The American’s with Disabilities Act
To meet the goals of the ADA, the law established requirements for businesses of all sizes.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in everyday activities, such as buying an item at the store, going to the movies, enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, exercising at the health club, or having the car serviced at a local garage.
These requirements were signed into law on January 26, 1990, and would take effect in 1992. Given a two year grace period to meet the requirements of the law businesses that served the public were now required to modify policies and practices that discriminate against people with disabilities; comply with accessible design standards when constructing or altering facilities; remove barriers in existing facilities where readily achievable; and provide auxiliary aids and services when needed – to ensure effective communication with people who have hearing, vision, or speech impairments.
To determine all of the requirements that a covered entity must satisfy, it is necessary to refer to the regulations, guidelines, and/or technical assistance materials that have been developed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (the Access Board).
Title I – of the ADA prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment.
Title II – of the ADA prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in State and local government services, programs, and activities.
Title III – of the ADA prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in places of public accommodation and commercial facilities.
Title IV – of the ADA mandates that telephone companies offer TTY/telephone relay services to enable individuals who use TTY’s.
Title V – contains miscellaneous provisions applying to all titles of the ADA.