What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that stops discrimination (unfair treatment) against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. This law has 5 titles (parts).
What are Rights?
Rights are conditions that cannot be changed or taken away, by anyone else, even by the government or the state. Every individual has rights, and it is the job of the government and legal system to protect and maintain these rights.
The 5 Titles of the ADA
Title I – Equal Employment Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities (Your Rights for Working)
People with disabilities have the right to the same employment opportunities and benefits available to people without disabilities. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations (adjustments to job responsibilities or environment) and help to qualified applicants or employees.
Title II – Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services (Your Rights for Getting Services)
People with disabilities have the right to all programs, activities and services of public agencies; that includes all state and local governments, their departments, and does not allow discrimination (unfair treatment) against qualified people with disabilities.
Title III – Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities (Your Rights in Public Spaces)
People with disabilities have the right to public accommodations including privately-owned, leased, or operated facilitates like hotels, restaurants, retail merchants, doctor’s offices, golf courses, private schools, day care centers, health clubs, sports stadiums, movie theaters etc., and prohibits discrimination (unfair treatment).
Title IV – Telecommunications (Your Rights for Public Service Announcements)
People with disabilities have the right to communicate over the phone with telecommunication, (sharing of information across far distances), relay services as well as closed captioning of federally funded public service announcements.
Title V – Miscellaneous Provisions (Your Rights for Government Interaction)
The final title contains a variety of rules relating to the ADA, including its relationship to other laws, state immunity, its impact on insurance providers and benefits, prohibition against retaliation and coercion, illegal use of drugs, and attorney’s fees. This title also provides a list of certain conditions that are not to be considered as disabilities.