Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the ADA Restoration Act: Legislative Update. At this time, all participants will be on a listen only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session, at this time, if you would like to ask a question, you may do so by pressing the one on your touch tone phone. As a reminder this conference is being recorded today May 15th. Now, I would like to turn the conference over to Robin Jones, please go ahead.
Great, thank you and good morning and good afternoon to everybody depending on where you are calling from today. I am glad that you are able to join us today for the session on the ADA Restoration Act. This session is being brought to you by the network of ADA centers the national Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center network across the country. This a monthly program that we offer on various topics around the ADA and this program is being recorded as well as a transcript is being created which will later be posted on the www.ada-audio.org website for your reference. We also have people joining us via multiple modes, we have individuals on the telephone, we have people joining us through streaming audio on the internet as well as individuals who are joining us through real time captioning. This is our May program and just as clarification for some people who had some problems with our scheduling this year. We had originally had a session that was going to be highlighting the National Council on Disabilities ADA Implementation Report, that report has been delayed and it is released at the federal level and so we had to play around and postponed that session. So right now that session is postponed indefinitely and we apologize but it is out of our control. We try to bring things to you in a timely manner consistent with what is happening on the federal level and sometimes that doesn''t always follow the time lines that we may have projected in the beginning when we were setting through the schedule. So we will keep people who might be interested in that session posted and hopefully, sometime in June or early July that report will be out and we will be able to hold the session on that. But today''s session is focused on the ADA Restoration Act, and it will be an update on what is happening with that. And joining us today, we are very pleased to have Andrew Imparato or Andy from the American Association of Persons with Disabilities, as well as Alexandra Sandy otherwise known as Sandy Finucane who is joining us from The Epilepsy Foundation and both of these individuals have been actively involved in the ADA Restoration Act process. And I think you will find they are going to give you some great information about what is currently happening and some of these issues surrounding especially with the changes that we had at the federal level both with the new legislative session as well as some of the changes in Congress with the most recent elections. I am going to go ahead today and introduce our speakers and then they are going to kick it off. At that time, when they are done with their comments, as the Operator had indicated we will open it up to the Questions and Answers period and we do encourage you to engage with our speakers in questions related to the topic today. So let me just first start and I will introduce Andy, he is known to many of you because he has presented on the series before, but Andy is the first full-time President and Executive Officer of the American Association of Persons with Disabilities which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization of people with disabilities, their family members and supporters that was originally found in1995. If you are not a member of AAPD, it is strongly recommended that you consider membership and Andy I am sure will give a plug with some additional information about that. The mission of AAPD is to pursue a political and economic empowerment agenda for all people with disabilities through public policy, advocacy and other programs that foster leadership development, mentoring and career exploration and also issues of voting and civic participation. Since he joined AAPD in 1999, the organization has more than tripled its memberships and its annual budget and as well as his staff size. Andy can give more current number but I think there are more 80,000 members currently across the United States. Prior to joining AAPD, Andy was the General Counsel and Director of Policy at the National Council on Disability, which is the independent federal agency advising the President and Congress on public policy issues affecting people with disabilities. Also he has worked as a special assistant to Commissioner Paul Steven Miller at the Equal Employment Opprotunity Commission, Mr. Miller is a past Commissioner. He was also counsel to a Senate sub-committee on disability policy chaired by Tom Harkin of Iowa. And he was a Fellow, a staff attorney at the Law Center in Boston, Massachusetts. So he''s got a vast amount of experience in the public policy arena and specifically around people with disabilities. Sandy, who I introduced before and said is Vice President of Legal and Governmental Affairs for the Epilepsy Foundation, serves as legal counsel in addition to overseeing all advocacy activities, including government relations and legal advocacy for the foundation. She has been an employee for 15 years, or more at this point probably, concentrating on the promotion of legal and civil rights for people with seizures. She developed the Foundation''s Legal Rights Information Clearinghouse, published several version of its legal rights book, including a database of all federal and state laws affecting people with epilepsy, and has written several amicus briefs in the courts promoting the interests of people with epilepsy. Prior to her career with the Foundation, she served as an investigator assisting lawyers representing people subject to involuntary civil commitment and also worked with the Council for Senior Citizens before the Federal Trade Commission as well as wrote Supreme Court case reviews for a legal journal so she has a vast amount of experience in this area and she can talk a little more, with Andy, about their direct experience leading the effort with the ADA Restoration Act because both of them have been involved and I know that Sandy has been very directly involved, and again you can get more information about that in her comments. And so without further comment on my part, I''m going to go ahead and turn it over and Sandy, you can start us off.
