What Kind of Law Is the ADA?

Man in a wheelchair with a sign affixed to his wheelchair which reads "access is a civil rights."The ADA is a comprehensive civil rights law. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government programs, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. Continue reading “What Kind of Law Is the ADA?”

Communication and the ADA

Does the ADA require businesses to communicate differently with customers with disabilities?

Communicating effectively and successfully with customers is an important part of doing business. Sometimes businesses aren’t sure how to communicate with customers who are blind or have low vision, those who are deaf or hard of hearing, or those who have speech disabilities. The ADA requires businesses to communicate effectively with customers with vision, hearing, and speech disabilities.

Because the nature and complexity of communication differs, depending on the type of business, the rules allow for flexibility. A person who is consulting with a lawyer, completing a loan application at a bank, or going to an emergency center, will need a different level of communication than if the person is picking up dry cleaning, purchasing a meal at a restaurant, or making a cash withdrawal at a bank. Continue reading “Communication and the ADA”

Transportation and the ADA

Is public transportation covered by the ADA?

Yes. If it is offered by a state or local government, it is covered by Title II. If it is offered by a private company, it is covered by Title III. Publicly funded transportation includes, but is not limited to, bus and passenger train (rail) service. Rail service includes subways (rapid rail), light rail, commuter rail, and Amtrak. Privately funded transportation includes, but is not limited to, taxicabs, airport shuttles, intercity bus companies, such as Greyhound, and hotel-provided transportation. The ADA also covers how transportation service is operated. For example, bus stops must be announced. Continue reading “Transportation and the ADA”

Service Animals and the ADA

28 C.F.R. §36.302(c)

Are all animals owned by people with disabilities classified as service animals?

No. The ADA has a specific definition for what a service animal is.

Under the ADA, a service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

What exactly is a service animal?

Under the ADA, a service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

Continue reading “Service Animals and the ADA”

Ticketing, Reservations, and the ADA

When tickets to an event, concert, theater or sports event are sold, is that covered by the ADA?

The 2010 regulations issued by the Department of Justice, which were effective as of March 15, 2011, make it clear that ticketing is a covered activity under the ADA. Prior to that, entities that sold tickets were covered by the ADA, but there were no specific regulations or guidelines related to ticketing. The regulations can be found at 28 C.F.R. §36.302(f) and 28 C.F.R. §35.138. Continue reading “Ticketing, Reservations, and the ADA”

Place of Lodging

28 C.F.R. §36.302(f)

What about hotel reservations? Are those covered by the ADA?

Yes. Individuals with disabilities must be able to make reservations for accessible guest rooms at a place of lodging during the same hours and in the same manner as others. This is true whether the reservation is made by telephone, in-person, or online through a website. Continue reading “Place of Lodging”

Housing

Do disability laws cover housing for people with disabilities?

Yes. There are four key federal disability rights laws that affect housing for people with disabilities. The first is the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), which covers all buildings owned or leased by the federal government. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (504) also covers housing if the housing was built with federal funds or receives federal financial assistance. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has provisions that apply to discrimination in housing. And the most comprehensive housing discrimination statute is the Fair Housing Act (FHA), as amended in 1988. Continue reading “Housing”

Air Travel

What disability law applies to air carriers?

The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).

Is this a new law?

Not really. It was passed by Congress in 1986. In 1990, the Department of Transportation published implementing regulations, which have been updated numerous times, with the most recent update, as of this writing, taking effect in 2009. All U.S. air carriers’ operations and aircraft are covered by the regulations. All foreign air carriers’ flights that begin or end at U.S. airports and the aircraft being used on these flights are covered by the regulations.   Continue reading “Air Travel”

State and Local Governments and the ADA

What is the goal of this part of the ADA?

The goal of Title II of the ADA, which covers state and local governments, is really to make sure that people with disabilities have equal access to civic life.  Individuals with disabilities must be provided an equally effective opportunity to participate in or benefit from a public entity’s aids, benefits, and services. It essentially covers everything that the state or local government does, including public housing, licensing, all levels of public education, transportation, parks and recreation, detention, emergency response, and police. Continue reading “State and Local Governments and the ADA”