Since there are a number of Democrats in Congress who are still not grokking that voting for H.R. 620, the ADA Notification Act, is a vote against civil rights and disabled Americans, I’m going to show this absurd bill in action against real Americans.
By showing it in action against those really-real Americans, The Simpsons.
“WHAT??? Democrat Representative Jackie Speier co-sponsored H.R. 620, the ADA Notification Act, that undermines vital civil rights protections for millions of disabled Americans?! HOW DID WAL-MART GET TO YOU, JACKIE???”?
A FAMILIAR MUSICAL CUE AND THEN:
Imagine good old Abe Simpson heading out for some good old-fashioned fun (beer) one evening at a local watering-hole.
Of course, drinking beer leads to one thing: Peeing.
So Abe goes to the restroom and heads for the accessible stall and, no, it’s not because he’s handicapped, he just likes how spacious those stalls are. He’s been watching a lot of Downtown Abbey and those people are always in rooms where you can really stretch out.
Abe, however, actually does need his toilet to be of the minimum height required in an accessible stall or he can’t stand up, even with a railing.
Unfortunately, this toilet seat is only about 14″ high, well below the minimum. In the ADA stall.
Alone. Despondent. Thirsty.
Until he happens to hear a familiar belch outside his stall.
Homer, another fan of good old-fashioned fun, manages to get inside the stall after 45 minutes of struggle, one beer break, and much muttering.
A merciful curtain is drawn on the hoisting of Abe to his feet by Homer.
Abe is not eager to bring his toilet-stuckness to the establishment’s attention but Homer says there’s a principle at stake: There’s no getting a comped beer omelette without breaking down a few barriers.
But the bartender just listens impassively to Homer and says, “Looks like you got out,” and Abe says he wants to go home before any more restroom-related needs present themselves.
And that would be that, in most cases, unless someone close to them happens to have some knowledge of disability rights law. Or that it exists.
Asking why Grandpa is now carrying around an empty pickle jar, all Lisa learns from Marge is, “Just be grateful it’s empty.”
Abe finally explains to Lisa — at length — what led him to his new best pal, his “I Gotta Go Cup.”
She remarks how sad it was that Grandpa didn’t use to be able to count on having a public bathroom he could use, before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed all those years ago.
Abe and Homer laugh at the very notion of history and Lisa is aghast that this was not one of Grandpa Simpson’s in-my-day stories but a civil rights violation that JUST HAPPENED.
In her outrage she finds on the DREDF website that the ADA was passed 27 years ago but businesses that have figured out how to adapt to every change since 1991 are still complaining they can’t figure out how to obey the civil rights law that protects millions of Americans. Or that is supposed to.
It gets worse. Lisa discovers that the proposed bill HR 620 would require someone like Grandpa or Homer to notify the corporation, in writing, exactly what part of the ADA they had violated.
AND give them up to 6 months to make “substantial progress” in removing the barrier described. Not fix it, necessarily. Just make “progress.”
The worst: There were Democrats who thought HR 620 was fair public policy.
“NOT YOU, JACKIE SPEIER!” Lisa cried, tears in her eyes. “How could you cosponsor a bill that says Wal-Mart is less powerful than women with disabilities?”
HR 620’s PR offensive has been all about how the bill will protect every political body’s BFF, small businesses. After all, how could Moe Szyslak absorb the costs of a whole new toilet? Without any notice! What’s so wrong with a pickle jar, for gods sake?
Because of course Abe’s big night out was here, right?
And it’s not as if HR 620 says somebody like Abe Simpson is on a level playing-field with a well-staffed cartoon villain billionaire, right?
Nope and, oh yes, it so does but it’s even worse than you think because THIS was the night-spot where the disability access just wasn’t a priority and…
…that means the well-staffed cartoon villain ALLEGED billionaire part is way too real. And he’s going to benefit BIGLY from passage of HR 620. D’OH!
D’OH! VOTE NO ON HR 620!