with Disabilities Act: Know Your Rights
with accessibility? Wonder if your rights have been violated?
in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive
anti-discrimination law for persons with disabilities that extends
to virtually all sectors of society and most aspects of daily living,
work, leisure, travel, communications and more.
gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities
similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, sex,
national origin and religion.
guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in
employment, public accommodations (such as restaurants, hotels,
theaters, doctors' offices, pharmacies, retail stores, museums,
libraries, parks, private schools and day care centers), transportation,
state and local government services and telecommunications.
ADA, employers must ensure their employment practices do not discriminate
against qualified persons with disabilities in hiring, advancement,
training, pay, discharge and any other terms of employment.
can not refuse to hire a qualified person with a disability if that
person, with or without reasonable accommodations, can perform the
essential functions of the job.
ADA also requires that phone companies increase the availability
of interstate and intrastate telecommunications relay services to
individuals with hearing and speech impairments.
"public accommodations" are expected to remove barriers when it
is "readily achievable" to do so, according to the ADA. Barriers
that are considered readily achievable to remove are those that
can be changed easily and carried out with little or no expense.
Removing barriers can often be done through simple changes to the
include: creating designated accessible parking spaces; making curb
cuts in sidewalks; installing ramps; repositioning shelves; rearranging
tables, chairs and vending machines; repositioning telephones; adding
raised markings on elevator control buttons; widening doors; installing
flashing alarm lights; installing grab bars in toilet stalls; rearranging
toilet partitions to increase maneuvering space; insulating lavatory
pipes under sinks to prevent burns; installing a raised toilet seat;
installing a full-length bathroom mirror; and removing high-pile
you feel your rights under the ADA have been violated, you can file
a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Call
800-669-4000 (voice) or 800-669-6820 (TDD) to reach the field office
in your area.
about accessibility should be filed with the Department of Justice:
Disability Rights Section Civil Rights Division U.S. Department
of Justice Post Office Box 66738 Washington, DC 20035-6738
An independent Federal agency that develops and maintains accessibility
requirements for buildings, transit vehicles, telecommunications
equipment, and electronic and information technology. They also
provide technical assistance and training to individuals and organizations
on these guidelines and enforce accessibility standards for federally
F Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20004-1111
Disability & Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC)
One of ten regional centers on the Americans with Disabilities Act,
funded by the National Institute on Disability, Rehabilitation,
and Research. Southeast DBTAC can respond to questions from individuals
or organizations about the ADA and has publications and videos as
1776 Peachtree Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30309-2351
Do you now what you need to know?