Posts for UNDERSTANDING the ADA Restoration Act

Posted on 4 September 2007. Filed under: ADA Restoration Act of 2007, Advocacy |

Someone recently posted a comment at Reunify Gally saying that some of my posts on the ADA Restoration Act have been hard to understand. I apologize for this. I will try to work on a better post to explain the issues maybe later this week or weekend.

But in the meantime, I wrote a reply to the person who was asking for help. I suggested what I’m afraid is a long list of posts written by other people that explain how the courts have damaged the ADA and how the ADA Restoration Act is meant to fix it. I’m copy/pasting that reply below.

But I need help from all of YOU. Although I will try to write a post of my own in simple, clear language, I know it can sometimes help to read the same information from different perspectives. So when I write that post, I want to ALSO link to maybe two to five of the MOST HELPFUL, CLEAR resources by other people. But I know the list I have below is probably rather overwhelming.

I would really welcome YOUR help in telling me which of these posts were the most helpful to you in understanding why the ADA Restoration Act is important. Also let me know if there are any posts I overlooked that you also found helpful. (A full list of posts I’ve found so far is at myOn the ADA Restoration Act page.)

I apologize if some of my posts on the ADA Restoration Act have “flown over your head” (which works in English too). When I find some time — a precious commodity for me, I’m afraid — I’ll try to work on a post that explains what the ADA Restoration Act is about in simpler English. I’m also hoping that maybe some Deaf vloggers will pick up on this and do some ASL vlog posts (gnarlydorkette says she’ll try … )

In the meantime, at the risk of overwhelming you further, here are some posts written by other bloggers that might help — try one or two (or more) of these. And please let me know what you think — your advice might help me help OTHERS understand too.

Mitigating Measures If this post is too long for you to read the whole thing, then at least see the satire she writes at the beginning that makes fun of how courts treat people with disabilities who try to sue under the ADA. (Except, in her satire, she substitutes gay people.)

The ADA Restoration Act blog also links to the written transcript for a 10 minute “primer” on the ADA Restoration Act. (Well, they ALSO link to the audio file for it but … 🙂 ) I haven’t had a chance yet to look at this primer so I don’t know how good it is, but it may be worth a try.

Also see this history and rationale of the ADA Restoration Act.

A post at Living with Epilepsy is written specifically for people with epilepsy. But there are similar problems with many court cases under the ADA for people with other disabilities, including people who use hearing aids etc.

See one example of how a man with diabetes was denied protection under the ADA. Again, the courts often use similar arguments for people with different types of disabilities, not only people with diabetes.

One blogger wrote up a pretty good, brief explanation of how the courts have damaged the ADA and why we need the ADA Restoration Act.

I think it’s also worth trying this clear explanation.

If you’re brave enough to explore the issue more deeply, try browsing some background information including a word document file you can download with case studies of court cases that have hurt people with disabilities.

Thank you for raising this important concern with me. Don’t be shy about telling me if I’m hard to understand sometimes.

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2 Responses to “Posts for UNDERSTANDING the ADA Restoration Act”

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Actually, I wrote the primer. Hopefully it explains things in a manner that makes sense.

But perhaps I can offer an answer in a short and simple way. The original ADA said that if you are someone with a disability and a person discriminates against you, then they are breaking the law. Sounds pretty simple, yes?

But you’ll notice it is actually TWO things you have to do: 1. Be a person with a disability and
2. Be discriminated against

The problem arises with Step 1. What is a person with a disability? That sounds obvious, but when it comes to details in a courtroom, the law can seem pretty complicated.

Over the last few years, when people with certain disabilities have sued, the courts have disqualified them under Step 1. Why?

Because if you have a disability that you can effectively compensate for, then you aren’t disabled. That includes medication, prosthetics, hearing aids etc. So according to the law, since you have mitigated (or compensated) for your disability you are no longer disabled and therefore CANNOT sue under the ADA.

Basically being punished for taking care of oneself. The funny/sad thing is that the original sponsor of the bill was a legislator with epilepsy, so OF COURSE he wanted it covered under the ADA but because of the court system’s narrowing of the definition of who a person with a disability is (Step 1), people with epilepsy are no longer protected under the law.

[…] on the ADA Restoration Act September 5th, 2007 — andreashettle Last night, I made a post that responded to someone who was still confused about how the courts have damaged the ADA and how the ADA […]


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