Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Disabled person on wheelchair
Disabled person on wheelchair

This article will provide you with basic information about the ADA:

The Americans with Disabilities Act, otherwise referred to as the ADA, was signed into law on July 26, 1990.

The ADA is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with all types of disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.

The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of the following:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Age
  • Religion

Five Titles of the Act

There are 5 titles related to the different areas of public life under the ADA:

Title I: Employment

This covers all aspects of the employment process including the recruitment, hiring, performance and employee benefit aspects of a job.

Public employers are covered if they have 1 or more employees and private employers are covered if they have 15 or more employees.

Title II: Public Services

This covers the activities and services provided by units of local and state government including public transportation.

Title III: Public Accommodations

This applies to privately owned businesses and service providers who provide their goods and services to the public.

Title IV: Telecommunications

This requires that the companies providing telecommunication services such as AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc. provide telecommunication relay services for people who cannot use the traditional telecommunication system due to their disability including the following:

  • People who are deaf
  • People who are hard of hearing
  • Those who have difficulty speaking due to a disability

Individuals may access the national telecommunication relay system by dialing 711 using their assistive device and/or telephone.

Title V: Miscellaneous

This contains miscellaneous provisions that provide additional protections including protection from retaliation for exercising ones rights under the ADA and the ability to seek attorney fees if successful in pursuing a claim of discrimination under the ADA.

More information about the ADA can be found on the U.S. Department of Justice website at www.ada.gov.

About the author

David Cote

David Cote believes that all users should have a reasonably equivalent experience when accessing a piece of content and that the WCAG guidelines can make this possible. He writes articles which may help website developers and designers to make their projects more compliant with these standards.

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