Above Photo: anjan58/ Flickr
Today, 59 million Americans with disabilities witnessed the U.S House of Representatives torpedo their civil rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. HR620 was passed, and civil rights of disabled and older Americans went down in defeat.
Over 27 years after passage of the world’s first comprehensive civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability the business-backed House of “the people” chose “profits over people.” The House decided that the burden of getting justice for discrimination against people with disabilities lies with the victim. Where is the justice in that? Even though more than 500 disability organizations sent letters to Congress opposing the bill, the Representatives who voted for the bill decided that the people with disabilities are second class citizens whose rights do not matter. What they have not yet realized is that those rights are tied into their votes needed to stay in office – or not!!
The disability community is outraged and angry. We are extremely disappointed in the 12 Democrats who supported the 213 Republicans in stripping disabled people of their rights today and voted in lock step with lobbyists who are the real beneficiaries of HR620. Even worse, these members of Congress cast their votes as ADAPT protesters were being removed from the chamber and placed under arrest. ADAPT will not stand for this injustice and will follow-up with protests. These members of the House have lost the Disability Vote.
ADAPT is thankful to all the representatives, Democrats and Republicans, who voted against HR620 in an effort to preserve ADA and the rights of people with disabilities. ADAPT especially salutes Representative Sensenbrenner (R) from Wisconsin, who is the lead sponsor of the Disability Integration Act (HR2427/S910), for his vote against HR620.
ADAPT has worked for decades to secure and advance the civil rights guaranteed to disabled Americans under the ADA and will continue to fight against these injustices. Information about ADAPT’s history, currently prioritized issues, and its activities can be found at www.adapt.org, the NationalADAPT Facebook page and on the @NationalADAPT Twitter under the hashtags #ADAPTandRESIST and #HandsOffMyADA.