ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 Passes U.S. House

2018-02-16

Issue Brief

Now in its 27th year, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability and has created positive changes to assist the disability community as well as benefit society as a whole. The timeshare industry fully embraces the spirit and intent of the ADA and strive to remain fully accessible so that every owner and guest can enjoy a full range of services and amenities that enhance their vacation experience.

Impact

As essential as the ADA is, it has unfortunately brought with it an unintended consequence. The practice of “drive-by” ADA Title III lawsuits either threatened or filed by individuals whose primary objective is a monetary judgement, have ramped up significantly. In 2016, the number of ADA Title II lawsuits – those specifically dealing with accommodation – surged by more than 37%, undermining the object and effectiveness of the law. In fact, a cottage industry of professional plaintiffs has formed, targeting businesses throughout the nation, in hopes of a quick payday and with no intention of fixing the alleged barriers to access. This system creates confusion among business and property owners who reasonably believe their property is ADA compliant, typically based on previous assurances made by state and local inspectors.

Position/Call to Action

In an effort to bring clarity to the issue and reduce these “drive-by” ADA lawsuits, ARDA and ARDA-ROC are working with Congress to pass the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620). The Act will add a notice and cure provision which would allow businesses 60 days to address any violations and 120 days to remedy them. 

Issue Updates

H.R. 620was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) on January 24, 2017.

February 15, 2018 – H.R. 620 passed U.S. House of Representatives.