of people with disabilities is included in that dialog. Subcommittee members have also been working to ensure that the rights of parents with disabilities are protected.

Below, Ted Jackson reports on the efforts of Californians to prevent enactment of bills limiting remedies under the ADA and state law.

CFILC, in partnership with our members, was able to organize about 50 to the Assembly Hearing today regarding the Access Bills.

  • AB 52 did not have the necessary votes to get out, so it has been held in committee as a 2-year bill.
  • AB 54 was amended to be just a small tax credit bill. 

This was a BIG win for us!

However, we know that they’ll come back again next year – a couple of Republicans sitting on the committee said as much. And we still have at least one similar bill in the Senate to take on.

NCIL congratulates all of the CILs that were able to mobilize their communities to be a part of preserving the ADA in California, including Ted, who organized quickly when CFILC received funding to get people to the Capital; Samantha, who booked hotels and made sure everyone had lunches, and Henry, who spent the last couple days making legislative visits to keep the pressure on.

Nice to get a win! Now we need to keep this momentum in other states where similar legislation is proposed. In Washington, we must work to ensure that bills like H.R. 241, the ADA Compliance for Customer Entry to Stores and Services Act, don’t see the light of day.

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