Thank you, Robin. Welcome everybody. I''m going to speak for about 15 minutes or so and then I believe Andy will speak and then we''ll have the questions at end. Hopefully, there are a number of points and it is not necessarily an easy topic, but hopefully the overview and the background that we start with will help put everything in context. So to begin, the Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990. It was modeled on the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which is an issue that will become important later as we see how it has worked out in recent years that. That law applied to only several federal employers, contractors, recipients of federal financial assistance, so it was a narrow group of people that were covered by that law. At the same time when the ADA passed, most states in the country had their own, then it was usually called something like the handicapped discrimination act that applied within the states. They were very variable from state to state. The important thing about the ADA was that it was a federal statute that covered the whole country. Ultimately it would cover employers with more than 15 employees and it really was a floor on which no state laws should go beneath. So it''s a floor for protection for people from discrimination. Since then, there have been hundreds if not thousands of cases that have gone through the Courts. The law has made many positive changes in the lives with people with disabilities, changes that include physical environment and changes in the workforce. The Supreme Court has recognized how the doors have opened, and how the ADA was intended to open these doors. Witness their recognition that services for people with disabilities need to be provided in a least restrictive manner or the people have the right to reasonable accommodations to participate in public accommodations. In addition, employers now cannot ask whether you have a disability before you get hired. Cases that contain questions about disabilities can get thrown out of court very quickly. Some people would even say that the most positive change that has occurred since the ADA passed is an attitudinal one. In fact, the chair of our board, Tony Coelho, the original sponsor of the ADA in the House of Representatives, made this point when he testified last year before a house judiciary committee on ADA oversight. He said it really showed people, as he said personally, I have a right to enjoy all the aspects ever every day life that someone without a disability has. I will be protected from unfair discrimination because of the ADA. I am equal to other people. And I think that is true, that is what the law, the ADA, stands for. It really has changed an attitudinal point of view among people with disabilities. These rights have been recognized by many courts, except, I would submit, in the area of employment discrimination. In fact, reviews of the employment cases brought under federal law, people with disabilities lose most of the time, and when I say most of time, I mean more than 90% of the time if they go to court to pursue their employment rights. Personally, I also happen to believe many employers have adopted an attitudinal change towards the hiring of people with disabilities. There are many people who say they want to hire people with disabilities and they will voluntarily try to do the right thing if they encounter a problem in the workforce. So it is not uncommon for people to try to work out how they can get a person with a disability employed, depending upon the nature of the accommodation. However, if the employer didn''t want to hire the person with disability because they''re afraid of the disability or because of stigma or because of worries about cost and if they consultant an attorney or go to court, lo and behold, the employer is likely to win in any attempt not to employ a person with a disability. So why does that happen? We''re not completely sure why, but we know do know the major reason is that the law has been very narrowly construed in its definition of who is covered in employment cases. In order to bring a case, I think you all know that you have to show you are a person with a disability that substantially limits major life activities. Most current legal time and energy is now spent on determining who is a person with such a disability? It''s not spent on what is a reasonable accommodation, what is an undue hardship, instead it is on who is actually covered by the law. Most courts, and again it is a very huge number, particularly so in the areas of some conditions like epilepsy, diabetes, 90 percent or more, the courts find that you do not have a disability and therefore, you are not protected by unfair employment discrimination. It doesn''t matter that if a person was fired or not hired because the person had the disability and the employer explicitly said so. Even where the employer said this is why the person was not hired, the employee has to prove they have a disability that substantially limits major life activities in order to be protected. So when that happens, if the employer says you may have a disability, but it''s episodic, it doesn''t happen all the time or it doesn''t affect all aspects of your life or you can correct it, you can mitigate it or take medication or you use a prosthetic device or your brain compensates for the limitations by developing other skills. All kinds of arguments are now being used in the courts to show a person does not have a disability that substantially limits them in major life activities. In the regarded as cases, the cases that get brought under the regarded as prong of the law, while an employer admits he or she regards you to be too disabled to have this particular job, if the employer says you can do other jobs, I just don''t have one for you at my office or my place of employment, you''re still not covered by the ADA. Judges generally support this narrow ruling, and it''s basically because of the US Supreme Court''s holdings in a series of cases. The NCD, National Council on Disability, issued a report in 2004 which highlighted what the impact of the Supreme Court''s decision have been on employment cases under the ADA and primarily as I think people know it''s the Sutton series of cases that occurred in 1999 that first began the onslaught, I would say the assault on the employment rights of people with disabilities. Basically, the courts said, people who want to use the ADA as protection should be looked at in their mitigated state, that is after you corrected the problem, for example with glasses or medication or sensory accommodations but not in your unmitigated state. If you wear glasses or take medications for high blood pressure, if you take medicine for epilepsy if your brain has compensated for monocular vision, you are not a person with a disability and you are not covered by the ADA. Now, you might say that''s not so unreasonable. Did the law intend to cover people who wear glasses? Many people who were involved with the passage of the ADA did not think that that was its intention that they would be covered, if you covered them, everybody under the sun would be covered. The Supreme Court used this very argument to justify its ruling. The problem with that reasoning however, is that actually, the ADA was written and was intended to cover anyone that faced unfair discrimination solely because of a disability, even if the impairment was not actually limiting, so in other words, the whole regarded as prong was intended to cover people who face discrimination because of a perceived disability or because the employer treated them as having a disability even if they themselves did not see themselves as having a disability at all. So the point of this portion of the law was to throw out arbitrary rules that really had no basis in real life employment decisions. So therefore, the airline''s rule in the Sutton''s case that you cannot fly if you have corrected vision or if the Federal Truck driver''s rule that you cannot drive if you have corrected high blood pressure or if you have corrected monocular vision, should be subject to an analysis about whether they are in fact reasonable appropriate restrictions on employment, under a standard not based on fear and ignorance, but on the basis of more objective information and reasonably probable conditions that you encounter in the workforce. The law contains an exception for people whose conditions pose a direct threat to others if they''re hired in that position. But the Court and the employers that were concerned in those cases never reached the real substantive issue of whether the employment restriction was appropriate. Instead, they relied on the definition analysis to throw the cases out and find there is no coverage. So a horrible catch-22 has been created. If you take medicine to treat your condition so you ameliorate its effects you will no longer be protected by the ADA if someone discriminates against you because of that condition. The second case that was very damaging in the employment area of the ADA is when the Supreme Court said the ADA is to be interpreted strictly. Now, this is unlike other civil rights statutes that are interpreted broadly as