Questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act

What is the ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law. It was passed in 1990, and most recently amended in 2008. The intent of the law is to let people with disabilities have the same opportunities that other people without disabilities have.

Does the ADA apply to me?
Most likely. If you run or buy from a business, deal with the government, park a car, attend public meetings, use a telephone, watch TV, ride a bus, hire employees or try to find a job, the ADA has had an impact on your life. For more information visit the ADA website.
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Why was it passed?
People with disabilities were being denied their civil rights by businesses, governments, schools, and many other organizations. Also, they couldn’t use televisions, telephones and computers the way other people can.

Who does it apply to?
The law is organized in five sections: Title I applies to employers. Title II applies to state and local government Title III applies to public entities, or any organization or business that serves the public. Title IV applies to Title V applies to telecommunications.

How is the ADA enforced?

If an employer is violating someone’s rights, the EEOC will investigate and either prosecute the employer or let the victim sue the employer. If a government or public entity is violating someone’s rights, the Department of Justice will investigate.
I own a business and want to get into compliance with the ADA.

Where can I learn more?
There are many sources of information on the Web. Start with ADA website and Disability.gov. The Job Accommodation Network is also very helpful. A regional resource is the ADA National Network You can also ask the ADA Advisory Committee for help.

I am considering hiring someone with a disability. Or an employee has become disabled. Are accommodations going to be expensive?
The average accommodation costs under $100. Please see the Job Accommodation Network for more information.

My church won’t get an assisted listening systems so that I can hear the sermons. Do I have any recourse?
No. The ADA does not apply to churches and private clubs. You can ask, though, and make the case that many people need this assistance.