Elections

Campaign Watchdog: Claim that Paul pushes abolishing disabilities act 'false'

The statement: "Do you want someone who understands what disabled vets need, or do you want Rand Paul, who says he'd do away with the Americans with Disabilities Act?"

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Jack Conway at an Oct. 11, 2010, debate in Northern Kentucky

The ruling: False

The facts: Paul, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, has not said he would do away with the ADA, which creates rules for accommodating people with disabilities.

However, Paul has suggested the law goes too far, incorrectly describing what it requires for many businesses.

This is what Paul said in a May interview on National Public Radio: "I think if you have a two-story office and you hire someone who's handicapped, it might be reasonable to let him have an office on the first floor rather than the government saying you have to have a $100,000 elevator."

However, elevators "are not required in facilities that are less than three stories or have fewer than 3,000 square feet per story, unless the building is a shopping center or mall; the professional office of a health care provider; a public transit station; or an airport passenger terminal," according to the Web site of the U.S. Justice Department, which enforces the law.

The law requires only that public facilities — such as stores, banks, hotels and restaurants — "remove architectural barriers in existing facilities when it is 'readily achievable,' i.e., it can be done 'without much difficulty or expense,'" according to the Justice Department.

Yahoo! News reported soon after Paul's May statement that the Justice Department and legal experts could not cite any instance of a private employer being successfully sued to install an elevator.

Bill Estep, bestep@herald-leader.com

The Herald-Leader will fact-check statements made by candidates and their surrogates in the campaigns for Lexington mayor, the 6th Congressional District and U.S. Senate.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader

  Comments