SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

June 25, 2008 18:22 ET

American Diabetes Association Applauds U.S. House of Representatives for Protecting the Rights of Americans With Disabilities

House Passes the Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - June 25, 2008) - The American Diabetes Association (ADA) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives today, for showing bipartisan support for landmark legislation to protect the rights of Americans with disabilities -- the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act. This legislation, introduced by House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), is intended to restore the full promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and will require courts to determine whether a person has experienced discrimination "on the basis of disability," rather than the individual having to demonstrate that they fall within the scope of the law. The amendments to the Act harmonize with other civil rights laws.

"We applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for passing this important act and raising the level of protections available to Americans with Disabilities," said R. Stewart Perry, Chair of the board, ADA. "Moving forward, we look to the U.S. Senate to offer further support for this critical legislation and to keep the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act."

The American Diabetes Association has banded together with other disability rights organizations and partners in the business community to urge Congressional support for this important piece of legislation. If the bill is passed in the U.S. Senate as well, the Act will be restored to its original intent to ensure that Americans with disabilities, including chronic illnesses like diabetes, are protected from discrimination.

Today, 23.6 million children and adults in the United States -- or nearly 8 percent of the population -- have diabetes. Diabetes is among the leading causes of death by disease in the United States. Since 1987, the death rate due to diabetes has increased by 45 percent, while the death rates due to heart disease, stroke, and cancer have declined.

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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