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PEATC, Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center
Assisting families of children with special needs since 1978
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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an antidiscrimination law for person with disabilities.  It was signed into law by President Bush in July 1990.  The purpose of the Act is to grant individuals with disabilities similar civil rights protections provided to individuals on the basis of race, sex, national origin and religion.  The ADA is a law of empowerment not one of entitlement and therefore people who wish to receive the full advantages of the law must understand it and be able to apply it to their own situations.  The ADA is based on the concepts of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 guaranteeing equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodation, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications.

The law is broken down into five parts.

TITLE I EMPLOYMENT - Prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with a disability.
TITLE II PUBLIC SERVICES - Prohibits state and local governments from excluding individuals with a disability from participating in or receiving benefits from the services, programs or activities they offer; includes publicly funded or operated transportation.
TITLE III PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS - Prohibits any public business that offers goods, services, facilities, or accommodations to the general public from excluding individuals with disabilities; this includes privately operated transportation; exceptions:  religious organizations, including places of worship and private clubs that control membership selection by admission criteria
TITLE IV TELECOMMUNICATIONS - Mandates that telephone services are available to person with hearing and speech disabilities; telecommunications relay service (TRS) and closed captioned public service announcements are required.
TITLE V MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS - States are not immune from being sued for violating ADA; no one can be retaliated against for enforcing ADA; awards of attorneys' fees are available to anyone winning a civil action; Congress must comply with ADA provisions; ADA does not limit state civil rights laws that provide greater protection than provided in ADA.

Go to the ADA

8003 Forbes Place, Suite 310
Springfield, VA 22151
703-923-0010 (phone)
800-869-6782 (toll free)

Copyright © 2020 PEATC - Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center. All rights reserved.

Content on this site was produced, in part, with grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education, under CFDA # 84.328M, #84.310A, and #84.235F. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Education, any other agency of the U.S. government, or any other source.

PEATC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to building positive futures for Virginia's children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life. Our special focus is children with disabilities. You can reach PEATC by calling 703-923-0010 (Voice/TTY), or sending an e-mail to

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