remedial statutes. In this case, the Supreme Court said you look at the ADA strictly and you evaluate what is an impairment that substantially limits the major life activities in the most literal sense. You look at whole range of daily living activities in making an evaluation of whether a person is substantially impaired in major life activities. This is as I said unlike any other piece of civil rights legislation and was never the intent of the ADA of Congress when it passed the ADA. So in the specifics of that case, a woman with carpal tunnel syndrome who could not lift her arms above the shoulder and had to do so on the job, would have to show she had the disability that did not just affect her at work but also affected her in all aspects of daily life. Could she take care of herself at home, could she dress herself, bathe, could she cook, what was her intimate personal life like? All of these issues have now become legitimate questions for an employer to show whether someone had a disability under the ADA. So as a result, people with disabilities who want to go to court may find themselves having to talk about what their intimate personal sexual life is like in order to justify applying for a job and their ability to be covered by the law. And that is certainly not what Congress when ADA was passed. So the results of these decisions have been, I believe, a disaster for people who face real employment discrimination in the workplace and who seek legal assistance to do something about it. We know now that many lawyers routinely turn away from clients because they cannot show they have a disability under the ADA. People report that the EEOC sometimes turn clients away because they believe they cannot bring successful cases as a result of the definition problems. Federal courts have now ruled in a whole series of cases that people with epilepsy and with diabetes and people with cancer and with Multiple Sclerosis and with cognitive impairments and with cerebral palsy with physical impairments with mental illness like bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder are not covered by ADA. So what is the remedy? Well, ADA restoration. I want to say ADA Restoration refers to a law but really think of it as a multi-pronged approach. For the last five years or so, many people in the disability community have been working very hard to provide legal assistance to people who face unfair discrimination in the employment area by helping them gather data intended to show that they were intended to be covered by the law and that they actually are covered by the law. So groups like The American Diabetes Association and The Epilepsy Foundation and Bazelon Center put time and energy into helping people who are bringing cases to show that they actually are covered by the law and they can get to the next step. And I think that helped some. There were enormous amounts of work and legal time to just show coverage. In addition, other prongs have been looking at state law to cover people with disabilities who take medications, so eliminating the mitigating measures problem and eliminating the substantially limited major life activities problem in state cases, in state laws. That is how it has happened in California and happened in Rhode Island and it is being looked at in other states as well. But fundamentally, the ADA is a federal law and in order to fix the problem, given the Courts interpretation, we can''t move forward without a federal legislative change to this. We believe it is time that the country''s laws and interpretation of the law are in line with what Congress intended and most people thought Congress was doing when ADA was passed. That is, if you have a disability and you''re discriminated against because of the disability you are covered by the law. If you have a record or a history of a disability and you''re discriminated against because of that record or history, you are covered by the ADA. And even if you don''t view yourself as having a disability or you''re not actually impaired by the condition, but someone, like the employer, treats you as having a disability, you are covered by the ADA. That is you''re protected from unfair discrimination on the basis of that condition. So the point of this last clause, and I want to talk about regarded as a little bit because it''s very broad and it demonstrates some of the problems of saying well there is only 43 million people with disabilities covered by the ADA, or 51 million people is what the current census estimates people who have disabilities, the point of the regarded as provision was to encounter all those people who weren''t actually impaired or didn''t believe themselves to be impaired but who were treated adversely because of fear and stigma. The point of that law was to cover anybody who is unfairly treated and who believes they are actually qualified to do the job with or without accommodation. So, the work that has begun on this area really came from, I would say, fundamentally the NCD report, the National Council on Disability report, and in that report, as that body went through and analyzed what the Supreme Court has done in the employment area, they proposed legislative fixes. One of their first legislative proposals was to change the definition of the ADA to be more in line with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the anti-race, anti-sex discrimination provisions of that law. So that basically, if you have the condition and you are treated adversely you are covered by the law and after that occurs, you then go into analysis of whether that discrimination was reasonable or not or for some other basis. So in other words, the burden shifts to once you''ve made your case, the burden shifts to the employer cannot make the accommodation or they have a reason for not hiring you. What we did in our initial work with Congress is we educated them on this topic was to bring them the NCD definition and say, look you can fix of the ADA in order to solve these problems by adopting a new definition that covers people with disabilities who are discriminated against on the basis of impairment. So essentially, the proposal was eliminate the mitigating measures requirement, just look at the person who has the impairment, cover everybody with impairment, and then everybody with the impairment and who also faces employment discrimination. So, as I said, very like a civil rights statute. So focusing in this way, would refocus the issue in a court case not on whether you have the condition, but on whether you''re able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without the accommodations and not on things like your personal details and medical records. So this NCD type definition has been the focus of Congressional efforts to try and amend the law and solve this ADA restoration. In the fall, there was a hearing in the House and that was it held in the Judiciary Committee and under the auspices of Jim Sensenbrenner who was at the time the chair of the Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and Steve Chabot, who was the chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution (indiscernible), they held an oversight hearing at which several people spoke, including, as I mentioned earlier, Tony Coelho, and really brought forward what the problem is with the definition. As a result of that hearing, Jim Sensenbrenner in his last act as chair of the Judiciary Committee, introduced a piece of legislation, HR6258, that basically fixed the definition problems with the ADA. And it is very much modeled on the NCD report. He was joined in that effort by Senator Hoyer, who is now majority leader in the House, John Conyers, who was at that time ranking member of the Judiciary Committee and is now chair of the Judiciary Committee. So those three leaders came forward and dropped that bill. We are now discussing with all of those people again how to move forward in this Congress. In the Senate, we also have the commitment and support of both Senators Harkin and Kennedy, who were of course, very involved with the original passage of the ADA and Senator Harkin has vowed to take the lead in our ADA Restoration efforts and work in a bipartisan manner in order to do so? We are looking at having an oversight hearing in the Health Committee which is the Committee which was the Committee of jurisdiction when the ADA passed, way back in 1990 and therefore, is the logical committee in which to bring this issue forward again. One of the big focuses of our current activity has been to try and get Republican co-sponsors on board in the Senate so we have both people in the House who are interested, again, bi-partisan individuals, and we''re focusing on getting bipartisan support in the Senate as well. It is very important to us the ADA was a bipartisan bill and it could only pass in that way and will still only happen to fix it if we have bipartisan support and to get it through the White House to have people on board from both parties. So that has been a huge area, I would say, of current activity. I think I''m going to stop there and that''s been a lot. Andy, do you want to flesh out anything I have missed or add in something or ask any questions at this point?
