McEachin, Langevin, Duckworth introduce legislation to strengthen ADA
Reps. A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Jim Langevin (RI-02), and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced the bicameral Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act to provide tax credits for small businesses to update their buildings and websites, helping them comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and increasing access for people with disabilities.
The DACE Act builds upon the existing Disabled Access Credit, which helps businesses pay for renovations to comply with ADA standards, by doubling the maximum credit and expanding eligibility by broadening the definition of small business.
The bill also invests in programs that mediate ADA-related disputes to avoid additional litigation and help individuals and businesses better understand the ADA.
“No one, including the 61 million Americans living with disabilities, should be denied access to a public space because of who they are,” McEachin said. “Our legislation allocates important federal resources to assist small businesses in providing reasonable accommodations while minimizing the risk for increased threats of litigation. I am proud to introduce the bicameral Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act to take meaningful steps to bolster the Americans with Disabilities Act, provide resources to help our nation’s small businesses become ADA-compliant, and honor our commitment to fairness and equality for all.”
“The ADA was a landmark piece of legislation, yet 31 years after it was signed into law, Americans with disabilities still face substantial barriers throughout the course of everyday life,” said Langevin, co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus. “The Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act will help small businesses comply with ADA regulations, so we can continue building a country that is fully accessible for all Americans.”
“I’m proud to work with my colleagues on this important legislation to strengthen the ADA and give Americans with disabilities increased opportunity to fully participate in our society,” Duckworth said. “This bill will help more small businesses across the country comply with a nearly 30-year-old law that protects the rights of people with disabilities, who have spending power yet are still all too frequently denied access to public spaces.”
The bicameral DACE Act aims to improve access for Americans with disabilities while also helping small businesses by:
- Expanding the Disabled Access Credit: Increasing eligible expenses businesses can write off to $20,500, doubling the maximum credit from $5,000 to $10,125, expanding the definition of small businesses to companies with gross receipts of $2.5 million or less from $1 million or less, and indexing the credit to keep pace with inflation.
- Increasing the Funding for the ADA Mediation Program: Increasing funding for the Department of Justice’s ADA Mediation Program to train contracted mediators and increase personnel to help individuals with disabilities and businesses reach a resolution without increased litigation.
- Collecting ADA Information Line Data: Requiring DOJ to provide a report to Congress on the specific types of calls the ADA Information Line receives in order to improve the ways individuals with disabilities and businesses learn about their rights and how facilities can become ADA-compliant.