ADA Restoration Efforts – Senate Passage of the ADA Amendments Act

Day in Washington: The Disability Policy Podcast explores and discusses various aspects of disability policy. Each episode will cover a specific issue within disability, and/or a disability-related news article. These 5-10 minute podcasts offer an easy to understand introduction to disability policy and resources for those interested in further study. You can find the text of each podcast in the comments. If you have difficulty downloading the podcast, please right-click and save it to your computer for playback.

Episode Summary: This episode covers the breaking news of the Senate’s Passage of the ADA Amendments Act. As many of you know, in spite of the progress wrought by the original Americans with Disabilitie Act, Supreme Court and lower court decisions have greatly narrowed the scope of who is protected by the ADA.  As a result, there have been significant efforts to pass a “fix” for the ADA – H.R. 3195 and S. 3406.  The House bill passed in late June.  Today, the Senate version passed by unanimous consent. 

Audio File: Day in Washington #29 (ADA Restoration Efforts – Senate Passage of the ADA Amendments Act)

Show Notes

– Introduction, Date of Podcast

– Need for an ADA “fix”

– Senate Passage

– Press Briefing Statement Quote – Senator Tom Harkin

– Press Briefing Statement Quote – Senator Orrin Hatch

– Press Briefing Statement Quote – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer

– Closing and Contact information

– Disclaimer


Reuters – US Senate Passes Bill Protecting Disabled People

ADA Restoration Policy Update – What is Really Going On (August 29, 2008)

From the ADA Restoration Act to the ADA Amendments Act  (July 1, 2008)

ADA Restoration Act Video Testimony – Carey McClure (January 29, 2008)

House Committee on Education and Labor Hearing on the ADA Restoration Act (January 29, 2008)

Day in Washington Podcast #14(b) – Senate ADA Restoration Hearing (November 15, 2007)

Day in Washington Podcast #11 – ADA Restoration House Hearing (October 4, 2007)

Day in Washington Podcast #5 – ADA Restoration – An Analysis (What is ADA Restoration and Why is it Necessary)

American Association of People with Disabilities ADA Restoration Blog

Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities ADA Restoration Page – Includes Written Testimony of Additional Supporters

2 comments for “ADA Restoration Efforts – Senate Passage of the ADA Amendments Act

  1. admin
    September 12, 2008 at 3:14 am


    Welcome to a Day in Washington. Day in Washington is your disability policy podcast covering legislative issues of interest to the disability community. We also spotlight specific bills and other related news articles. I'm your host, Day Al-Mohamed working to make sure you stay informed. This is Podcast #29, on Thursday, September 11, 2008. Over the next few months we'll be experimenting with a new feedback system in addition to being able to comment in the blog itself, you can call 206-279-9159 and leave either a voicemail message or send a fax.
    We do want to hear from you.


    As many of you know, there have been significant efforts recently to amend the Americans with Disabilities Act, the civil rights act for people with disabilities for almost twenty years. In spite of the progress wrought by the original ADA, Supreme Court decisions and lower court decisions have greatly narrowed the scope of who is protected by the ADA.

    The result is H.R. 3195 and S. 3406 ADA restoration bills titled the ADA Amendments Act.
    The House legislation was passed on June 25th, 402 to 17. I was in the House Gallery then and today, I am proud to say that I was in the Senate Gallery when the Senate approved by unanimous consent S. 3406, their legislation to fix the ADA.

    The Senate bill is similar to the bipartisan H.R. 3195, originally introduced in the House by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner. What this means is that S. 3406, the Senate bill must first go back to the House for a vote. Only after the House votes to accept this Senate version of the bill can it go on to the White House for the final presidential signature. Now, as to how quickly the legislation will reach the House floor.well, the word is that it is expected to reach the floor as early as Wednesday.

    Let me give you a few words from Senator Tom Harkin who spoke at the press conference following the Senate's passage of the ADA Amendments Act – “With today's vote, we have restored the promise of the ADA which was signed into law 18 years ago. The protections afforded under this historic law have been eroded and the result is that people with serious conditions like epilepsy or diabetes could be forced to choose between treating their conditions and forfeiting their protections under the law. That is not what Congress intended when we passed the law, and this bill is the right fix.”

    From Senator Orrin Hatch – “This is a historic day. This bill continues our ongoing effort to expand opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in the American Dream. Passage of the ADA Amendments Act ensures that the Americans with Disabilities Act will continue to help change lives.

    From Congressman Steny H. Hoyer – “I am pleased that the Senate has followed the House and passed the ADA Amendments Act, a bill that is virtually identical to the one passed by the House on June 25 and will once again make America a world leader on a central test of human rights. I expect the House to pass this bill next week, and that the President will sign it.

    I think it fitting to close with another quote from Majority Leader Hoyer:

    “The Americans with Disabilities Act was a pledge: the promise of an America that excludes none of its people from our shared life.
    “Now, it’s time to keep that promise.”


    That is it for this week's edition of Day in Washington. For links to more information, please check the show notes. Please feel free to contact me at or at 206-279-9159 regarding comments or suggestions. I'd love to hear from you, but for now, this is your host, Day reminding you to stay well and stay informed.


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    Any opinions and perspectives expressed in this podcast should not be taken as the official stance of any group or organization affiliated with the host. In addition, none of the facts, data, or grammar have been checked for accuracy.

    Thank you for listening.

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