Thank you for that Sandy, and I''m not going to add too much to that until we get into the Q and A. First, I just want to complement Sandy and Tony Coelho and everybody at the Epilepsy Foundation who really have put a lot of time into this issue. You know, the first time the ADA was passed there was a broad coalition that was working on it, but Pat from the Disability Rights Education Defense fund kind of kept everybody pointed in the same direction and I would argue that Sandy is playing the role this time around that Pat played last time around. I am very appreciative for it. I also really want to credit Cheryl Sensenbrenner and the incoming board chair at AAPD for really working on her husband, Steve Chabot, and others in the House to get them to understand the need to introduce legislation on this issue and former chairman Sensenbrenner, now Congressman Sensenbrenner, I think is a very strong champion, very committed to the issue, he spoke on the issue at New York Law School about six weeks ago and answered a lot of tough questions from law students and professors there without notes and without somebody staffing him and he answered them very well so he seems very ready to defend the bill that was introduced at the end of last Congress. I do want to mention also, Lex Frieden, as the chair of the National Council on Disability, for doing a lot of leadership to get the report that Sandy referred to and pretty much anybody on the call that hasn''t seen that report, it''s called the Righting the ADA and it was issued as Sandy mentioned, after the elections in December of 2004 and it''s available at www.ncd.gov. A couple of other things I think could play into our legislative strategy. One, there is a bill moving in the Congress that''s passed Senate 99 to nothing and has already passed the Committee of Jurisdiction in the House, called the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act, or GINA. And that bill, basically, there is a strong momentum behind it, the President has indicated that he plans to sign it and that bill, if it does pass and we do expect it to pass soon, would provide protection for people that have a genetic predisposition to develop a condition in the area of employment and health insurance. But the protections that those individuals would have under that legislation would end as soon as those individuals are symptomatic. So if you take my disability, as an example, if you have a genetic predisposition for bi-polar and you haven''t had an episode of depression, or hypomania or mania, you would be protected under GINA. Once you have your first episode of depression or mania, then you would lose your protections under GINA and if you''re able to manage your condition well, you may not get into the protections of the ADA the way the courts have interpreted it, so that creates a loophole the ADA Restoration Act could help to fill. I think it''s going to help the ADA Restoration effort once GINA is passed because we could really call attention to that hole that will be created by the combination of the new legislation and the narrowing of the definition under the ADA. I also wanted to mention that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was opened for signature on March 30th. It''s a new convention. It has a very good definition of disability that''s very broad and I think it''s much more like the ADA Restoration definition than the original Rehab Act or ADA definition, at least the way those definitions have been interpreted. So I think you know there''s kind of a global consensus for the folks that worked on the UN Convention that having the broad definition of disability in the context of a human rights or civil rights law is the best policy and I think we might be able to leverage that to make the case for a broader definition along the lines of what Hoyer and Sensenbrenner and Conyers introduced in the last Congress. I appreciated the plug for AAPD at the beginning, if people are interested in joining the organization the website is AAPD.com. We actually have about 160,000 members now Robin, so we have grown a bit since the bio you picked up, probably off of Google. The last thing I want to say is we really need a grassroots push in order to get a piece of legislation like this passed. Sandy, has definitely worked well with her grassroots within the Epilepsy Foundation and they have been up on the Hill working this legislation. I think a lot of members that have heard about the problems with the definition have heard about them from people with epilepsy, or family members of people with epilepsy because that constituency I would say is making this a very high priority and unfortunately a lot of the other constituencies that are directly affected by this legislation, including people like me with bipolar disorder, people with depression, people with cancer, people with diabetes, amputees, any other number of conditions, so far they''re not making it anywhere near the level of priority that the Epilepsy Foundation and their grassroots folks are making it. If we don''t get more of a cross-disability grassroots push on numbers, it is going to be hard for us to find the right cosponsor of the legislation. I think the business community hasn''t really engaged yet. But we''re going to need strong grassroots push in order to deal with what we are expecting which would be a pretty strong push back, particularly from the management bar which seems to be very happy that the definition seems to be shrunk by the Supreme Court. An easy way for management lawyers to get rid of cases without having to get into messy facts which can be expensive to litigate. So you know we''re not under any delusion that this is going to be an easy piece of legislation to pass and I know there are advocates on the line and I want to say we need folks to engage on this issue if we really want to see the legislation pass and I know that former Chairman Sensenbrenner and Senator Hoyer and Tom Harkin and Ted Kennedy are very all committed to not just introducing a bill, but to getting it passed. We''re working closely together with them on a strategy, but ultimately, if we don''t have a stronger grassroots push, I don''t think we''re going to be successful. Certainly not in this Congress. So why don''t I stop there. Sandy do you want to add anything based on what I said, or do you want to open it up?
I did want to mention materials, I didn''t refer to that and you, I believe you have background, Robin, they have the background materials that we had sent?
Yes. The three documents you had sent on the ADA Restoration Act that you had sent were distributed and made available.
Ok. Let me just tell you what they are. One is obviously just basic talking points on the issue, but the other two, is the overview of what is the problem and what it is that we''re trying to do and then the second document, the third document is case stories which is a sampling from real cases of people who have been harmed in court because of the decisions. What we''re doing is we have many more cases that are being added, but that''s currently what''s being circulated in Congress and we are focusing very much on Senate Health Committee members to get them onboard first, but ultimately we really need to cover the country in terms of bringing forward to Representatives and Senators, examples of real live people in their district and states who have been harmed because of the narrowing of the definition. Other areas for additional materials on this topic, our website epilepsyfoundation.org has a whole series of materials on ADA Restoration, as well as CCD, that is Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities. That organization has taken on ADA restoration as one of the priorities for this year and it maintains on its website a whole series of documents. That website is www.c-c-d.org. So I think, are we ready for questions?
Yeah why don''t we go ahead and have the Operator give some directions to our participants then we can entertain some of the questions that the people may have. So Operator, why don''t you go ahead and do that?
Okay. Ladies and gentlemen, we will now begin the question and answer session, if you do have a question we ask that you please press the one on your touch-tone phone. And our first question.
Hi guys. Can you hear me?
Okay. I have a couple of I think relatively quick questions. First one is, you talked a little bit or touched briefly on it, but who are going to be the opponents and what are their arguments and also, how or will any of the proposed legislation impact Title II or III.
A couple of things, I will start with the second question first. It will be, definition as you know, covers all of the ADA so it does also affect Title II and Title III. But practically speaking, the only area that is really affected is Title I, so Title III, for example, contains, doesn''t have this, you must show that you''re qualified before you can get covered or you must show all the other elements of having disability. Basically, if you want to get into, you say you have a disability and you want an accommodation, you get the accommodation. So you don''t have to go through the steps like you do in Title I. So effectively, one of the counter arguments people who say this is an expansion is businesses who do public accommodations are living with broad definition right now, every day. Title II of course has two components of it so it''s obviously the employment sections with parallel Title I and then we have the same argument in Title II, people who are considered as having disabilities are covered by the law.
And the first question.
Andy will probably have a lot more to say on this, but my initial thought is that you know, we know that the chamber would probably be very opposed to this but we haven''t actually heard that but the interesting thing that. The interesting thing that happened is after Sensenbrenner and Conyers dropped the bill, nobody came forward with opposition at that time that. Could have been for a variety of reasons, but we haven''t actually heard direct opposition to it. I think it''s very important to say that that this is to make it clear that this is ADA Restoration not expansion. We know that in discussions that we''ve had with some members of the business community, they said isn''t this an expansion of the ADA, doesn''t this mean your going to cover everybody? The response is that in fact Congress intended to cover people who were discriminated against because somebody thought they had a disability period. So it''s no broader than that as already included there. So I would say the real people who are likely to not support this change are the chamber and the large employers. Andy, do you have anything upon to add to that?
