SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

August 01, 2008 10:47 ET

American Diabetes Association Applauds U.S. Senate for Introducing Bill to Protect the Rights of Americans With Disabilities

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - August 1, 2008) - The American Diabetes Association applauds members of the U.S. Senate for introducing the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, which is aimed at strengthening protection from discrimination for people with disabilities and preserving the rights of Americans with diabetes and other serious illnesses. The Senate version of the Act (S.3406) was introduced with the bipartisan support of 56 original co-sponsors.

Following a recent "roundtable" hearing held by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension to discuss amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) collaborated on this legislation. The proposed Amendments Act would end the current Catch-22 established by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Sutton v. United Airlines (1999) in which people who work hard to manage conditions like diabetes are then told that they have been so successful that they don't qualify for protection under the Act, even when they are explicitly discriminated against because of their disease.

"We applaud Senator Harkin and Senator Hatch for leading this effort in the Senate and the dozens of others who have joined in this effort to protect the rights of Americans with disabilities like chronic illnesses such as diabetes," said Dan Kohrman, Chair of the American Diabetes Association's Legal Advocacy Subcommittee. "We are proud to stand with them in support of this important legislation."

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a similar bill, also entitled the ADA Amendments Act (H.R. 3195) with overwhelming bipartisan support in a vote of 402-17. The American Diabetes Association will encourage the same level of support for the Senate version.

The ADA is the nation's leading voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy. The Association's advocacy efforts include helping to combat discrimination against people with diabetes; advocating for the increase of federal diabetes research and programs; and improved access to, and quality of, healthcare for people with diabetes. The ADA's mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Founded in 1940, the Association provides service to hundreds of communities across the country. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

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