Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C Poughkeepsie) today announced passage of his bill (S.5670B) to protect against discrimination on the basis of disability in the area of public accommodations.
"While the federal Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, New York State has lead the nation for many years in ensuring that accommodations are made for people with disabilities so they can enjoy many of the same programs, services and activities which able-bodied people take for granted," said Senator Saland. "This bill clarifies New York law to make it clear that reasonable accommodations must be made for people with disabilities."
Title III of the ADA requires operators of places of public accommodation to refrain not only from discriminatory actions, but also to undertake reasonable modifications in policies, procedures or practices, and remove some barriers which prevent people with disabilities from using public accommodations on an equitable basis, provided that removing the barriers is readily achievable. Given the minimal resources which the federal government provided in the past to ADA enforcement, the availability of state enforcement mechanisms through the Human Rights Law is essential to assure adequate protections against discrimination on the basis of disability in the area of public accommodations.
"This bill adds consistency for places of public accommodation that are attempting to assist people with disabilities by putting the federal requirements in State law," Saland concluded.
The bill has passed both houses of the Legislature and will be sent to the Governor for his signature.