Yeah, I would add if we go back and look at who supported and who opposed the ADA the first time around, the Chamber of Commerce actually supported the bill. The National Federation of Independent Businesses, which is the kind of the large small business lobby in Washington, did not the support the ADA the first time around and I think we have every reason to expect that they would oppose something like this this time around. But again, I think the folks that have the most invested in having the narrow definition of disability from an employment perspective are the management bar and Sandy is right that the Chamber of Commerce listens carefully to the management bar and I don''t think we can assume that just because the Chamber supported the ADA the first time around that they would support this restoration effort, but we really haven''t begun negotiations when them because we''re still trying to lineup the right Republican support in the Senate and you know, we''re not sure what the bill is actually going to look like. It may change from what was introduced by Hoyer and Sensenbrenner and Conyers at the end of the last Congress, so it''s a little premature for us to start entering into negotiations with the business community. You know, I think we expect that we would receive support for this kind of legislation from a broad cross-disability coalition, a number of organizations have already expressed support for it. We also expect support from AARP and other senior''s organizations and we expect support from the Leadership Congress on Civil Rights, which played a large role in supporting the ADA the last time around or the original time it was passed. I think a lot of work is going to have to be done and the reason why it is so important to start out in a bi-partisan manner, I''m very grateful to Jim Sensenbrenner for stepping out at the end of the last Congress and putting down a marker and showing that there is Republican support for this and I do think that makes it easier for us to enter into discussions with the business community. The other thing I would just mention in this context is there are a lot of particularly small businesses that are concerned about what they call "drive-by lawsuits" under Title III where you know, boutique law firms will file multiple lawsuits in a week against multiple businesses in a geographic area. It seems that problem started out in Florida and migrated to places like California and Hawaii and other states. But you know, Mark Foley introduced a bill in the last three Congresses called ADA Notification Act to the extent that we''re able to get an ADA Restoration Act to the floor to a vote we need to be prepared for people that may try to do other things like add an ADA notification provision to the legislation. So you know we''re aware that that''s one of the issues under Title III that some in the business community have expressed concerns about and they''re certainly Democrats and Republican who co-sponsored the Foley legislation that feel that''s something that needs to be addressed.
Thank you guys.
Our next question.
Hi. Hi Andy. I am a member of AAPD, too. And Sandy. I wanted to dovetail off of the last comment that you made and that is many advocates did not want to, under existing Congresses, prior Congresses open up the ADA at all for fear of having things like ADA notification. I kind of see things a little bit differently and this dovetails somewhat with other court decisions, if we have hearings on this, we can get legislative history, on say state''s anti-Title I activities along with backing the current bill that could mitigate the Supreme Court decision in the Garrett case. I also think we could tactically escalate with other provisions if the enemy, so to speak, wants to tack on things like an ADA Notification Act, we could tack in things like penalty provisions under Title III or clarify things like under Title II and III in statute that websites should be accessible.
I think those are all good points. The one thing I could say, and I don''t consider myself to be a Constitutional law expert, but people that spend a lot more time thinking about the Constitution than I do have told me that even if we build up a good legislative history around discrimination by the states as employers in the context of new legislative effort in Congress, if you look at the five to four decision in Garrett and you look at majority opinion in Garrett, it seems like it would be very hard to satisfy the standard that the majority in that case laid out in terms of their being a history of unconstitutional discrimination by the state as employers that was documented by the Congress. I completely don''t agree with the Garrett decision and I think it''s one of worse Supreme Court decisions in recent history but I''m not sure there is a straightforward way to overturn it. Because ultimately in that case they are interpreting the Constitution and the legislative history as it relates to the ADA was part of their analysis, but I''m worried that they laid out such a high bar that it would be very difficult for Congress, even if they held multiple hearings to meet it. Because again, the dissent in Garrett, there was plenty of history in front of Congress when they passed the ADA and the five Justices in the majority in Garrett, one of whom was Justice O''Connor, who is no longer there, they didn''t think it was enough. So Sandy, I don''t know if you want too add anything on the Garrett aspect of this, but it''s not something that we''ve been real focused in the context of our ADA Restoration efforts.
In fact, yes I would agree with you Andy that, that was really some of the analysis that was going on as we looked at what areas would be addressed by ADA Restoration. I think the feeling that it is really a constitutional problem. It''s not something that we would be looking at, at this time. But to go back, to your other point there, you are absolutely right. I mean we recognize that this problem was going to occur given the Supreme Court decisions about six or seven years. And the determination was, we were not going to go forward raise the ADA as a possible areas for amendment because there were too much conflict, there were too much risk that there would be other things happening that would actually make the ADA worse than it currently is and that is not something we could go forward with. At that time, what''s happened since then is that there really has first of all, you know the increasing problem over the years so it''s just to the point of absurdity in terms of the coverage problem. The NCD report coming out to confirm the series of problems. But also the feeling that there were people on the Hill saying that we do have the possibility to do something now as Congress is changing. And it was really Senator Harkin who came forward and said to the disability community last year, he said you know I would like to do something about this problem, I recognize that it is going on, that there have been these problems but I would like to get a consensus from the disability community as to what are the problems in terms of the implementation of ADA and what you would like us to try and move forward on now in the more immediate future in a kind of a strategically and quiet kind of a bipartisan way. And really in the discussions, writing the ADA report did bring up several issues with the Supreme Court decisions. There is just not the definition problems, there is also the Echazabal decision, which said that direct threats arguments also apply to threat to oneself which is clearly was not what Congress intended. There is the definition of what is a reasonable accommodation and decision, and the fact that collective bargaining, seniority agreements would trump ADA accommodations. There was the issue of damages, monetary damages, a lack of availability of monetary damages and then finally attorneys'' fees. And all of those cases have obviously had, they were all ADA cases, they had a very bad impact on anybody trying to bring litigation onto the ADA. It was the consensus of the community that couple of things, first, The Fairness Act which is the leadership conference on civil rights had considered fixes, had included fixes to the monetary damages issues as well as to the attorneys'' fees issue in their Fairness Act. Now, they still have that piece of legislation. It hasn''t moved as far as I''m aware of, I think they are in the situation of trying to find republican cosponsors for that piece of legislation but in any rate the feeling of the disability community was, those are huge and larger than disability issues and that we would not want to address them under ADA Restoration. And than, rather than being in a situation of comparing issues against each other, recognizing that when you are negotiating some issues will get dropped and some will be retained. The consensus really of the community was let''s move forward on the definition, it is the major problem if you could fix that, you would make a huge difference and then we can start to work on some of the other problems as well. So that doesn''t mean that the other issues aren''t really important but we did not wanted them to become bargaining chips in order to get a definition fix. So having said that, the strategy of the current point was really to focus on the definition only. In addition, when Sensenbrenner agreed to, when he met when us and agreed to be a spokesperson for ADA Restoration, he also agreed that he would not allow, at that time he would not allow any amendments of the ADA to occur that would actually be a problem for people with disabilities or that the disability community would not agree to. So those are very important that strategically had to be thought through and figured out before we could move forward.
