Monday, June 16, 2008

NYT on Proposed New ADA Regulations

Robert Pear has a very good story here. It begins:

The Bush administration is about to propose far-reaching new rules that would give people with disabilities greater access to tens of thousands of courtrooms, swimming pools, golf courses, stadiums, theaters, hotels and retail stores.

A proposal would rewrite standards for enforcement of the Americans With Disabilities Act, passed with strong bipartisan support in 1990. President George Bush signed the act that year.

The proposal would substantially update and rewrite federal standards for enforcement of the Americans With Disabilities Act, a landmark civil rights law passed with strong bipartisan support in 1990. The new rules would set more stringent requirements in many areas and address some issues for the first time, in an effort to meet the needs of an aging population and growing numbers of disabled war veterans.

More than seven million businesses and all state and local government agencies would be affected. The proposal includes some exemptions for parts of existing buildings, but any new construction or renovations would have to comply.
The new standards would affect everything from the location of light switches to the height of retail service counters, to the use of monkeys as “service animals” for people with disabilities, which would be forbidden.

The White House approved the proposal in May after a five-month review. It is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, with 60 days for public comment. After considering those comments, the government would issue final rules with the force of law.

Already, the proposal is stirring concern. The United States Chamber of Commerce Says it would be onerous and costly, while advocates for disabled Americans say it does not go far enough.

You can find the proposed regulations here.



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