The Americans With Disabilities Act

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by George H.W. Bush. Since 1990, the ADA has undergone a few changes. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. The ADA also requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations. The Americans with Disabilities Act includes five titles that cover a variety of provisions:

Title I: Employment

A covered entity shall not discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability. This includes the job application process, interview, hiring, advancement and discharge of employees, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. Covered entities include employers with 15 or more employees.

Title II: Public Entities/Public Transportation

Public entities, such as school district, municipal, city or county and at state level are unable to discriminate against persons with disabilities who seek access to services and programs offered by said entity. Title II also covers public transportation and requires the provision of paratransit services by public entities that provide fixed route services. ADA also sets minimum requirements for space layout in order to facilitate wheelchair securement on public transport.

Title III: Public Accommodations/Commercial Facilities

No individual may be discriminated against on the basis of disability with regard to goods, services, facilities or accommodations by anyone who owns, leases or operates a place of such accommodation. All new construction after July 1992 must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). Provisions also include the modification of pre-1992 existing structures to modify in accordance with the ADAAG. Service animals are also covered under this Title.

Title IV: Telecommunications

All telecommunication companies within the United States must create functionally equivalent services for consumers with disabilities, specifically those who are deaf or hard of hearing, or have speech impairments.

Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions

Title V discusses technical provisions and that nothing in ADA can amend, override or cancel anything in Section 504. This Title also includes provisions on anti-retaliation or coercion.