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What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


The Americans with Disabilities Act is the first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities. President George Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 into law on July 26, 1990 with an effective date of January 1992.

The ADA protects the rights of over 54 million Americans with disabilities.  It opens doors to participation in employment, state and local government programs, public accommodations, telecommunications, and transportation by prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities and their friends and family members.


Why the ADA is Important

Because disability is not dependent on race, creed, gender, religion, or age, anyone can potentially be covered by the ADA.

Most importantly, the ADA is a federal laws enforceable by several federal agencies.

Who the Law Effects

Individuals with disabilities and their families. 
All employers with 15 or more employees.
Any business owner that provides goods and services to the public.
State and local government agencies, including public schools.
Transportation providers.
Anyone building, designing, or remodeling construction projects.

The ADA is Not:

Affirmative action: The ADA provides for equal access and opportunity for individuals with disabilities, not special treatment or benefits.

An entitlement program:  the ADA does not provide money or benefits.  The ADA is not worker's compensation or Social Security benefits.

Coverage of private residential housing:  In general, the ADA does not cover private residential housing like condos, townhouses, mobile home units, and apartment units.  The Fair Housing Act covers accessibility to private residential housing.