The U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has approved a Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise the regulations that
apply to individuals seeking protection in regards to employment under
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The revised regulations were
developed to be consistent with the original, expansive intent of
Congress when it enacted the ADA in 1990. The NPRM makes several
significant changes to the definition of the term disability
necessitated by enactment of the ADA Amendments Act that went into
effect on January 1, 2009. The draft of the regulations was published in
the federal register on Wednesday September 23, 2009 (link to
regulations). The EEOC has also published this Q
& A Guide about the NPRM and instructions for submitting
public comments. CHADD will be working with partner organizations to
provide comments on the regulations.
The Job Accommodation Network and
Association on Higher Education and Disability have released materials
clarifying implementation of the ADA Amendments Act. Although the ADAA
went into effect on January 1, 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission has not yet issued regulations interpreting the amended
The Job Accommodation Network publication
titled JAN's Accommodation and
Compliance Series: The ADA Amendments Act of 2008, can be
Materials produced by the Association on Higher
Education and Disability that address how the ADAA will impact
accommodations for students with disabilities can be found here.
On Thursday September 25,
2008, President George W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (S.3406)
into law. The new law will take effect January 1, 2009, and will restore
protections against discrimination for many persons with
disabilities who experience discrimination in employment, state or local
government services, or places of public accommodation such as movies
The original Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990, did for people with disabilities what the Civil Rights Act of 1964
did for other minorities—safeguard their civil rights and protect
them from discrimination. However, court interpretations after passage
of the ADA significantly limited who was considered to be a person with
a disability and therefore who was entitled to protection from
For persons with AD/HD, the passage of the ADA
Amendments Act is a huge victory in that the courts can no longer take
into account “mitigating measures,” such as the use of
medication or learned behavioral modifications, when determining who is
protected from discrimination by the Act.
This victory shows the power of bipartisan
alliance and multi-sectored coalition. Members of the civil rights,
disability, and business communities came together to work with Congress
to fix the errors made by the Supreme Court in determining who was
protected by the ADA. This historic day would not
have been possible without you!
Your actions—through the thousands of
phone calls, emails, letters and visits made to Congressional
offices—sent a clear message to Congress and the White House that
people with disabilities have the right to equal opportunity in
employment and protection from workplace discrimination.
This morning, the House of
Representatives passed by voice vote the Senate version of the Americans
with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008. Now that the bill
has been passed in both the Senate and House of Representatives, it goes
to the desk of President George W. Bush to be signed into law.
CHADD thanks all the members of Congress, and their staff, who worked
with members of the civil rights,
disability, and business communities to get the ADA Amendments Act
passed during this session of Congress.
Thank you to all CHADD members and affiliates who urged their members
of Congress—by email, letter, or phone call—to get this bill
A press conference and rally will be held today on the West front
steps of the House side of the Capitol to celebrate Congress’
passage of this important bill and the send-off of the ADA Amendments
Act to President Bush to sign into law.
Speakers will include House Majority Leader
Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and
Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Orrin Hatch
(R-UT). There are accessibility ramps from both the House and Senate
sides and Capitol police will be there to assist and direct. There will
be a sign language interpreter for the event.
The press release from the Leadership Council on Civil Rights,
quoting CHADD’s CEO Clarke Ross, can be viewed here.
The press release from the Leadership Council on Civil Rights, quoting
CHADD’s CEO Clarke Ross, can be viewed here.
The Senate’s Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Committee held
a hearing titled Determining the Proper
Scope of Coverage for the Americans with Disabilities
Act on July 16, 2008. The hearing was
chaired by Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. The committee heard testimony
• Chai Feldblum, Professor, Federal Legislation
Clinic, Georgetown University Law Center
• Carey McClure, Citizen
• Samuel R.
