Disability Advocates Push Back Against Regulatory Reform Agenda

hand holding sign "Equal Opportunities"

August 24, 2017
by Andy Jones

In public comments submitted to the Department of Justice on August 14, the nation’s largest coalition of disability rights groups pushed back against the Trump Administration’s efforts to ease perceived regulatory burdens.

On February 24, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13777 [PDF], considered to be one of the most far reaching efforts to reduce the scope of federal regulations in decades.

The executive order directed all major federal agencies to establish a task force and designate regulatory reform officers within 60 days, for the purposes of highlighting perceived unnecessary regulations. Each agency must report its progress within 90 days.

As part of the Executive Order, the DOJ is currently accepting public comments on regulations that should be “repealed, replaced, or modified, consistent with applicable law.”

In its public comments, the National Disability Rights Network and three other disability rights organizations, under the umbrella of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, urged the DOJ to avoid scaling back regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, highlighting the law’s traditional bipartisan support.

“Far from eliminating jobs or inhibiting job creation, the Department’s ADA regulations enhance the ability of individuals with disabilities to contribute to the nation’s economic well-being by participating in the economy as consumers, as employees, and as employers,” the letter states. “They provide for equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities in a wide array of areas, including education, and enable people with disabilities to become active and contributing members of their communities.

“Far from being outdated, these regulations have enabled our nation to move away from antiquated and exclusionary means of treating individuals with disabilities.”

The full letter can be read here [PDF].

Disability Rights Washington is the designated protection and advocacy agency in Washington and a member of the National Disability Rights Network.