FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: July 26, 2019
CONTACT: Lisa Subeck, 608-266-7521(office)
On 29th Anniversary of ADA Signing, Democratic Legislators Highlight Bill to Provide Accommodations at Public Meetings
MADISON – Today marks the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law on July 26th, 1990. Earlier this month, Representatives Lisa Subeck (D-Madison), JoCasta Zamarripa, (D-Milwaukee), and Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee), and Senator LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) introduced a bill that would ensure translation and interpretation services needed by members of the public are provided at committee meetings of the legislature.
The bill would establish a process for individuals with special needs, including non-English speakers and those in need of sign language interpreters, to access the services they need to participate in the legislative process. It would require that every public notice and published agenda for legislative committee meetings include language printed in English, Spanish, and Hmong, explaining how to request an interpreter, translator, materials in alternative formats, or other accommodations to observe or participate in the meeting. The notice would be required to include contact information for the office responsible for fulfilling the request.
“The Americans with Disabilities Act is an important milestone, yet nearly three decades later, individuals with disabilities still face significant barriers to fully participating in state government,” said Rep. Subeck. Our proposal creates a process to ensure individuals with disabilities and those for whom English is not their native language can easily request and access the accommodations they need to attend and participate in public meetings of state legislative bodies.”
The bill was introduced with 23 Democratic co-sponsors. No Republicans co-sponsored the bill.