Gonzales: Bush Administration Settled 90 Percent Of ADA
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 6, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC--The Bush administration took credit Thursday for settling 1,800 out of the 2,000 Americans with Disabilities Act complaints filed with the Department of Justice over the past five years.
The Department's civil rights division also settled 151 ADA cases filed against state and local governments, according to a DOJ statement.
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said the administration accomplished this through "an aggressive program of enforcement and public education".
"At the Department of Justice, we are working to change negative attitudes about people with disabilities based on old and outdated stereotypes," Gonzales said. "We aim to establish conditions in this country in which the hopes and dreams of these individuals can be realized.".
Some advocates have been critical of the administration's emphasis on negotiating with businesses and governments rather than taking them to court for violating the 16-year-old civil rights law.
"I think there's room for more enforcement, but I'm very pleased with the cases they have taken," disability law attorney John Kemp told the Associated Press.
John Wodatch, who runs the Disability Rights Section at the Justice Department, said: "We're not trying to get litigation. We're trying to get compliance."
"U.S. Reports Disabled Access Attained" (Forbes)
"Government cites success in disability access cases" (Pioneer Press)
Justice Department Issues Five-year Report Highlighting Successes in Enforcing the ADA" (U.S. Department of Justice)
"Disability rights in the middle of difficult journey" (Star-Tribune)