Americans with Disabilities Act 25th Year Anniversary logoThis year marks the 25-year anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In this blog post, we'll examine Title II under the ADA, which explains the kinds of public programs, services and activities that protect people with disabilities.

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Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): What Title II Means for You

Mar 19, 2015

This year marks the 25-year anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In this blog post, we'll examine Title II under the ADA, which explains the kinds of public programs, services and activities that protect people with disabilities.


The ADA is a civil rights law that outlaws discrimination against people with disabilities in all public and private places open to the general public. You are protected by the law in places such as workplaces, schools and transportation. The goal of the law is to make sure that you have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

The ADA is divided into five titles (or sections) that relate to different areas of public life. Title II of the ADA explains the public programs, services and activities that protect people with disabilities. Title II details the following to remove barriers and empower people with disabilities.

Americans with Disabilities Act 25th Year Anniversary logo

Where You Are Protected

Title II ADA regulations mean you are protected from discrimination in places such as:
•    Police stations
•    Fire stations
•    Schools
•    Courts
•    Parks
•    Polling places
•    Stadiums
•    Sidewalks

Accessibility for State and Local Government Services

Title II also requires that the programs, services and activities of state and local governments are accessible to people with disabilities. We often think about accessibility, and barriers to access, in the physical sense (such as ramps and doorways that accommodate wheelchairs). But, not all barriers are physical. For example:

•    "No animals" rules in public places may impact accessibility for those who use service animals
•    Public meetings without assistive listening systems or sign language interpreters may present challenges for people who are deaf
•    A state website that cannot be used by persons who use screen readers or text enlargement software will create barriers for people who are blind or low vision

Barriers for people with both visible and non-visible disabilities are removed from state and local government services under Title II.

Choice

One of the major goals of the ADA is to provide people with disabilities the chance to participate in the mainstream of American life. This is commonly known as the "integration mandate," and means that public programs, services and activities must be made accessible to qualified people with disabilities in the most integrated way appropriate for their needs.

While offering separate accommodating programs, services and activities for people with disabilities are permitted under Title II to ensure they receive an equal opportunity to benefit from government programs, people with disabilities get to decide whether they want to participate using the accommodations or without. ADA protects this right even if the public entity does not think a person will benefit from a program or service without accommodations.

Other Provisions

Other provisions of Title II deal with matters such as:

•    9-1-1 and emergency communication services
•    Website accessibility
•    Curb ramps and pedestrian crossings
•    Emergency planning and management
•    Buildings and accessible design

If you feel that you or another person has been discriminated against by an entity covered by Title II of the ADA, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, Disability Rights Section. To ensure that all necessary information is provided, you may use this ADA Title II complaint form. The Disability Rights Section accepts complaints sent by regular mail or email. Their mailing address is:

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section - NYAV
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
You may also send your complaint to the following e-mail address: ada.complaint@usdoj.gov

This post was written based on resources from the ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments.

For more information on Title II of the ADA, including publications and training events, check out the ADA National Network at http://adata.org/audience/people-disabilities.

 

 *Image above is unchanged via www.ada.gov.