SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 12--RECOGNIZING THE NEED TO IMPROVE PHYSICAL ACCESS TO MANY FEDERALLY FUNDED FACILITIES FOR ALL PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, PARTICULARLY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 55
(Senate - April 16, 2015)

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[Pages S2254-S2255]
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   SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 12--RECOGNIZING THE NEED TO IMPROVE 
 PHYSICAL ACCESS TO MANY FEDERALLY FUNDED FACILITIES FOR ALL PEOPLE OF 
        THE UNITED STATES, PARTICULARLY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

  Mr. BLUMENTHAL (for himself, Ms. Ayotte, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Menendez, 
Mr. Brown, and Mr. Schatz) submitted the following concurrent 
resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, 
Labor, and Pensions:

                            S. Con. Res. 12

       Whereas, in 2012, nearly 20 percent of the civilian 
     population in the United States reported having a disability;
       Whereas, in 2012, 16 percent of veterans, amounting to more 
     than 3,500,000 people, received service-related disability 
     benefits;
       Whereas, in 2011, the percentage of working-age people in 
     the United States who reported having a work limitation due 
     to a disability was 7 percent, which is a 20-year high;
       Whereas the Act entitled ``An Act to insure that certain 
     buildings financed with Federal funds are so designed and 
     constructed as to be accessible to the physically 
     handicapped'', approved August 12, 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4151 et 
     seq.) (referred to in this preamble as the ``Architectural 
     Barriers Act of 1968''), was enacted to ensure that certain 
     federally funded facilities are designed and constructed to 
     be accessible to people with disabilities and requires that 
     physically handicapped people have ready access to, and use 
     of, post offices and other Federal facilities;
       Whereas automatic doors, though not mandated by either the 
     Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 or the Americans with 
     Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.), provide a 
     greater degree of self-sufficiency and dignity for people 
     with disabilities and the elderly, who may have limited 
     strength to open a manually operated door;
       Whereas a report commissioned by the Architectural and 
     Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (referred to in this 
     preamble as the ``Access Board''), an independent Federal 
     agency created to ensure access to federally funded 
     facilities for people with disabilities, recommends that all 
     new buildings for use by the public should have at least one 
     automated door at an accessible

[[Page S2255]]

     entrance, except for small buildings where adding such doors 
     may be a financial hardship for the owners of the buildings;
       Whereas States and municipalities have begun to recognize 
     the importance of automatic doors in improving accessibility;
       Whereas the laws of the State of Connecticut require 
     automatic doors in certain shopping malls and retail 
     businesses, the laws of the State of Delaware require 
     automatic doors or calling devices for newly constructed 
     places of accommodation, and the laws of the District of 
     Columbia have a similar requirement;
       Whereas the Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings 
     Service, published by the General Services Administration, 
     requires automation of at least one exterior door for all 
     newly constructed or renovated facilities managed by the 
     General Services Administration, including post offices;
       Whereas from 2006 to 2011, 71 percent of the complaints 
     received by the Access Board regarding the Architectural 
     Barriers Act of 1968 concerned a post office or other 
     facility of the United States Postal Service;
       Whereas the United States Postal Service employs 
     approximately 522,000 people, making it the second-largest 
     civilian employer in the United States;
       Whereas approximately 3,200,000 people visit 1 of the 
     31,857 post offices in the United States each day; and
       Whereas the United States was founded on principles of 
     equality and freedom, and these principles require that all 
     people, including people with disabilities, are able to 
     engage as equal members of society: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives 
     concurring), That Congress--
       (1) recognizes the immense hardships that people with 
     disabilities in the United States must overcome every day;
       (2) reaffirms its support of the Act entitled ``An Act to 
     insure that certain buildings financed with Federal funds are 
     so designed and constructed as to be accessible to the 
     physically handicapped'', approved August 12, 1968 (42 U.S.C. 
     4151 et seq.), commonly known as the ``Architectural Barriers 
     Act of 1968'', and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 
     1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.), and encourages full 
     compliance with such Acts;
       (3) recommends that the United States Postal Service and 
     Federal agencies install power-assisted doors at post offices 
     and other federally funded facilities, respectively, to 
     ensure equal access for all people of the United States; and
       (4) pledges to continue to work to identify and remove the 
     barriers that prevent all people of the United States from 
     having equal access to the services provided by the Federal 
     Government.

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