Bagenstos, Professor of Law, Washington University School of
• Jo Anne Simon,
Esq., The Law Office of Jo Anne Simon, Brooklyn, NY
• Michael Eastman,
Employment Policy Director, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
• Sue Gamm, Primary
Consultant, Public Consulting Group, Chicago, IL
• Terry W. Hartle, Senior Vice President,
American Council on Education
• Andrew Grossman, Senior Legal Policy Analyst,
The main issues discussed among
participants who testified were whether to define the term
“materially restricts” as it relates to disability, whether
the Act should include “broad construction language,” and
the impact of the Act on K-12 and postsecondary education. AD/HD was
mentioned only once during the course of the hearing, when one of the
witnesses stated “look at what is a disability...it is medical and
physical impairment, health impairment, if you will, and you look at the
school situation…huge numbers of kids now that are somewhere,
somehow getting diagnoses of AD/HD or allergies, I have now heard of
peanut-only schools, I mean peanut-less schools…for dealing with
the peanut allergy, for example, diabetes, obesity, the numbers are just
growing.” CHADD responded to this testimony by providing the
witness with information regarding AD/HD available from the National Resource Center on
AD/HD. The webcast of the
hearing can be viewed here.
CHADD sent a letter to Representative
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, which can be viewed here (PDF). CHADD also signed on as a
supporter of the letter (PDF) sent by the National Health
“The Employer and Disability Alliance” has created a
public Web site with current information and documents that
been developed during the course of the negotiations between the
disability and business communities, the Web site can be viewed here.
For a history regarding
the actions taken by Congress to amend the bill, please visit the CHADD
Public Policy Archives.
In other ADA related news, CHADD signed on to a letter (PDF) written by the Consortium of
Citizens with Disabilities to request that the U.S. Department of
Justice extend the comment period from 60 days to 120 days on the
proposed Title II and Title III ADA Regulations. Public comments on
the proposed regulations must be submitted by August 18, 2008. The
proposed regulations can be viewed here.
On June 25, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the
Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 with
a vote of 402-17. More information regarding the press
conference and statements made on the floor prior to the vote can be
viewed on the Web site of Representative Steny Hoyer (Maryland, 5th
District). The text of the ADA Amendments Act can be read here (PDF). Thank you to all the CHADD members
and supporters who contacted their representatives urging them to pass
this important piece of civil rights legislation for individuals with
AD/HD and other disabilities.
Last week, the House Judiciary and Education and Labor Committees
overwhelmingly passed the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (formerly known as
the ADA Restoration Act). Although not confirmed, the bill could reach
the U.S. of House of Representatives floor for a vote this Wednesday,
June 25, 2008, so it's important
if you have not taken action to do so now. The
goal of the disability and business communities is to have the ADA
Amendments Act passed by the entire U.S. House of Representatives with
Please call your representative today, Tuesday, June 24, with the following message:
"I am calling to express my
strong support for the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 . This
bill would protect people like and is
supported by the disability and business communities. I urge you to vote
in favor of the bill without any amendments."
You can call the Capitol switchboard at
202-224-3121 and ask for the office of your Representative. You can also
call the direct line for your Representative, available on his or her
Web site through www.house.gov.
On June 18, 2008, the House of Representatives Judiciary
Committee passed with a vote of 27 to 0, HR 3195, the ADA Restoration
Act as reintroduced by former Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim
Sensenbrenner (R-Wis), and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) as the
ADA Amendments Act of 2008 . The House
of Representatives Education and Labor Committee also passed the bill
with a vote of 43 to 1. More information is available here.
The ADA Restoration Act is scheduled for mark-up by the House of
Representatives Education and Labor Committee and Judiciary Committee
this coming Wednesday, June 18, 2008, at 10 AM.
In the last few weeks, the
disability community has worked hard to negotiate a compromise with the
business community to support a modified version of the ADA Restoration
Act. Strong support has been shown for the
ADA Restoration Act by more than fifty national organizations including
CHADD and sixty state and local disability organizations.
The organizations showing support for the bill not only
approve of the revised bill but have also agreed to defend the bill
against attempts by members of Congress to amend the language unless
both the disability and business communities agree to the proposed
According to the American Association of Persons with Disabilities, it
appears that the bill will receive strong bipartisan support, but more
help is needed. CHADD members are strongly
encouraged to contact their representatives in both the House and the
Senate to urge them to support the ADA Restoration Act to ensure that
persons with AD/HD do not experience discrimination by employers, state
and local government services, or places of public accommodation,
including movie theaters and restaurants.
You can call the Capitol
switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for the office of your
Representative. You can also call the direct line for
your Representative, available on his or her Web site
through www.thomas.gov or www.house.gov.
We will post a copy of the final proposed language of
the act when it is available.