House Votes to Improve Legal Protections for People with Disabilities

Rep. David Ortiz’s bill to strengthen state discrimination laws for people with disabilities passed the House on third reading 

DENVER, CO– The House today passed Rep. David Ortiz’s bill to improve Colorado’s discrimination laws for people with disabilities and ensure our government agencies and departments provide as much protection as that provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The bill passed by a vote of 55-8.

“I came to the legislature to be a voice and an advocate for the communities I belong to and represent,” said Rep. David Ortiz, D-Littleton. “I know first hand how badly Colorado needs to update and strengthen its protections for people with disabilities, and I’m proud we took this crucial step forward today. I’m fighting to ensure my brothers and sisters with disabilities have access to all areas of public life in Colorado, and starting with programs and services provided by their own government just makes sense.”

HB21-1110 would strengthen current Colorado laws related to protections against discrimination on the basis of disability for persons with disabilities, including a provision to ensure all rules promulgated by Colorado departments are at least as strong as the ADA, the federal anti-discrimination law. It requires state agencies to develop an accessibility plan that enables an individual with a disability to access operable and understandable digital content with the same privacy and ease of use as individuals without a disability, and to be in full compliance with accessibility standards established by the Office of Information Technology by July 1, 2024. Other protections in this bill would include prohibiting a person with a disability from being excluded from participating in or being denied the benefits of services, programs, or activities of any state or local government entity, including special districts.