Friday, September 19, 2008

ADA Bill Headed to President's Desk

Disability rights and protections reached a new milestone when Congress passed the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) on Wednesday, September 17. The bill is now awaiting the signature of President Bush.

Signed into law in 1990, the intent of the original ADA bill - to provide inclusion and equality in the workplace - has slowly disintegrated as protections have been repeatedly ignored due to narrow interpretations by the court. The strongly supported, bi-partisan ADAAA restores the original law with a more fair and broad definition of "disability," and ensures that individuals in need of protection under the law will not be shut out.

The ADAAA is of great benefit to the multiple sclerosis (MS) community, which experienced setbacks and barriers to protection under the original law due to misguided court decisions. People with MS and other chronic ailments had, in some cases, been denied ADA protection when courts overlooked the severity of their conditions because they were treatable by medicine or other measures. Today, the ADAAA will help ensure that there will no longer be discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the workplace.

Learn more about the ADA bill at


Anonymous said...

I sit quietly and inactively at home reading about these "great strides" and improvements in ADA regs and NMSAA activities.
However no legislation will make any difference in anyone's life unless/until corporations are penalized for IGNORING that legislation.
In 2006, as a full-time employee in good standing at a major Atlanta medical facility, I suffered symptoms specific to my MS and (following physician visits and compliance with all legal documentation), submitted my doctor's "request for accommodations" to that employer.
The "accommodation" was at NO COST to them and added NO BURDEN to other staff.
However the supervisor acted as if the accommodation would result in "hardship" to others (without explanation) and simply denied my request.
Less than six months after that denial (but still having performed my job completely), I was fired with three days' notice (and with a lengthy severance contract to assure I wouldn't sue them for that dismissal.)
To have fought my unfair dismissal in court seemed more than impossible; the effort and legal fees alone would have destroyed me above and beyond the loss of my job.
I was unemployed for an entire year, and lived off my sparse savings when the severance package ran out.

Meanwhile those who are "fortunate" enough to suffer invisible disabilities and be "lucky" enough to remain in the workforce will continue to fight our own invisible battles at Ground Zero: The Human Resources Dept.

Keep signing those bills, fine. But without enforcement or other incentives for businesses to comply, it's just another blurb to me.

Joy of CHOA
Atlanta, GA

Denver Refashionista said...

This is important and exciting.

Anonymous said...


September 22, 2008 Theodore D. Karantsalis


MIAMI, Fla. – Theodore D. Karantsalis, a librarian who suffers from multiple sclerosis, filed a federal lawsuit today against the City of Miami Springs, Miami-Dade County, and the Florida Department of Transportation.

In the suit, Karantsalis alleges that he is being “denied full, safe and equal access” to Miami Springs’ “roads, sidewalks and bicycle paths” in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

Karantsalis is an MS Activist with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Karantsalis is also a Miami-Dade County Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee member who identifies opportunities, recommends projects and provides input on projects that affect people who walk or ride their bike, in order to make bicycling and walking safe methods of transportation and recreation in Miami-Dade County.

# # #

Anonymous said...

that librarian guy has ciurage to do that by himself.i thougth you need an attorney to sue the government.

Anonymous said...

Librarians rock.