Americans with Disabilities Act
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Accessibility Standards

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The following was taken from the Americans With Disabilities Act Business Connection website:

"The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in everyday activities, such as buying an item at the store, going to the movies, enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, exercising at the health club, or having the car serviced at a local garage. accessible parking spaces with stores in background To meet the goals of the ADA, the law established requirements for businesses of all sizes. These requirements went into effect on January 26, 1992. Businesses that serve the public must modify policies and practices that discriminate against people with disabilities; comply with accessible design standards when constructing or altering facilities; remove barriers in existing facilities where readily achievable; and provide auxiliary aids and services when needed to ensure effective communication with people who have hearing, vision, or speech impairments. All businesses, even those that do not serve the public, must comply with accessible design standards when constructing or altering facilities."

ADA Guidlines Summary

Title I of the ADA prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment by businesses having 15 or more employees, or by State and local governments. Title I with respect to private employers is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in State and local government services, programs, and activities. All programs, services, and activities of State or local governments are covered. These include public education and social service programs, State legislatures and courts, town meetings, police and fire departments, motor vehicle licensing, employment services, and public transportation programs.

Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in places of public accommodation and commercial facilities. Places of public accommodation include over 6 million privately owned business establishments of all sizes such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, convention centers, doctors offices, retail stores, museums, libraries, private schools, health spas, and day care centers. Commercial facilities are businesses whose operations affect commerce, such as office buildings, factories, and warehouses. Public accommodations must: provide goods and services in an integrated setting, unless separate or different measures are necessary to ensure equal opportunity; eliminate unnecessary eligibility standards or rules that deny individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to enjoy the goods and services of a place of public accommodation; and make reasonable modifications in policies, practices and procedures that deny equal access to individuals with disabilities, unless a fundamental alteration would result in the nature of the goods and services provided. They must also ensure effective communication through the use of auxiliary aids and services when necessary, unless an undue burden or fundamental alteration would result. They must remove architectural and structural communication barriers in existing facilities where readily achievable, and provide goods and services through alternative measures when removal of barriers is not readily achievable. When public accommodations or commercial facilities design and construct new facilities, or alter existing facilities, they must do so in accordance with the Standards for Accessible Design. Title III is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Title IV of the ADA mandates that telephone companies offer TTY/telephone relay services to enable individuals who use TTY's.

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