Administrative Law

Proposed New ADA Regs Concern Both Sides

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Proposed revisions to the regulations implementing the Americans With Disabilities Act were published in the Federal Register last month by the Department of Justice, giving both the businesses required to comply with the standards and advocates for those protected by them cause for concern.

Business owners—especially small-business owners—are worried about costly compliance requirements and the possibility of lawsuits over misunderstood new rules, reports the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, advocates for the disabled say the revised regulations don’t go far enough.

“Both sides said much uncertainty remains and are asking the Justice Department to clarify some points before releasing the final rules,” the news agency writes. Following public comment, the final version of the new regulations could be in place at some point next year.

The new regulations cover 1,000 pages, and according to DOJ estimates are likely to cost businesses and government agencies some $23 billion to implement over the next 40 years, writes the Las Vegas Review-Journal in an editorial.

Among the facilities that would be affected, the newspaper says, are “courthouses, drinking fountains, amusement park rides, stadium and theater seating, fishing piers, boat slips, bowling lanes—even miniature golf courses, where 50 percent of the holes would now have to be accessible for players in wheelchairs.”

Additional coverage:

Post-Intelligencer (editorial): “Why mess with the Americans with Disabilities Act?”

Orange County Business Journal (reg. req.): “Regulation Watch”

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