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.  Learn more about employment rights under the ADA.

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. Learn more about obligations of state and local governments.

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. Learn more about public accommodation rights

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