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Americans with Disabilities Act of 1973 - ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law that aims to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities in various aspects of life. 

Purpose and Scope:

  • The ADA was enacted to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for eliminating discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
  • It covers a wide range of areas, including employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications.

Definition of Disability:

  • A person with a disability is someone who:
    • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
    • Has a history or record of such an impairment (e.g., cancer in remission).
    • Is perceived by others as having such an impairment (e.g., visible scars from a severe burn).

Protections and Guarantees:

  • The ADA ensures that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to:
    • Enjoy employment opportunities.
    • Purchase goods and services.
    • Participate in state and local government programs.
    • Examples of Disabilities Covered:
    • Disabilities can vary widely, and the ADA does not list all of them. Some examples include:
    • Cancer
    • Diabetes
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • HIV
    • Autism
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Deafness or hearing loss
    • Blindness or low vision
    • Epilepsy
    • Mobility disabilities (requiring wheelchairs, walkers, or canes)
    • Intellectual disabilities
    • Major depressive disorder
    • Traumatic brain injury

Application of the ADA:

  • The ADA sets out requirements for various situations encountered in everyday life:
    • Employers (Title I): Employers with 15 or more employees must provide equal opportunities to people with disabilities.
    • State and local governments (Title II): They must follow ADA requirements.
    • Businesses open to the public (Title III): Public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation providers must comply.
    • Telecommunication companies (Title IV): Ensures access to communication services.

For further information visit the ADA site