Sandy, the only other thing I want to add is when you say that there is a consensus in the community I think it''s important that we clarify, there is not a consensus in the disability community on just about any topics, it is a very diverse community but there were a lot of national organizations that got together at Senator Harkin''s request and under the leadership of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities but it wasn''t limited to the CCD members. And other than possibly ADAPT, there weren''t national organizations that seem to have a big problem with moving forward with a strategy to fix the definition.
Our next question.
Ok, go on to our next question please.
My question sort of revolve around Title III and with the current Congress configuration is there really significant concern that this maybe hijacked and taken into a different direction and than we would like to see it go or is the disability community fairly confident that if the bill is opened up that none of the things that we have been talking about will occur. And then again my second question is, if we go through this project, these arguments that were made they are restricted to Title I, it is very are hard to sort of change. If a court wants to limit a law then they obviously can find arguments to sort of justify their own belief, scary as it may be but are we also fairly confident that if we clarify these things that we won''t be 17 years down the line, we won''t be in the same situation as we are in today?
Andy, do you want to answer first?
Yeah, let me deal with the first part of his question, and then Sandy may be you can deal with the second part. In terms of the first part of your question, obviously we now have a Democratic majority in the House and in the Senate, we have people like Senator Hoyer who is now the Majority Leader of the House, who has a lot of capacity particularly the way the House operates. He has a lot of capacity to keep things off the House floor if we don''t like the direction of this legislation is taking. So the chances that there would be a House vote on something that we don''t like are slim to null. In general, it is much easier to kill something than it is to pass something. If this does take the direction that we don''t like, we have a lot of capacity to kill it. In the Senate, we have Senator Kennedy as the Chair of the Committee of Jurisdiction with a lot of seniority and a lot of influence. You''ve got Senator Harkin who is on the Appropriations Committee that funds labor, health and human services and education. They both have a lot of clout in the Senate. Senator Harkin is also the Chair of Agriculture Committee. Again, the chances that this thing would take a bad turn in the Senate and pass the Senate in that context are pretty slim. We are feeling a lot more confident in the context of this Congress that we would not have, what was the expression that Sensenbrenner used? The two-headed child or something? But we would not have a scenario where we had a serious problem that actually got passed. So we have more confidence now than we have had since this effort started five years ago. Does that mean everything is foolproof? No. I mean we are going to have to work hard, we need to be prepared, we need to make sure we understand the arguments that are being made on the other side, and we can''t count on every Democrat to be with us. I mean certainly on ADA notification, there were lots of Democrats, particularly from those states where they were having a lot of problems with these lawsuits, who co-sponsored the Foley Bill. So we need to be reaching out to them and make sure that we understand what their core issues are. We have argued to them unsuccessfully, the ones that co-sponsored the Bill, that the Foley Bill actually wouldn''t have fixed some of the core problems that it was trying to fix and there may be other ways to fix those problems and those are things that we have been talking with our coalition trying to come up with the ways to address the concerns of small businesses that would not involve requires everybody to give 90 days notice before filing a lawsuit. So, I am going stop there. Sandy, do you want to address the issue of are we sure that the Courts won''t misinterpret this new language?
Yes, I think of course we know that the Courts are very likely especially given their current configurations to again try and construe this law as narrowly as they possibly can. One of the reasons why as well that, one of the things the proposed legislative fix includes is a broad remedial legislation, so in other words it specifically say in the statute you have to read the law broadly to include the issues that Congress intended it to read. But we recognize that other things may occur and in fact we see it as we are watching the cases develop that there are things that are very difficult even not just in the definition but in other areas. I mean I mentioned the direct threat issue, it is a problem. The other issue that I think that is a source of concern is reasonable accommodation, and what is the reasonableness of the reasonable accommodation. That''s an issue that the court had laid over the decisions that really the give and take in the employment decision making that I think is very problematic. But we are at the beginning I would say of a negotiating strategy. We have a proposed fix that NCD came up with, it''s very basic, it''s very simple and I think that if we start negotiating then we have the opening to talk about other types of issues that also could be fixed. But we are not there yet. I don''t think we can guarantee what''s going to happen in 17 years and that''s just going to be inevitable fact of life in this area. As I said, we do have some concerns about how courts are dealing with issues like reasonableness. So those kinds of things I think can be brought up during a negotiating process. And just to go back as well to the Title III issue, we also recognize that very much when we have the hearing in the House, the Judiciary subcommittee also did include a witness from California from representatives who talked about some adverse experiences they have had with drive by lawsuit. So that was very much in the minds of the representatives who were involved with this issue. I think it was significant that when Sensenbrenner dropped the Bill, he dropped it only on the definition. And frankly, one of the reasons we understand is there was no consensus about what to do, about driveway-by lawsuits. So even among the traditional people who have been in favor of notification, there was recognition, they are developing recognition that this is not the answer to that problem. People are waiting for the National Council on Disability Report on the implementation of that particular aspect of the ADA because I think there will be some obstructive guidelines from the state of California.
Sandy, one thing that I would just add is I know there are some folks from the disability advocacy community who don''t necessarily see the drive by lawsuits phenomenon as inherently problematic. They make the case the laws been on the books since 1990, people have notice for 17 years, they should be in compliance and why is it that law firms has found a business model where they can file a hundred lawsuits at a time. I don''t agree with that perspective, I think that the drive by lawsuit is not helping our cause and I think we need to come up with creative solutions to it. But I just want to be clear that I know that not everybody in the disability advocacy community sees it as a serious problem.
And I think you are right Andy. I think even the numbers show I mean the number of cases that are actually brought are tiny. So is it a true problem or is it just a few local people complaining?
That''s an interesting point. I mean, how do you ever really know that?
Well, people are doing some reviews. I mean, Andy''s point is really valid. It''s been 16 years and unfortunately, there has been some legal discussions and analysis of this, is the fact is that there is no penalties involved with the issues. The people just wait, the chances of them getting sued, of being found not in compliant is so tiny, it''s safer for them to wait and see what happens and then when you suddenly get sued, then you deal with it. The whole point of ADA was to encourage businesses to become accessible to everybody and that''s still not happening and it''s across the country so that''s a really critical point that needs to be addressed.
Again, enforcement has been a long standing problem. Of course the types of lawsuits that have made in the press and stuff like that has brought a lot of emotional reaction from people in the community and stuff which obviously then almost like a backlash affect.
So how do you encourage businesses voluntarily comply? What incentives are there? Many people would argue that they have been given many incentives and it hasn''t worked. So anyway, saying all that I think the fact is, there is no current law addressing notification and drive by lawsuits, thank goodness or no current Bill rather addressing this issue. So we''ll see if that comes back again but so far there is nothing out there.
Sandy, on the issue how would you address the problem if you think it''s a problem, I feel there is two things that need to happen for this problem to go away from a small business owner''s perspective. One is they need to be able to get good unequivocal information about whether they are in compliance with the ADA at any relevant state or local laws. That''s a lot easier said than done, but that''s going to be an important part of a fix because otherwise there''s going to be uncertainty on the part of small business owners and what their obligations are and the DBTACs could play a large role in that I think our playing a role in it. The other piece which is even harder is if people are sued, there needs to be some kind of fund that they can tap into that can be organized by the small business community to help defend them against frivolous lawsuits. And again, neither of those things are true of the ADA notification, 90 days notice to me does not solve the problem.
I agree, there probably needs to be a multiple fund. Do we have any other questions from the audience?
Yes our next question.
Yes, my question is why isn''t CP covered and why has CP which is a speech impairment.
Sandy, I think that was in relationship to some of the discussion you have about some of the different types impairments that some may find themselves not covered under the law.
There was a case, cerebral palsy first I would say it should be covered by the ADA. And I would always argue that it''s covered and I would aggressively fight that situation if somebody tells you that it is not. But the fact is there has been at least one court that has found that a lawyer with cerebral palsy did not have a disability under the ADA because he was performing so well. That decision was overturned at the Appellate level but nevertheless, he went through years of litigation.
I think it gets to the point with any disability or impairment, people do have their responsibilities and I think that this is something that many people don''t understand is that when are your looking at protection under civil rights law and such, you do have a burden to prove you are covered under that law.
And that I think is that it really highlights again what is the problem. So here you would say of course people with cerebral palsy are intended to be covered and they should be covered, it makes no sense if they are not. But if you are imposing a definition that says, well, you have to have an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Well, let say with technology, with all types of intervention, you are actually functioning pretty well in all kinds of ways you are able to handle your condition so that it poses minor barriers you run the risk with somebody trying to say that is not a substantial limitation. So that''s where we are getting into problems with this very detailed and burdensome definition of disability. The idea in the fix is to just say if you have an impairment, which is you know the law currently contains, and the implementing regs contains an entire list of all the different impairments that could conceivably be covered by the ADA. If you have that impairment, and you are adversely affected or treated by an employer or by someone, you are covered by the ADA. So that you don''t get into proving what is the severity of the impairment, how or which of your major life activities are affected, etc.
Okay, why don''t we take the next question, please.
Okay as a reminder, ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to register a question at this time, please press the one on your touch tone phone. We have a question.
Hello. I have one comment and then two brief questions and Robin has heard my comment before regarding the phrase drive by law suits. I kind of urge that disability advocates be cautious in using this phrase. Because personally I am somewhat chagrin that the phrase "drive by" is used to describe two situations either targeted murders or lawsuits filed against non-complaint businesses under the ADA, so I am not a big fan of the phrase "drive by" although I know it kind of entered the lexicon in the ADA. So I just wanted to throw that out there.
Thank you for that. I really appreciate hearing that point of view. It''s not something I''ve heard before. That helps.
Thank you. My question is two things. One, someone raised the point how are businesses going to comply and as an attorney I guess sometimes I have a litigation oriented approach. But I feel that under Title III, the fact that damages for private lawsuits are not authorized is a big drawback to more widespread compliance. And I was wondering if the damages provision would be addressed or if it''s really just the definition? And then my second part concerns changing the definition to on the basis of disability. I''m just wondering how that''s going to really solve all the problems because then disability still has to be define somewhere which is what make it''s a little different than the other Title VII categories, so if disability is still define as substantial limitation I fear we will be back in the same place.
Well, what actually happens is that you are right, but there is that issue however the word disability is defined as an impairment. A physical or mental impairment and then in line with whole series of that or currently included in regulations and law. So we have really avoided the sub-- you know, getting into what is it substantial or is it not, if you have one of the impairments. It''s quite broad those lists you will be it is covered.
Okay. Thank you.
That''s on the first point and I''m sorry, I forget what the second.
The Title III damages.
The Title III damages, now that''s interesting as well. The ADA Restoration fix is really a definition only fix, obviously it applies to all the Titles. The damages issue is really focused on Title III. At this point, I''ve not address in any proposed legislation. However, the issue was discussed at the hearing in the fall, and when that came up, the response that in written questions that was given back to the committee was that, if they wanted to start talking about changing things like notification then we have to raise the issue of damages because there was a careful balance that was done and the right to damages was eliminated by having the no notification. So once you started talking about no notification, the response from Tony Coelho and the disability community was then you raise the issue of damages and you''re going to have to deal with that.
Right. Thank you very much.
At this point, there are no further questions in the queue.
Okay. I think we have had quite a bit of discussion about this issue. But just to summarize that everybody is on the same page here, we are basically talking about the fact that this legislation is something that most likely will move forward in the next period of time looking obviously at strategic issues related to supports and things of that nature. But that people should also recognize at the same time that this does not necessarily "fix" everything that is "wrong" or a problem with the ADA. But it''s really a targeted issue looking at here and most specifically looking at the issue definition of disability is one that presents itself with significant amount of the problems at the present time of the law, is that correct?
Correct. I think that''s correctly said.
