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Report: Law to help people with disabilities is not being enforced
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed by Congress nearly 10 years ago, is not being fully enforced, and as a result, people with disabilities are having a harder time trying to live a "normal" life, a new report says.
"Federal agencies in varying degrees have been overly cautious, reactive and lack a coherent and unifying national strategy in enforcement and policy development under the ADA," said Marca Bristo of the National Council on Disability, which issued the report.
Funding increase recommended
Congress needs to increase the funding so that the administration can enforce the ADA, according to the Council, an independent federal agency.
"The potential impact of the ADA has been weakened by a case-by-case approach that responds to individual complaint rather than a proactive compliance monitoring-based approach," Bristo told reporters at a news conference.
The report, "Promises to Keep: A Decade of Federal Enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act," urges the president, Congress and the public to do more as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to consider the constitutionality of the ADA.
'We are breaking a promise'
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, one of the ADA's sponsors, reacted to the report by saying, "We are breaking a promise, and that is unfair to the people who fought so long and so hard for this legislation."
The council has 15 members, who are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
The agency's stated purpose is to promote policies, practices, and procedures that guarantee equal opportunity for all individuals with disabilities and to empower those individuals to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society.
CNN Producer Dave Adhicary contributed to this report.
WebMD Chat Transcript: Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act with Jennifer Mathis
National Council on Disability
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