The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990. The lawful structure of the ADA is based upon the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.
To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability or have a relationship or association with an individual with a disability. An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered.
ADA consists of five separate parts or titles: Title I relates to employment; Title II concerns public services; Title III pertains to public accommodations and commercial facilities; Title IV refers to telecommunications; and Title V covers miscellaneous other items.
ADA Title II: State and Local Government Activities
Title II covers all activities of State and local governments regardless of the government entity's size or receipt of Federal funding. Title II requires that State and local governments give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all of their programs, services, and activities (e.g. public education, employment, transportation, recreation, health care, social services, courts, voting, and town meetings).
State and local governments are required to follow specific architectural standards in the new construction and alteration of their buildings. They also must relocate programs or otherwise provide access in inaccessible older buildings, and communicate effectively with people who have hearing, vision, or speech disabilities. Public entities are not required to take actions that would result in undue financial and administrative burdens. They are required to make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid discrimination, unless they can demonstrate that doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.
For additional information regarding ADA Regulations, ADA Information, ADA Standards for Accessible Design, Technical Assistance Manuals or Technical Assistance Publications, please contact the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section at 1-800-514-0301 (Voice) or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY).
For the ADA Home Page & Updates visit www.ada.gov
Other ADA Information
- Grievance Procedure under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Town of Smyrna ADA Complaint Form