Washington, D.C.—A controversial piece of legislation, HR 620, is currently working its way through the US House of Representatives. If successful, the measure would fundamentally change the way businesses are required to comply with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) by shifting the responsibility for accessibility and accommodation from businesses to the disabled.
HR 620—the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017—would prohibit civil actions against businesses based on their failure to remove an architectural barrier to access into an existing public accommodation unless the aggrieved person has provided to the owners or operators a written notice specific enough to identify the barrier. The aggrieved person’s notice must specify the address of the property, the specific ADA sections alleged to have been violated, whether a request for assistance in removing an architectural barrier was made, and whether the barrier was permanent or temporary.
Provided the aggrieved person meets the above criteria, civil action can then only be taken when the owners or operators have failed to provide the person with a written description outlining improvements that will be made to alleviate the barrier or they fail to remove the barrier or make substantial progress after providing such a description.