In the interest of time, I quote an email I received today (I am a member) from AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability):
"On January 29th, 2008, the Education & Labor Committee of the US House of Representatives held a hearing on The Americans with Disabilities Restoration Act (H.R. 3195). This bipartisan legislation is widely supported by members of Congress and organizations nationwide and holds the promise of restoring the original intent of the ADA.
As an organization committed to the ideals of the Americans with Disabilities Act, AHEAD endorses H.R. 3195 and encourages its members to become informed about this vital, pending legislation and to take action to support its passage (see below). This is particularly important as organizations that oppose the passage of the Restoration Act are coming out with outrageous distortions of its consequences.
The Americans with Disabilities Restoration Act (H.R. 3195), introduced by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), would restore the original intent of the historic Americans with Disabilities Act.
Excerpts from testimony given at the hearing include:
"The bill does not seek to expand the rights guaranteed under the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act. Instead, it seeks to clarify the law, restoring the scope of protection available under the ADA," said Hoyer. "It responds to court decisions that have sharply restricted the class of people who can invoke protection under the law. And it reinstates the original Congressional intent when we passed the ADA."
"Despite our progress, the courts—including the U.S. Supreme Court—have narrowly interpreted the ADA, limiting its scope and undermining its intent," Hoyer continued. "We could not have fathomed that people with diabetes, epilepsy, heart conditions, cancer, and mental illnesses would have their ADA claims kicked out of court because, with medication, they would be considered too functional to meet the definition of 'disabled.'"
Andrew Imparato, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities, said that the initial promise of protecting disabled workers under the ADA has largely faded as a result of Supreme Court rulings.
"In 1990, the ADA was heralded as an 'emancipation proclamation' for people with disabilities," said Imparato.
"Seventeen years later, on account of judicial activism, we are far from having a law that can be counted on to safeguard the fair treatment of people with disabilities in the workplace."
The AHEAD Board of Directors encourages members to learn more about The Americans with Disabilities Restoration Act, http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc110/h3195_ih.xml and to contact their representatives in both houses of Congress to support this legislation. To contact your members of congress go to: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/ "
I used the site above to get the links to my representatives, and it only took me about 10 minutes (using cut and paste) to send an email to each of them. I kept it short and sweet: people with disabilities are losing ground in many arenas -- support the ADA Restoration Act in an effort to keep us from losing more and more...