Handicap This!–March-April 2018

March 12, 2018

From the March-April 2018 issue of News & Letters

by Tim Finnigan

In February, House of Representatives Republicans and 12 Democrats voted to gut the Americans with Disabilities Act. The bill, HR 620, was opposed by disability rights activists, the ACLU, NAACP, and Paralyzed Veterans of America. Businesses will only have to make themselves accessible if a violation is presented in writing; and then they have 60 days to respond. If it responds, the business will have 120 more days to show that it is “making progress.” Disability activist Mike Ervin said, “HR 620 should be called the Spin Cripples Around in Circles Until They’re Too Dizzy to Sue Act.” It now goes to the Senate.

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When Springfield College, in Massachusetts, renovated its baseball field in 2017, it incorporated an “ability field” designed for students with special needs. It is specially built to accommodate walking canes and wheelchairs. The field will be used by Springfield students, the Special Olympics and the Miracle League, a national organization for disabled ballplayers.

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Blind students won a discrimination lawsuit against the education company BarBri—a leading provider of bar exam preparation courses. The court ruled that BarBri failed to provide fair and equal access to its online test prep platform, in spite of repeated requests. BarBri agreed to update its online products in line with web accessibility guidelines.
(Information from Inside Higher Ed.)

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