Arizona Bill Imposes New Barriers to ADA Lawsuits

by Andy Jones
April 25, 2017

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill into law April 18 that will make it significantly harder for people with disabilities to file Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits against businesses.
Under the bill, businesses, upon being notified that they are violating ADA accessibility protections, would be given a 90-day cure period to remedy the violations. Neither the ADA, nor any other civil rights law, provides such a cure period.

Furthermore, the bill would exempt websites from state accessibility laws, despite multiple federal court rulings that the ADA applies to the internet.

The Arizona Center for Disability Law and other advocates, under the umbrella of the Arizona Disability Coalition, advocated against the bill for much of the legislative session.

However, it appeared in mid-March that the advocates and the bill’s proponent’s had found a compromise. That measure included a 30-day cure period, but only for a limited set of accessibility violations, according to the Arizona Republic.

The new version of the bill, introduced April 13, scrapped the set list of violations subject to the cure period, extended the cure period from 30 to 90 days, and included the language about website accessibility.

“We're very disappointed…and we're frustrated by how new language we hadn't seen was circulated after we had already come to a compromise," said Sarah Kader, staff attorney for the Arizona Center for Disability Law, told the Daily Star. "Why undo the work we did and not include us? When you're legislating the rights of the disability community, that community should really be part of the conversation."

Watch the video urging opposition to the bill, produced by Disability Rights Washington’s Rooted in Rights.

Disability Rights Washington and the Arizona Disability Law Center are the designated protection and advocacy agencies in Washington and Arizona, respectively, and are members of the National Disability Rights Network.