FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DISABILITY RIGHTS ADVOCATES TO RALLY AGAINST SENATE BILL 1198 ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8 AT STATE CAPITOL Proposed Legislation Limits Rights of People With Disabilities: Arizona Disability Coalition
PHOENIX, Ariz. (Feb. 3, 2017): Disability rights advocates from throughout Arizona will rally at the Arizona State Capitol at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8 to voice vigorous opposition to Senate Bill 1198, legislation that “treats people with disabilities as second-class citizens,” according to Ability360 President and CEO Phil Pangrazio.
The rally, organized by the Arizona Disability Coalition under the hashtag #NOAccessAZ, targets a bill that will limit the rights of people with disabilities to act if they encounter barriers or discrimination when trying to access businesses or organizations, Pangrazio said.
“We’ve been down this road before and it’s not a trip we want to take again,” he said of similar legislation that failed during the 2016 Legislative session. “The Americans With Disabilities Act has been law since 1990. Twenty-seven years is more than enough time for businesses to comply.”
Sponsored by Senators John Kavanagh and Kimberly Yee, Senate Bill 1198 would require written notice to a business before a lawsuit could be filed by someone encountering access barriers or discrimination and provide the business up to 90 days to fix any problems based on the cost and size of the ADA violations.
“A cure period, as it’s called, is simply a terrible idea,” said Larry Wanger, executive director of the Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council. “It eliminates any incentive for businesses to fix these problems on their own to comply with the ADA and leaves men, women and children with disabilities in limbo because they’re still denied or have restricted access to the places they want to go.”
Pangrazio added that “Senate Bill 1198 takes us back decades and sends the message to business owners that they don’t have to worry about complying with the ADA until they receive a letter notifying them that they are discriminating against people with disabilities.”
For more information about SB1198 and the Arizona Disability Coalition, visit www.azdisabilitycoalition.org. For more information about Ability360, visit www.ability360.org.
Rally Against SB 1198
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
AZ State Capitol – Senate Lawn
1700 W Washington St, Phoenix
Contacts: • Phil Pangrazio, President and CEO, Ability360, (602) 256-6407 • Loren Worthington, Marketing and Communications Manager, Ability360, (602) 256-6407 • Steve Carr, The Kur Carr Group, Inc., (6020 317-3040
ABOUT ABILITY360: Ability360, formerly Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL), continues a 35-year tradition of empowering programs for people with all disabilities. Ability360 offers and promotes programs to empower people with disabilities to take personal responsibility so that they may achieve or continue independent lifestyles within the community. The independent living philosophy states that people with disabilities should have the same civil rights, options, and control over choices in their own lives as do people without disabilities. Ability360 is located at 5025 E. Washington St. Ste. 200, Phoenix, AZ 85034, www.ability360.org, 602-256-2245.