55 Jewish groups urge blocking bill that weakens Americans with Disabilities Act

55 Jewish groups urge blocking bill that weakens Americans with Disabilities Act

Jewish Federations of North America initiative call on Senate leaders not to support legislation that would roll back access for disabled to housing, education

Illustrative: A caregiver walks with an elderly man in a wheelchair (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Illustrative: A caregiver walks with an elderly man in a wheelchair (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Fifty-five Jewish organizations have called on the US Senate to oppose legislation that would weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The organizations sent a letter, organized by the Jewish Federations of North America, to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer opposing the Americans with Disabilities Act Education and Reform Act. The US House of Representatives passed the legislation in February in a 225-192 vote.

President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was passed on a bipartisan basis, in 1990. The law has enabled the disabled more access to housing, education, public and private spaces and businesses, and public transit.

Under the reform measure being considered, individuals with disabilities who encounter barriers in public accommodations would need to first notify the business of the issue and observe a waiting period before seeking legal recourse – a lengthier process than under the current law.

The 55 Jewish organizations that signed the letter represent the main religious streams, rabbinical and cantorial organizations, those that focus on disability inclusion, and others promoting social justice and civil rights, social service networks, and groups working with young people and older adults.

“As Jews, we are acutely aware of our obligation to create a more inclusive society and our responsibility to fight against policies that would make life more difficult for people with disabilities,” said William Daroff, the senior vice president for public policy for Jewish Federations of North America and the director of its Washington office. “We are thrilled that so many of our national partners in the Jewish community understand the importance of inclusion and the necessity in protecting these fundamental civil rights.”

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more: