On the 27th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, Accessible Arizona and a few select members stormed the capital! We went with the intent to educate lawmakers and obtain sponsors for a bill that offers businesses and individuals access to compliance officers. Having an ADA compliance officer program would provide businesses with inspections after opening and upon request. This would help alleviate some of the responsibility on the disabled community for enforcing the ADA.
Recently Arizona enacted a law requiring individuals with disabilities to provide certified notice to businesses prior to filing a law suit. This law places the responsibility of knowing the ADA, a complex law, and enforcing it solely on the disabled community. Having trained compliance officers would ensure notice is provided correctly and effectively. Furthermore, not only can businesses request to get free inspections, they would receive a seal of approval once compliant. An upside of the seal of approval would be that individuals can identify if a business is accessible prior to entering.
Legislators were very receptive to our idea and it looks like we have a Republican sponsor for the bill. This process is slow, but we can assure you we will stick with it.
January 20th and 22nd we will be hosting a huge legislative event that allows people to communicate with their representatives directly. Be sure to RSVP for the events (both Saturday and Monday) on Facebook. The training on Saturday is mandatory in order to attend capital visits, however volunteers can show up either day.