ADA Restoration Petition from Diabetic Assn
I have found yet another petition supporting the ADA Restoration Act, this one by the American Diabetic Association. This petition only seems to contact your congressional represenative regarding the house version of the bill (HR 3195). It does not contact either of your senators for the senate version of the bill (S 1881). It also uses the same form letter for all congressional represenatives whether or not they have already become a co-sponsor. And the third downside of this petition is that their mailing list is opt-out, not opt-in — meaning, you have to remember to UNcheck the annoying box asking to be sent alerts from the diabetic association.
But on the plus side, you can edit the whole petition at will. So, for example, I deleted most references to diabetes and chronic illnesses since neither of those apply to me. (Though obviously if you or someone you know does have diabetes or some other chronic health condition, you might choose to leave them in. Up to you.) And I added the line about the absurd cases in which some courts have declared thinking, communication, and sleeping are not major life activities. (Really. I’m going to start posting some actual court cases in the coming days or weeks, so keep a watch out for them. These are the lengths that courts go to in order to take away the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act from as many people as possible. This is why we need the ADA Restoration Act.)
Personally, I still recommend that people who want an easy way to contact their legislators should use the links provided at the Underrepresented web site. Note that they have two different links: one for sending a letter to your congressional representative (pre-tailored for you based on whether that represenative is already a co-sponsor or not); the other goes to your two senators. If you don’t like email, though, then you do still have to un-check that annoying opt-out-not-opt-in box to ensure you don’t get their on-going alerts. (Though it does seem like a good way to receive information about things you might want to advocate about in the future. I just don’t have time for them, and don’t like having to uncheck the box every dang time.)
I’m providing below the text of the letter I sent to my representative via the American Diabetic Association site. This is still 90% their text:
As your constituent, I am writing to thank you for co-sponsoring the ADA Restoration Act (H.R. 3195). This bill is essential to protect people with a wide range of both hidden and “visible” disabilities in our district.
There is an absurd Catch-22 that has developed where employers are allowed to say a person is “too disabled” to do the job, but not “disabled enough” to be protected by the laws. It has led to absurd situations in which some courts have declared that “thinking”, “communication”, and “sleeping” are not major life activities (Charles Irving Littleton Jr., Alabama, 11th Circuit Court, 2007; Michael McMullin, Wyoming, 2004). The case is thrown out and the person is never given the chance to prove he or she can do the job.
While Americans with Disabilities Act has provided numerous benefits, several Supreme Court decisions have narrowed who is covered by it. Right now many people with serious chronic diseases and various legitimate disabilities have found they are no longer protected by this law. This isn’t what Congress intended when the Americans with Disabilities Act was first passed, and now you have a chance to correct that.
I hope you will show your support for your constituents with disabilities and sign on to the ADA Restoration Act (H.R. 3195). Doing so will help the ADA rightfully reclaim its place among our nation’s great civil rights laws.
Want to learn more? See my running list of blog entries on the ADA Restoration Act from all over the web. Also, don’t miss these: One group of activists has posted a short list of simple ideas of things you can do. And do check out the ADA Restoration Blog for updates. Or browse through more background information on the ADA Restoration Act. Or contact your legislators (just be sure to uncheck the box asking to be added to their action alert email list, unless you want to receive them).