House Committees Approve ADA Amendments Act of 2008

Person in Wheelchair

Congress also made progress on a major disability rights bill, as both the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Judiciary Committee marked up and approved the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (H.R. 3195). This measure is designed to counter the last decade of Supreme and lower court decisions which have excluded large groups of people with disabilities from receiving employment protections included in the original Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was enacted in 1990.

The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 is the product of meaningful negotiations and discussions with experts in the disability community, business and employer groups, Members of Congress, and congressional staff. The measure prohibits consideration of mitigating measures in the determination of whether an individual has a disability, with the exception of ordinary eyeglasses and contact lenses. The bill also affords broad coverage for individuals "regarded as" having a disability under the ADA.

BIAA has joined a large coalition of organizations in formally endorsing this legislation, and will be submitting its own individual organizational letter of support early next week. House floor consideration of the bill is expected to take place next week.