Web Edition of The Ragged Edge
by Mary Jane Owen
On January 1, Congress is obligated to comply with the same disability access
requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act which that body enacted
over the rest of society just over six years ago. Congress has tended to
behave like the proverbial parent who asserts, "Do as I say, not as I do." So
many among us considered the reform initiative which ordered Congress to
comply with those regulations it imposed on others a positive act: the
bridging of a previous gap in federal protections.
But is that how it will play out? Congress did very little to prepare for its
ADA deadline. Could those members of Congress who never really liked the
disabilities law be anticipating that their colleagues' eventual recognition
of the actual costs and effort required to comply with the Act could drive a
stake through the heart of our civil rights law?
Do you think some members of the Senate and House of Representatives might
possibly see Congressional compliance with such a law as a strategy to
persuade fellow lawmakers, who might otherwise support our gains in civil
rights, that some aspects of the law present too great a burden to be
tolerated? Does the thought of such a strategy seem paranoid?
Don't forget: Even paranoid people face enemies.
Mary Jane Owen is director of the National
Catholic Office of Persons with Disabilities.
Back to cover page |
Table of Contents
Copyright 1996 The Ragged Edge
This Website produced by
Cliffwood Organic Works