NCLD Update on ADA Amendments Act - Passed the House, on to the White House!
The National Center for Learning Disabilities applauds the final House vote today to pass the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAA) and urges President Bush to sign the bill into law.
The ADAA amends the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and while this bill covers all disabilities, one of the greatest wins in this legislation is the explanation that adult students with learning disabilities deserve the same protections under the law as any other student with a disability. Representative Pete Stark (D-CA) summarized this by stating on the House floor:
"Specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia are neurologically-based impairments that substantially limit the way these individuals perform major life activities like reading or learning, or the time it takes to perform such activities often referred to as the condition, manner, or duration. This legislation will re-establish coverage for these individuals by ensuring that the definition of disability is broadly construed and the determination does not consider the use of mitigating measures."
In addition, the Chairman of House Education and Labor Committee, George Miller (D-CA), went on to say,
"...an individual…should not be penalized when seeking protection under the ADA simply because he or she managed their own adaptive strategies or received informal or undocumented accommodations that have the effect of lessening the deleterious impacts of their disability."
Although these statements may seem obvious, or even inconsequential, it is important to know that current U.S. Supreme Court cases have upheld that certain individuals with learning disabilities do not qualify for reasonable accommodations because their ability to self-accommodate (or mitigate) the negative effects of their learning disability keeps them from being considered an "individual with a disability" under the ADA. With so much at stake for adult students with learning disabilities, I ask you to take a few minutes today to urge the President to sign this bill into law.
Please visit our Legislative Action Center to send a message to President Bush and learn more about this important legislation.
In addition, if you have been affected by current ADA policies (negatively or positively) regarding higher education testing or other modifications or accommodations at school, or in the workplace, we'd like to here from you — please send us an e-mail with your story and be sure to place "ADA" in the subject line of your message. Thank you on behalf of all those with learning disabilities.
Your voice makes a difference in the work we do on Capitol Hill everyday.
Director of Public Policy
National Center for Learning DisabilitiesSandy, Illinois (alpy2@...)
Volunteer Webmaster, www.OurChildrenLeftBehind.com (IDEA & NCLB reauthorization)
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