National Federation of the Blind Issues Public Comments on NPRM Proposing ADA Title II Regulations
Organization Expresses Serious Concern Over “Unnecessary and Inappropriate” Exceptions to Compliance
Baltimore, Maryland (September 26, 2023): The National Federation of the Blind, the transformative membership and advocacy organization of blind Americans, has published its official comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (RIN 1190-AA79) that was issued last month by the United States Department of Justice under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Federation’s comments state that specific provisions of the proposed rule granting broad exceptions to the general requirement to comply “give us serious cause for concern” and urge that the exceptions be eliminated.
Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “While we appreciate the long-overdue proposal of Title II regulations and agree with the broader aspects of the proposed rule, we are deeply concerned by the seven proposed exceptions to compliance. The ADA, which is compromise legislation passed with bipartisan support, already allows state and local governments to assert robust defenses to allegations of noncompliance. We feel strongly that the additional exceptions in the proposed rule are unnecessary and inappropriate. These exceptions undermine both the proposed regulations and the ADA itself. We strongly urge the Department of Justice to completely eliminate each of these seven exceptions. Our nation’s leading federal law enforcement agency should focus on strengthening the ADA’s mandate for inclusion and equal access, not on watering it down with novel and unwarranted provisions that are inconsistent with the law’s language and intent.”