Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the civil rights legislation for individuals with disabilities “clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities”. It was signed into law on July 26, 1990 and was fully enforceable by 1994.
Barriers to employment, transportation, public accommodations, public services, and telecommunications have imposed staggering economic and social costs on American society and have undermined our well-intentioned efforts to educate, rehabilitate, and employ individuals with disabilities. By breaking down these barriers, the ADA will enable society to benefit from the skills and talents of individuals with disabilities, will allow us all to gain from their increased purchasing power and ability to use it, and will lead to fuller, more productive lives for all Americans.
The Americans with Disabilities Act gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications.
In essence, if you are not compliant with any part of this Act, you are breaking federal law. However, many people don’t understand the law and are not certain where to turn to get free advice. While you can always go to the national website (www.ada.gov), we wanted to provide you with quick access. The handouts provide you with information specific to employment (Title I), local and state governance (Title II), accessibility in the public sector (Title III), and telecommunications for individuals with sensory disabilities (Title IV). Title V addresses other aspects in general.