Ask About the ADA

Does the ADA apply to all apartments and condominiums?

The ADA does not always apply to apartments and condominiums. In terms of housing, Title II entities (state and local government) have an obligation under the ADA to provide access and services in an accessible manner. Some examples of housing covered under the ADA include areas like correctional facilities, housing authorities, dorms, group homes and long term shelters. If there are areas open to the public in a privately built development, like a leasing office, then the ADA would apply to the leasing office because that is considered a place of public accommodation under Title III of the ADA, but the ADA would not apply to the dwelling units themselves.

However, another law called the Fair Housing Act (FHA), applies to all housing providers—private and public. The FHA prohibits housing providers from discriminating against applicants or residents because of disability. The FHA requires certain design features in newly constructed multi-family developments and it makes it unlawful to refuse “to make reasonable accommodations/modifications in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodation may be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.”

Does the ADA apply to schools as well?

Yes, the ADA applies to schools. Title II of the ADA requires schools to make educational instruction, extracurricular activities, and facilities, accessible for all students. In addition to the ADA, other laws such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Individual With Disabilities Act (IDEA) offer additional protections.

Accommodations by Municipalities under Title II

Q: I want to attend the monthly meetings of my town board.  As a wheelchair user I am unable to as the meetings are held on a second floor with no elevator.  Do they have to make some accommodation for me?

A: Yes, under Title II of the ADA a government entity must ensure that programs, services, and activities of the town are accessible to people with disabilities. For the monthly meeting of the town board, this could be achieved by relocating the meeting to an accessible location or by providing an interactive video feed that would allow real-time interaction.

What is “undue hardship” mean relative to reasonable accommodations?

“Undue Hardship” under the ADA is when a public entity would incur significant expenses or have significant difficulty in providing the accommodation. Undue hardship should be looked at on an individual basis and should take into account the full resources of the entity when deciding if the effort and expense is beyond what the entity is capable of.


Does the ADA Title I cover short-term disabilities?

When a person has a condition that is considered minor and temporary, such as when they have the flu, the ADA does not count this as a disability. Short-term illness and other impairments may qualify if they are severe. An example might be a person who has undergone a hip replacement. They may still be able to meet their job functions but need an accommodation of light lifting for up to 6 to 8 weeks. The employer would need to consider accommodation requests where it is not an undue burden and would allow the individual to keep working.


What does Title III cover under the ADA?

Title III is the section of the ADA that applies to private public entities. Entities can include but are not limited to, shopping malls, restaurants, retail stores, libraries, parks, doctors’ offices etc. Under Title III, these entities must provide equal access to goods and services they provide.


What is Title I of the ADA?

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a section of the act that prohibits discrimination in employment. Title I requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations to qualified candidates and employees with disabilities.

Under Title I, an employer with 15 or more employees is considered a covered entity that must comply with the title’s regulations. It is important to note that individual states, such as New York and New Jersey, have state laws that mirror Title I but require only one employee to be covered under state employment protections.

[ Read: What Is the Americans with Disabilities Act? ]

Am I covered under the ADA if I am elderly?

Q: As an older person, am I covered under the ADA if I am elderly?

A: Being elderly in itself does not warrant protections under the ADA. However, as a person ages, they can experience changes in how they walk, see, and hear. They can also develop chronic conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis. All of these can create challenges when working, accessing goods and services, or simply walking. The ADA is meant to protect and ensure equal access for people whether they are born with a disability or have acquired one because of an accident or aging. 

For more information, read Know Your Rights! The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) & Older People.


Page 7 of 12


Would you like more information about the services we provide? Ask our technical assistance specialists.

Contact Us