Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The measure would prevent people from filing lawsuits alleging violations of the ADA unless business owners are given written notice and fail to offer a written description describing improvements or make substantial progress in removing the barrier by the end of a six-month period. It would also require the Justice Department to establish a program for educating governments and property owners on how to enhance accommodations for people with disabilities.

….disability rights advocates and groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union warned that the changes would shift the burden to people with disabilities who aren’t able to access public spaces instead of the businesses in violation of the ADA. They also expressed skepticism that businesses need more time to comply with a law that was enacted in 1990.

Do you really need to ask? Of course all four Republican members of the House voted against disabled people in favor of making things easier for business.

The ACLU commented:

No one should have to file a request to participate in public life. No person should have to engage a bureaucracy to sign off on their humanity. 

The bill faces a harder path in the Senate.