Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation to Testify at Public Hearings on Proposed Revisions to ADA Regulations

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Foundation to Address the Need of Restroom Access for Digestive Disease Patients

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We applaud Bain's efforts in raising critical awareness of the need for restroom access for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patients

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) today announced that it will be testifying at a public hearing in Chicago on regulatory proposals for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on Thursday, November 18. The proposal, otherwise known as Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRMs), CCFA submitted addresses the possibility of revising ADA regulations to allow for greater access for people with disabilities including access to public restrooms.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, chronic and often debilitating digestive diseases, affect over 1.4 million Americans. Due to the unpredictable nature of these diseases, patients often have to run to a bathroom on a moment’s notice. The fear of not having easy access to a restroom wherever you are is at times crippling for patients and has made many Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patients prisoners of their own homes. Several states have laws that allow anyone with a medical emergency access to a private bathroom, but most do not have such laws. This ANPRM would allow patients throughout the United States access to employee restrooms in public establishments and in turn make life with these chronic illnesses more manageable for those who they affect.

Among those in attendance at Thursday’s hearing will be Ally Bain, a college student, Crohn’s disease patient, and member of CCFA’s National Youth Leadership Council. In 2005, Bain helped pass the Restroom Access Act, or Ally’s Law, in Illinois.

“We applaud Bain’s efforts in raising critical awareness of the need for restroom access for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patients,” says Amy Friedman, Director of Advocacy for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. “Now, just five years after she helped pass Ally’s Law, it is pending in more than 20 states across the country.”

Bain hopes to find just as much success in helping pass the ADA legislation on Thursday.

“When I’m on-the-go, I am constantly thinking about being able to find a bathroom if need-be,” says Bain. “Luckily, since the restroom Access Act was passed in Illinois’, patients like myself do not have to worry as much about this but millions of other patients across the country still do. I hope that my testimony on Thursday helps convince legislators that access to public restrooms is an important addition to the ADA.”

Further hearings on the ANPRMs will be held on December 16 in Washington, D.C. and January 10 in San Francisco.

About Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are painful, medically incurable illnesses that attack the digestive system. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever and weight loss. Many patients require hospitalization and surgery. These illnesses can cause severe complications, including colon cancer in patients with long-term disease. Some 1.4 million American adults and children suffer from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, with as many as 150,000 under the age of 18.

About the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The Foundation ranks third among leading health non-profits in the percentage of expense devoted to research toward a cure, with more than 81 cents of every dollar the Foundation spends goes to mission-critical programs. The Foundation consistently meets the standards of organizations that monitor charities, including the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance ( and the American Institute of Philanthropy ( For more information, contact the Foundation at 800-932-2423 or visit Join CCFA on Facebook at and follow CCFA on Twitter at

Ariella Levine, Marketing & Communications Manager
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation


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