The American Institute of Architects Maine Chapter strongly opposes the "ADA Education and Reform Act

Dear Senators Collins and King,

The American Institute of Architects Maine Chapter strongly opposes the "ADA Education and Reform Act," which amends the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) by increasing the burden for people with disabilities to protect their civil rights, and to participate equally in all aspects of their communities.

If this bill is passes it would not be fair to businesses in Maine that we have worked with that have made the investment to improve their facilities and operations to be inclusive over the last 28 years. AIA Maine has worked with professionals in Maine’s building industry and the ADA National Network to provide resources and education regarding the accessibility requirements and design opportunities under the ADA Design Standards. No other protected class of citizen must learn technical design requirements before they can ask to get access to a business’s services. We design for the public who will use the spaces, and no other aspect of society would allow this type of segregation to be acceptable.

As licensed architects and design professionals, we are responsible for how design impacts society to ensure the health and safety for all members of the public and to create environments for users of all ages, and abilities. Passing this Act would increase the millions of people with disabilities from being consumers and employees in these places of business that have had 28 years to comply with the law and should already be accessible.

AIA Maine members have incorporated the ADA for 28 years to ensure all buildings and spaces new and old do their best to address the needs of all Mainers and create good design. AIA Maine will continue to support the values of creating sustainable inclusive communities in Maine. We oppose any action that would dissuade Maine businesses to improve spaces to welcome all people, and we urge the Senate to maintain the civil rights that the ADA has provided for 28 years.  


The AIA Maine Board of Directors

Jeannette Schram