Okay. Any other comments or anything that Andy or Sandy that leave people with any thoughts? We often get calls about people saying is there a point or a time when we should be like writing to our legislature and stuff of that nature.
I think there are cases where somebody is actually being turned away from court or has decided the other thing is people who don''t litigate, people who say I am not even going to go through the hassle I am just going to move on because I don''t want to have to deal with the whole legal respond and going into all the details of my personal life. We would really like to hear about those cases because they do influence Congress and to know about the cases that are occurring where people just don''t bother to go to court where they are actually facing discrimination and should be protected by the ADA would be very helpful to feel us. So I urge you to continue to talk about the issue and to let us know if you have cases.
We do have one last person queue up.
That''s all right. Just to finish that thought then Sandy, so if people feel that they have either some of the independent living centers and things of that nature who are out there or may be an advocacy agency or who ever else might be listening to us now or people have connection if they believe they have cases that fit within that parameter or stories, you would like them to be forwarded where?
Well, they can send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Andy, do you want to give your e-mail address? I mean that''s the two most ready e-mail addresses.
Sure, mine is just email@example.com. Maybe Robin, if you can just send to the group our e-mail addresses, it would save people from trying to spell Imparato.
Yeah, they will be in the transcript your e-mail addresses and as this whole discussion will be in the transcript for sure.
And also on our website we are, and Andy may be doing this as well on his website, we are asking people or we will be if we are not currently doing it, to come forward with their discrimination experiences and stories.
And what is your website?
It is www.epilepsyfoundation.org.
And we are doing that on our website right now and that is aapd.com.
Ok, and that is aapd.com. Don''t get those confused, people always want to do org. We hear from the Operator that we had somebody else kind of chime in at the last minute here, if they want to go ahead we have a few minutes left. Go ahead with your questions.
Hello, I was wondering if you have any idea of a time line in either the Senate or the House on when this might be reintroduced and also, I chair a state wide ADA committee and we are all championing at the bid, what can we be doing now? Anything? Can we be talking to our local representatives?
What committee are you in? I mean what state?
I mean, in terms of the time line, that''s very much of a work in progress. The Health Committee as Sandy mentioned is looking at doing a hearing, they were looking at doing it in May and now they are looking at doing it possibly in June. A lot of this is contingent on us finding the right Republican co-sponsor which we are working hard on. Our census is that Jim Sensenbrenner and Senator Hoyer are interested in introducing a bill on the House side in this session of this Congress. Sandy, I don''t know if we have a read right now on when, although I wouldn''t be surprised if it happens around the ADA anniversary, that''s just a wild guess on my part, do you have thoughts about that, Sandy?
I think you are right. I don''t think we can be more specific than that.
And then in terms of what you could be doing, that''s what I try to emphasize at the beginning of the call, we need grass roots pressure. A bill doesn''t have to be introduced in order for folks to be talking to their United States Senators and to their members of the House about the problems that have been created by the Supreme Court and the lower federal court decisions, what it means to real people with a variety of conditions and how this is really the courts. It''s judicial activism with the courts rewriting federal legislation and ignoring very clear legislative history and ignoring the very clear guidance of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the Justice Department. I mean this whole issue could be framed in terms of trying to slap the courts for being judicial activists.
I would absolutely second that and one of surprises that we have is people in Congress say they are horrified when you say what''s happening and then they say but I don''t hear about that and so in part that is our own fall. We don''t want to frankly tell people you are not covered by the ADA because people give up and we don''t want to leave opening for employers to discriminate more than they might already do. So we very much try to get covered in whatever way you can. The fact is, if people aren''t being covered, if they are having employment problems, if they need a strong ADA in employment, Congress people need to know.
All right. Thank you.
And since you are from New York, you know, I would encourage you also to talk to the presidential candidates from your state, of which there seem to be some significant ones.
And get them to make some commitments in the contexts of the campaign.
Okay, so there are no further questions.
Robin, I just had one other thing I wanted to add. Is now a good time?
Sure, please do.
I just wanted to go back to the U.N. Convention, because I don''t know how many people on the call have actually looked at the text of the Convention. We have a link to it from the AAPD website if you are trying to find it. It is pretty easy to find on the internet, but I think it is an extraordinarily well written global document that establishes what human rights and civil rights means for people with disabilities. And I think there are a lot of things we can do in the U.S. in terms of organizing around that document. A lot of folks in California have gotten their city councils and other local government to pass resolution encouraging the President to sign the Convention and Congress to ratify it or the Senate to ratify it and I just encourage folks to see this as a teachable moment. We got a global document that our country has not signed for in my view no real good reason. And I just encourage folks that are disability advocates on the call to look at this Convention and use it locally and use it as an organizing tool. We got a petition in our website where we are encouraging the President to sign the Convention, and it has been signed by over a thousand people. And I encourage folks on this call to go to our website and sign the petition. But I just think that this U.N. Convention kind of happened in New York but the work was done by disability advocates from other countries and I just don''t feel like we are owning it as much as we could in the U.S. And it is just a great document, so people that haven''t read it I encourage you to read it.
Right, I think that is an important that people do understand that there are so many different aspects of things happening out there, that they are all part of pieces almost of a puzzle if you think of them that way. And that it is not just focusing on one thing just like the ADA is only one piece of legislation and such, there are many different aspects that we all in working and looking at these issues should be aware of and work with. Any other comments, Sandy or Andy? Or otherwise, we will wrap up. I just want to remind people that this program was audio taped and a transcript also being created that will be posted on the website by the end of the month. That is www.ada-audio.org. So you can review the information and we will clarify the email addresses and websites and such that were provided during this session as well. I want to invite people to consider the participation in the June session which will be featuring the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission talking about issues of performance versus conduct and some of those issues that are often raised when looking at people with disabilities and around employment issues and whether or not it is a disability issue or other factors in the issue that do come into play. Also, our July session which is our annual session featuring representations from the Department of Justice as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission giving us an update on their enforcement issues as well as their technical assistance and any regulatory activities that they are undergoing. So I invite you to join us and look for those sessions as well. Thank you everyone for your time and efforts today. Thank you Andy and Sandy for sharing your thoughts and providing us some additional information on this particular topic. On behalf of the network of ADA centers, the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers nationally, I want to thank everybody and hope that you will continue to participate in the program. Have a good day wherever you might be and so long.
Thank you very much.
Thank you Robin.