Release Date: 
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Mary Willows
National Federation of the Blind of California
(510) 818-1641
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind of California Opposes S.B. 1186

Calls Legislation to Curtail Legal Rights of Persons
 with Disabilities “Discriminatory”

Sacramento, California (June 5, 2012): The National Federation of the Blind of California, the state’s leading organization advocating for the rights of blind persons, today expressed its strong opposition to S.B. 1186, which was unanimously passed by the California senate on May 29.  The bill would require people with disabilities who have been unable to access public accommodations to comply with additional notification requirements and waiting periods before they could file litigation seeking enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar California laws.

Mary Willows, president of the National Federation of the Blind of California, said: “The Americans with Disabilities Act has been on the books for nearly twenty-two years, and our California civil rights laws protecting the rights of blind Californians and others with disabilities are several decades old.  The only reason that we must continue to seek enforcement of these laws through litigation is because of rampant noncompliance.  That this bill would impose additional requirements on Californians with disabilities seeking to vindicate our civil rights adds insult to injury.  No other protected class of individuals will be subject to these requirements; only Californians with disabilities will have to jump through additional legal hoops to enforce our civil rights.  S.B. 1186 is therefore itself discriminatory.  We call upon the Assembly to reject this bill; and if it passes, we urge Governor Brown to veto it.”