UJC, JCPA laud disabilities bill

Two Jewish organizations applauded congressional passage of legislation that will protect people with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace.

Both the United Jewish Communities and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs hailed the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage this week by voice vote of the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 on Wednesday. identical legislation was approved by voice vote in the Senate last week.

The bill redefines the term “disability” to cover all those individuals with disabilities who were intended to be covered by the original 1990 ADA law, but were no longer included after recent Supreme Court decisions narrowed the definition of a disability. The law now states that a disability includes any condition that limits a major life activity regardless of whether it is treatable with medication or technology.

“Jewish teachings and tradition command us to speak out on behalf of those without a voice, protect those who need protecting, and fight for causes larger than ourselves,” said William Daroff, vice president for public policy and director of the Washington office of UJC. “We are pleased that Congress has stepped in to ensure that all Americans are given equal opportunity in the workplace.

The UJC is the umbrella body for federations; the JCPA is the public policy arm of local and national Jewish groups.

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