ADA Restoration Petition from Diabetic Assn

Posted on 13 September 2007. Filed under: ADA Restoration Act of 2007, Advocacy |

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).


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2 Responses to “ADA Restoration Petition from Diabetic Assn”

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I can understand why so important to support ADA Restoration Act of 2007 Advocacy, but Diabetic Asso is not part of disability but rather diseases, if so then all of us as disability are a diseases? No way, ADA only apply to those people who are really disabled legally!

The ADA actually applies not only to people with disabilities but ALSO to people with various types of diseases. No, the people in congress weren’t confusing “disability” with “disease”, and no they weren’t trying to say that disabled people are diseased! Rather, their intent was for the ADA to cover as many people as possible.

People with various chronic or long-term medical conditions may not be “disabled” as many of us are accustomed to thinking of that term, but they DO sometimes face discrimination because of their medical condition. A person with diabetes, for example, may need to be extra careful about eating on a regular schedule and therefore may need to take breaks at a regularly scheduled time to feed themselves. An unpredictable eating schedule can be bad for their health.

For a person with a diabetes, arranging his/her work schedule to allow those breaks at a set, regular interval OUGHT to be a “reasonable accommodation” under the ADA. It’s one of the things that the ADA was originally intended to cover. But the courts have basically told people with diabetes, “Well, you’re able to control your condition by eating at regular intervals, therefore you don’t really have a disability as we interpret the ADA. So, when your employer doesn’t allow you to have the regularly scheduled half-hour daily lunch break that you must have to stay healthy then that isn’t discrimination.”

Yes, I’m referring to an actual court case here. Not an actual quote, but that was the gist of the conclusion. I’ll be posting a series of stories from court cases about as absurd as this one in the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned to this bat channel.

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