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  • A History of Discrimination and the ADA
    Find out why civil rights laws are important for protecting people with disabilities from discrimination, and get an overview of key US civil right laws that protect people with disabilities—including...
  • Who Is Protected by the ADA?
    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the civil rights of people with disabilities, but who is disabled under the ADA?
  • How to File a Complaint
    If you feel that the ADA, or a related law, is not being followed, you can file a complaint. This article helps you figure out where to report the problem.
  • ADA Overview
    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an important civil rights law. It protects the rights of Americans who have a disability. Many rules concerning disabilities are based on the ADA. The goal...
  • The ADA and Parking
    Accessible parking is a common feature in parking lots—and a common topic in questions posed on the Northeast ADA Center hotline.

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Because of the ADA
Infographic titled 'Because of the ADA.'

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law on July 26, 1990. The ADA is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including access to jobs, schools, transportation, and public and private places that are open to the general public. The law is divided into five titles (or areas) where the various protections for people with disabilities are spelled out. The goal of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

Here are just a few of the positive effects that can be observed today, all because of the ADA.

Are you going out into the community? You can park in an accessible parking space. You can take an accessible bus. You can easily enter stores because of a curb ramp and doors that are accessible. You can navigate through stores along a clear path of travel. Signage at areas like bathrooms is clear and concise with raised characters and Braille. Drinking fountains are accessible. The checkout counter and service counters you encounter are lower and more accessible. You can bring your service animal with you.

Are you going to the movies? theaters offer assisted listening devices to help you hear better.

Are you making a phone call? You can use a relay service to assist you with communication.

Are you going to a concert or sporting event? You have access to wheelchair accessible seats alongside your friends and family.

Are you going to work? You can request a change in how things are typically done from your employer, called a reasonable accommodation, to assist you with work tasks.

Are you going to vote or to a town meeting? Your polling place and municipal programs, offices and meetings must be accessible to you.

Are you going to the Doctor? You can request an interpreter to communicate more efficiently. You can request medical information in a manner that works for you.

Nearly 37 million people in our country have a disability and nearly 25% of today's 20 year olds will experience disability in their lifetime. (ADA National Network, ADA Anniversary Toolkit)

'This Act is powerful in its simplicity. it will ensure that people with disabilities are given the basic guarantees for which they have worked so long and hard. Independence, freedom of choice, control of their own lives, the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American mainstream.' -President George H.W. Bush, ADA Signing Ceremony, July 26, 1990 Share on Facebook

Ask About The ADA

  • Are there State laws that protect people with disabilities?
    Yes. Where the ADA sets the floor for disability rights and protections, states can go further to protect individual rights. Laws such as the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and the New Jerse...
  • What is the ADA?
    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including j...
  • Can I call the ADA?
    The ADA is not an agency, organization or a service provider. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including j...
  • Is my ADA Complaint with the Department of Justice anonymous?
    The Department of Justice (DOJ) does require a complainant to file personal information when filing a complaint. If the DOJ does look to seek action, many times in the form of mediation, it would cont...
  • Does the ADA provide reasonable accommodation forms?
    No. Accommodation requests are submitted to your employer and when required, employers may ask you to fill out “ADA” paperwork to process your request. Individual companies and not the Ame...