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Individuals with Disabilities

Mother and children walking in park.  One child has low-vision and uses a cane for mobility.

Since 1992, the Great Plains ADA Center has provided thousands of individuals with disabilities and their family members information, training, technical assistance, and materials regarding their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Individuals with disabilities can find a number of resources and user-friendly materials on this website. If you need specific technical assistance, call us at 1-800-949-4232 or submit your question on-line. Our staff have expertise in all areas of the ADA and your questions will be kept strictly confidential.

About the ADA

The ADA is a significant federal civil rights law, designed to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The ADA covers employment, all programs and services of state and local governments, access to goods and services of all private businesses, and telecommunication services.  The ADA was signed into law on July 26, 1990 and went into full effect in 1992. The ADA Amendments Act was passed in 2008 to expand and clarify the definition of a disability under the ADA.

The ADA regulations that prevent discrimination are divided into four parts or "Titles".

Title I focuses on employment. Businesses, or employers, must provide reasonable accommodations to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of employment. Possible accommodations may include restructuring jobs, altering the layout of workstations, or modifying equipment. Employers may not discriminate in the application process, hiring, wages, benefits, and all other aspects of employment.

Title II focuses on public services. Public services, which include state and local government instrumentalities, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK), and other commuter authorities, cannot deny services to people with disabilities or deny participation in programs or activities that are available to people without disabilities. In addition, public transportation systems, such as public transit buses, must be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Title III focuses on public accommodations. All new construction and modifications must be accessible to individuals with disabilities. For existing facilities, barriers to services must be removed if readily achievable. Public accommodations include facilities such as restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, retail stores, etc., as well as privately owned transportation systems.

Title IV covers telecommunication services for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.