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Americans with Disabilities Act -- "good language, bad enforcement" says lecturer
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Oct. 9, 2001 -- "Good language, bad enforcement" typifies the Americans with Disabilities Act, says Professor Ruth Colker of Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law. Colker, a nationally recognized authority on constitutional and disability law, contends that all three areas covered by the ADA -- employment, public entities, and public accommodations -- has suffered from problems of underenforcement. Colker notes that 94 percent of ADA employment discrimination cases are decided in favor of employers; in the first 8 years after the law's passage, very few suits had been filed concerning lack of access, she says.

Colker offers her theories next Tues, Oct. 17 in the University's "Distinguished Lecture" series at 4 p.m. EST. The lecture, "The Americans with Disabilities Act: The First Decade of Enforcement" will be broadcast live online at (To view the lecture at a later time, see

Colker has been widely interviewed, appearing on NPR's "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition." Read her interview with USA Today Supreme Court reporter Tony Mauro at Her interview with U.S. News and World Report's Joseph P. Shapiro is at (this link will take you to the archived article). For links to other of her interviews, go to

"To increase accessibility for the entire community, the webcast will be closed captioned. In the lecture hall, assistive listening devices and an American Sign Language interpreter will be available. The text of Professor Colker's lecture is also available in Braille upon request," says Ohio State University's Molly Davis. To obtain one of these formats, contact Davis at (614) 292-5881 or or L. Scott Lissner (TDD/TTY) at (614) 688-8605.

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