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years, that the disabled population is segregated from the rest
of society, and that "discrimination against individuals with
disabilities continues to be a serious and pervasive social
(See section 2 "Findings and Purposes," (a) (2).)
disagree totally with this premise.
It has been my experience that with determination and hard
word--and with the support of family, church, friends, and
voluntary associations--disabled individuals can succeed and have succeeded in today's society in such areas as education, protes
sional achievement, emotional fulfillment, etc.
changed and sensitivity has been developed toward the disabled. There are more opportunities than there have ever been and
disabled individuals are enjoying the mainstream of society to a
I believe that the supporters of the ADA are sincere in their desire to afford disabled individuals the opportunity to participate in all aspects of society. Supporters believe that to ensure the disabled their "rights," the Federal government must implement sweeping reforms and legislate change. Instead, the bill will create administrative and regulatory burdens on the private sector, will encroach on free enterprise, and will expand an already swollen Federal bureaucracy.
Sure, it's not easy for me sometimes.
And sometimes I have
to wait patiently for the doors of opportunity to open. But the doors are opening and they are opening without such a broad
sweeping Pederal law.
Private businesses should not be required to make my life
easier at their own expense.
Even though advances have been
made, the needs of the disabled in assimilating with an able
bodied society are still great. And the ADA is a response to this need. However, it is still wrong to sacrifice the legiti
mate rights of others to meet this apparent need.
The ends do
not justify the means.
Moreover, with time, much of the need
will be addressed by businesses choosing to provide accommoda
This "quick fix" may provide a surface cure for the problem, but it could result in a discriminatory attitude--and more
importantly, it will undernine the constitutional rights of many.
I would love to wave a magic wand and make my life and the
lives of fellow disabled individuals easier.
But not if it means
requiring others to sacrifice their constitutional freedom.
the one tie that binds both disabled and able-bodied alike in
Desr Roprosentative Edvards:
1. Readily Achienbl. Renovel of Architectural Barrier
The legislation requires alsting buildings and facilities to renov.
The legislation should refer to "ujor altorations" not "major structuıl alteracions" and base the difference betv.on • ulnor and a major alteration on the cost and scope of the alteration, and the degrue to which it effects • facility's usability and accossibility.
Blstoric humtion The ADA bill ukos no provision for historic properties. The Onifon Todoral Accessibility Standards (UTAS) provides that when an alteration is undertaken for an historic property. corta la accessibility futurus should be lacorporated, unless to do 30 vould threaten or destroy its historical Integrity. Other accessibility alternatives must then be substituted. ADA bill should apply such a standard for historic propertiu it covers. If they are listed on or oligible for the National Register of Historic Places, or designated historic pursuant to state or local lav. A reference to UTAS or sa •quivalent standard should suffice.
When the ADA bacones lav, It vill apply to many projects already under design. but not yet constructed. Those projects may be required to comply, and thus undergo costly and complicated redesign. Because the regulations will not yet be promulgated, the projects' architects vill be unclar as to what must be done to uke the projects comply. The AIA proposes that all projects currently under design should be exempt frou requirenents of the sct, but those receiving « design contract after the date of enactment should comply by the effective dates utablished in the bill for nav construction and alteration. In addition, to provide a ufo harbor for architects designing projects after onectaent of the bill but before issuance of final regulations, the bill should provide that conformance to the standards of the American National Standards Institute A112.1 1986 or the Onifon federal Accessibility Standard (UTAS) should be denned sufficient, though not necessary, for compliance with the logislation. These standards for handicapped access design are voll-understood and accepted within the design profession.
The ADA bill passed by the Sonate ponits courts to consider good faith efforts to comply vith the logislation. In heuring complaints brought against Individuals under the auasur.. This is not enough. Architects should have son. official detenination that they have compiled with the legislation, and this detenination should constitute i defense against charges of discrlaination. This protection can be easily accomplished. The Departaent of Justice, on the application of state or locality, could certify that the stato or local ordinance roots the rinim standards of the legislation.
The legislation should also provide that architects and others who recolve state or local certification that their projects have compiled vith • DOJ-certified state or local handicapped sccus lar should have a strong defonso agolast complalats of discrlaination.
The AIA bolleves that the above rovisions are Laportant to the succussful achievincat of the ADA's objectives. I appreciate your consideration of our suggestioas.