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United States Congress H.R. Bill 620

Updated: Feb 3

ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017

On January 24, 2017, Representative Ted Poe from the House of Representatives introduced Bill H.R. 620 to amend the American with Disability Act of 1990 (“ADA”). This bill is being referred to as “ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017”.

On February 15, 2018, the House of Representatives approved the bill with amendments and it’s currently in calendar to be considered by the Senate.

The purpose of this bill is to ensure greater protection for individuals with disabilities while providing business owners with the opportunity to remedy alleged ADA infractions before incurring unnecessary litigation costs.

Section 2 of this proposed bill requires the Disability Rights Section of the Department of Justice to develop a program to educate state and local governments and property owners on strategies for promoting access to public accommodations for persons with a disability. The program may include training for professionals to provide guidance concerning the remediation for potential violations of the ADA.

Section 3 was redacted to prohibit civil actions based on the failure to remove an architectural barrier to access an existing public accommodation unless:

  1. the aggrieved person has provided to the owners or operators a written notice specific enough to identify the barrier; and

  2. the owners or operators fail to provide the person with a written description outlining improvements that will be made to improve the barrier or they fail to remove the barrier or make substantial progress after providing such a description.

The aggrieved person's notice must specify the circumstances under which public accommodation access was denied.

Section 5 of the proposed bill is intended to provide a mediation process for ADA actions related to architectural barriers. The alternative dispute mechanism should include an expedited method for determining relevant facts related to such barriers and steps to resolve accessibility issues before litigation.

If you have any questions about H.R. Bill 620 or the impact it may cause in your company’s operation, feel free to contact us at your convenience at (787) 765-5656.