Americans with Disabilities Act

>> Title I – Employment

This applies to private employers and state or local governments as employers.  ADA Title I prohibits employers, employment agencies, labor unions, and joint labor-management committees from discriminating against people with disabilities.  Title I applies to employers with 15 or more employees.

Filing a Complaint under ADA Title I (Employment)

Complaints must be filed with the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the date of discrimination, or 300 days if the complaint is filed with a State or local fair employment practice agency.  People may file a lawsuit in court only after they receive a “right-to-sue” letter from the EEOC. For more information about filing employment-related disability discrimination complaints, explore through the EEOC’s site.

>> Title II – State and Local Governments

This requires state and local governments to make their programs, services, and activities accessible to people with disabilities.

You may use this page to educate and advocate for equal access to state and local government programs, services, and activities.  The page provides general information about Title II of the ADA that applies to all types of state and local agencies, including courts, schools, social service agencies, hospitals, legislatures, commissions and councils, recreational facilities, libraries, and state/county/city departments and other agencies.

Other resources: 

Filing a Complaint under ADA Title II (State and Local Governments)

When you experience discrimination by state and local governments, you may file an ADA Title II complaint with the Department of Justice.  he form will help you know the kind of information you should include in your complaint.  You must file a complaint within 180 days of the discrimination. You may also file a lawsuit in state or federal court.

>> Title III – Places of Public Accommodation (Private Businesses)

This requires businesses that are open to the public to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to all that they  offer. It covers a wide range of private businesses, including retail stores,hotels, theaters, restaurants, doctors’ and lawyers’ offices, optometrists, dentists, banks, insurance agencies, museums, parks, libraries, day care centers, recreational programs, social service agencies, and private schools.  It covers both profit and non-profit organizations. Unlike the employment section of the ADA, which only applies to employers with 15 or more employees, ADA Title III applies to all businesses, regardless of size.

You may use this Public Accommodations page, which provides general information about ADA Title III, to inform and advocate for equal access to many different kinds of businesses. Other resources apply to specific businesses: 

Filing a Complaint under ADA Title III (Public Accommodations)

When you experience discrimination by businesses that are open to the public, you can file a Title III complaint.  There is no time limit for filing an ADA Title III complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, but you should file as soon as possible.  You may also file a lawsuit in state or federal court.

>> Title IV – Telecommunications Relay Services

This mandates a nationwide system of telecommunications relay services to make the telephone network accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have speech impairments.  

>> Title V – Miscellaneous Provisions

This contains rules that are not covered in other parts of the ADA, includes:

  • States cannot claim immunity from ADA-related legal action.  People with disabilities may sue any state agency for violations of the ADA, but may not recover money.
  • Protects people with disabilities from being punished for asserting their rights under the ADA.
  • Courts may award attorney’s fees to the winning party in an ADA lawsuit.
  • Congress is covered by the ADA.
  • Other federal and state laws can be stronger and provide greater protections and rights than the ADA.