This bill would require the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) to establish a program to educate state and local governments on strategies for promoting access to public accommodations for persons with disabilities. It would also specify the circumstances under which civil lawsuits can be filed related to architectural barriers that violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and require the development of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms that can be used to resolve such claims.
Civil actions based on the failure to remove an architectural barrier to access into an existing public accommodation would be prohibited unless:
The aggrieved person has provided the owners or operators with a written notice specific enough to identify the barrier. The notice must specify: 1) the property address; 2) the specific ADA sections violated; 3) whether a request for assistance in removing the barrier was made; and 4) whether the barrier was permanent or temporary.
The owners or operators fail to provide the person with a written description outlining improvements that will be made to improve the barrier or they fail to remove the barrier or make substantial progress after providing the description.
The Judicial Conference of the U.S. would be required to develop a model program to promote alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve such claims. The model program would be directed to include an expedited method for determining relevant facts related to such barriers and steps to resolve accessibility issues before litigation.