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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
What is the ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination and provides for equal access and opportunity. Former President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA into law on July 26, 1990.
The ADA applies to situations in these five areas:
- Employment [Title I]
- State and local government [Title II]
- Public accommodations (private businesses) [Title III]
- Telecommunications [Title IV]
- Transportation and miscellaneous provisions [Title V]
Definition of Disability under the ADA
The ADA prohibits discrimination against any qualified individual with a disability. Specifically, the ADA protects three categories of individuals:
- Individuals who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.
- Individuals who have a record of a physical or mental impairment.
- Individuals who are regarded as having an impairment, whether they have an impairment or not.
The ADA does not include a list of covered disabilities under the law. Therefore, to determine if you are covered under the law, you need to determine if you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.
The definition of disability does not include simple physical characteristics, common personality traits, or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantages.
The ADA also excludes coverage for individuals who currently use illegal drugs, certain sexual disorders and preferences, and compulsive gambling, kleptomania, and pyromania.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions on ADA National Network
What is the ADA National Network?
The ADA National Network consists of ten (10) regional centers funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) under the U.S. Department of Education.
The ADA National Network (formerly known as DBTAC - Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center) is the leader in providing information, guidance, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), tailored to meet your needs. Its mission is to:
- Facilitate voluntary compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
- Conduct research to reduce and eliminate barriers to employment and economic self-sufficiency and to increase the civic and social participation of Americans with disabilities
What services does the ADA National Network provide?
The ADA National Network consists of ten (10) regional centers and is the leader in providing information, guidance, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels. Each regional ADA Center offers the following core services:
- Technical Assistance:Highly trained specialists are available to answer your questions about the ADA, including advice and information on what is required, who is covered, and how to work through ADA-related questions.Call the national toll free hotline at 1-800-949-4232 [voice/tty]. All calls are strictly confidential.
- Education and Training: Provide customized training and distance education opportunities (i.e. Webcourses, Webinars, Podcasts, and National ADA Initiatives) about the ADA and disability-related laws to disability organizations, State and local government agencies, and private businesses.
- Materials Dissemination: Distribute publications with accurate information about the ADA. Provide up-to-date ADA information via websites, social media, email, discussion lists, newsletters, and printed materials.
- Information and Referral: Provide referrals to local organizations for advocacy assistance or issues outside of our work scope.
- Public Awareness: Promote the ADA in a positive manner in media outlets.
- Local Capacity Building: Work closely with business, disability, governmental, rehabilitation, and other professional networks to assist with ADA efforts in your State and local communities.
How do I contact the ADA National Network?
If you have questions, need resources or want training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), contact your ADA Center for information, guidance, events, and various materials and online tools to make your efforts easier, as well as help you brainstorm and develop solutions for your customers.
Call National Toll-free Hotline: 1-800-4ADA [voice/tty] (1-800-949-4232)
or complete the Questions and Help on the ADA [online form].
All calls and contacts are strictly confidential. Highly trained specialists who have over 20 years of experience are available to answer your questions about the ADA, including advice and information on what is required, who is covered, and how to work through ADA-related questions.
- Training on the ADA
Find various Events & Educational Materials, including FAQs on the ADA and National ADA Initiatives to learn about the ADA and disability-related topics.
Experienced staff and training specialists are available to help you design and/or conduct a customized workshop or presentation for your target audiences. Contact your ADA Center or call the National Toll-free Hotline: 1-800-4232 [voice/tty].
- Visit website: ADA National Network
Southeast ADA Center
- What is the Southeast ADA Center?
- What services does the Southeast ADA Center provide?
- Where is the Southeast ADA Center located and what states do you serve?
- Do ADA Centers monitor or enforce the ADA?
- Can you help me get a job?
- Can you certify my disability?
- What is the best way to contact the Southeast ADA?
Veterans & the ADA
- Individual/Advocate FAQs on the ADA
- Architecture/Design FAQs on the ADA
- Business FAQs on the ADA
- Employers FAQs on the ADA
- Government FAQs on the ADA
- Vocational Rehabilitation FAQs on the ADA
Is there a conflict between the FMLA provision allowing employers to ask for certification that an employee have a serious health condition and ADA restrictions on disability-related inquiries of employees?