Businesses Face Push to Expand Disabled Access
Advocates Worry Bid to Clarify Rules May Spur Backlash
By ELIZABETH WILLIAMSON and KRIS MAHER
The U.S. is moving on two fronts this week to expand businesses' obligations to accommodate disabled people, in a legislative and regulatory push that risks a backlash from millions of businesses worried about costs.
On Wednesday, two House committees will finish crafting a bill that broadens the population entitled to employment rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, reversing Supreme Court decisions narrowing it. The bill could come to a vote before the July 4 recess, if lawmakers reach agreement. Also this week, the Bush administration will begin seeking public comment on 1,000 pages of proposed rules -- covering issues from hotel-room doors to theater seating -- clarifying existing regulations on physical access for disabled people....