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Businesses, Disability Rights Groups Reach Compromise In Bill

Nearly a year ago, businesses across the Valley started getting hit with lawsuits over parking violations stemming from the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Businesses wanted to stop that from happening again and disability rights groups wanted to protect their civil rights, so a compromise was cobbled together in the Arizona Legislature.

Senate Bill 1406 is the striker bill proposed by Rep. Don Shooter. It’s also a compromise between the business community and disability communities.

Larry Wanger is with the Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council. He says the measure allows a person with a disability to file a complaint if there’s a major violation, but, "if it’s a minor violation, such as the sign is a few inches to low or too high, then obviously the language gives the business entity 30 days to correct the issue upon notification."

Wanger says while he and others were initially happy with the compromise, additional language was offered at the hearing earlier this week.

"Which essentially says websites are excluded from any requirement to be accessible under state law," he said.

And that could affect people who are blind or visually impaired.

The striker, plus the amendment, unanimously passed appropriations committee.  Wanger says he expects the measure to go to the House next week.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.