The Center for An Accessible Society Disability Issues Information









Clinton Administration Opposed the 'ADA Notification Act'

Excerpts of a letter from U.S. Asst. Atty. General Robert Raben to Rep. Charles Canady (R. - FL) Chairman, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Committee on the Judiciary

Posted May, 2000

I am writing to you to express the Administration's opposition to H.R. 3590, the ADA Notification Act.

The proposed legislation would prohibit individuals from bringing lawsuits to enforce title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)without first providing notice of the alleged violation to the defendant and then waiting 90 days for the defendant to take corrective action. We believe that this proposed legislation would work to undermine voluntary compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and that it would unduly burden legitimate ADA enforcement activity. . . .

To the extent that other businesses have adopted a policy of "foot-dragging" or "wait and see," they should not be rewarded. Certainly, they should not receive an unfair competitive advantage over businesses that have already complied in good faith with the law. Nor should Congress take steps to encourage businesses not to move toward ADA compliance until legal action is threatened. This would create disincentives for voluntary compliance

With the assistance of the Internal Revenue Service, we notified, each year for seven years, over six million businesses of their ADA responsibilities and how to obtain information on how to comply. Our toll-free ADA Information Line, established in 1994, received more than 100,000 calls in Fiscal Year 1999.

In addition, we have published and disseminated 40 technical assistance documents, including approximately 500,000 copies of the ADA Guide for Small Businesses. All of our technical assistance documents are available 24 hours a day through our Fax-on-Demand system or on our ADA Home Page on the Internet, which was viewed at least six million times last year.

In addition we have provided funds to several trade associations to develop and disseminate industry-specific guides for hotels and motels, grocery stores, restaurants, builders and contractors, medical professionals, child care providers, and small businesses generally. We sent a packet of 33 ADA educational documents to approximately 6,000 Chambers of Commerce and placed an ADA Information File, containing 94 ADA publications in 15,000 local public libraries.

Since 1991, the Department of Education has funded ten regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers, which provide training and technical assistance to businesses in their communities.

Robert Raben Assistant Attorney General









Expert sources

From the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers:

Historical Context of the ADA

ADA definition of disability

Overview of law's structure

The ADA is changing the landscape of America -- commentary

"The ADA changed my life" -- personal stories

The meaning of "disability" under ADA

"A misunderstood law" -- commentary

The ADA Notification Act

Supreme Court ADA decisions:

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