What is the ADA?
In this context, ADA stands for:
- Adult Disability Advocate
- American Dental Association
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Adaptive, Discriminated, and Anxious!
So, what is the ADA?
The ADA, the Americans with Disability Act, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives federal civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion.
Do many people know about this law?
What you know about the "ADA" depends greatly on your circumstances such as who you know, where you work, and/or how much you know about national issues. The majority of the general public knows the ADA as a law that relates to parking, restrooms, and drinking fountains. While the law does provide accessibility standards for the interior and exterior of buildings, the ADA is much broader in its coverage.
What areas are covered?
This law, signed into effect in 1990, is composed of five Titles:
- Title I. Employment
Nondiscrimination in employment of qualified workers with disabilities
- Title II: State and Local Government Activities & Public Transportation
All City of Scottsdale programs, services and activities, new construction and some elements of older buildings need to be accessible to people with disabilities. For example, city events & recreation, city services & service counters, appropriate communication, i.e. TTY, braille, sign language interpreters, etc.
- Title III: Public Accommodations
Anywhere the public goes, i.e. stores, restaurants, theaters, etc. need to be accessible to the greatest extent feasible.
- Title IV: Telecommunications Relay Services
Establishes state-wide Relay services for deaf individuals to communicate to hearing only callers
- Title V: Administrative Information.
Is the ADA the only law that prohibits discrimination based on disability?
Many people think that the ADA is the only law that has assisted in making the nation accessible to all citizens, but there is a long history of, and continues to be other legislation that addresses specific issues.
What are these other laws?
The ADA does not govern accessible or adaptable housing requirements; the Fair Housing Act has regulation guideline for non-discriminatory policies and building. Some other laws that impact the rights of people with disabilities include:
- Telecommunications Act
- Air Carrier Access Act
- Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act
- National Voter Registration Act
- Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
What are examples of how a person with a disability might refer to these laws?
- A new multifamily tenement building with a Community Recreation Room would adhere to ADA Title III for the Community Room and other common area access, but would refer to the Fair Housing Act for guidance on building adaptable apartments.
- Questions about airplane access would be addressed in the Air Carrier Access Act, at the U.S. Department of Transportation, but the ADA governs airport access so the U.S. Department of Justice could answer those questions.
- The Telecommunications Act set down standards for products and services such as telephones, cell phones, pagers, call-waiting, etc., for deaf and hearing-impaired individuals. The ADA ensures that Arizona provides a statewide Relay Service, an operated assisted service for deaf and hearing callers to communicate.
For more information on disability rights laws, go to http://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm For more information call 480-312-2500.