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'Five people, some with visible disabilities, hanging out on a rooftop deck while talking and laughing.'

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with disabilities from discrimination.

Disability rights are civil rights. From voting to parking, the ADA is a law that protects people with disabilities in many areas of public life.

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Topics

Information for people with disabilities, state and local governments, and businesses

Pick a topic to find out how the ADA works. We’ll add more soon.

  • Introduction to the ADA

    A teacher and a student sitting at a table signing to one another

    How the ADA is structured, and how it protects the rights of people with disabilities

  • Service Animals

    A service animal helps a blind person down the stairs

    The definition of a service animal, where they can go, and how they assist people with disabilities

  • Parking

    A man in a wheelchair approaching a vehicle with his hand on the door handle

    Find out how the ADA requires businesses, non-profits, and state/local governments to provide accessible parking spaces.

History of the ADA

The ADA was signed into law on July 26, 1990, following many years of advocacy by the disability and civil rights communities.

Since then, the ADA has transformed American society, guaranteeing that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to enjoy employment opportunities, purchase goods and services, and participate in state and local government programs.

The ADA was modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The ADA is an equal opportunity law for people with disabilities.

How to Report a Disability Rights Violation

If you believe that you or someone else experienced unlawful discrimination, you can report a disability rights violation.

1

Report using our online form.

By completing the online form, you can provide the details we need to understand what happened. You will receive a confirmation number and your report is immediately sent to our staff for review.

2

We review your report.

Teams that specialize in handling your type of issue will review it. If it needs to be forwarded to another team or agency, we will try to connect your complaint to the right group.

3

We determine next steps and get back to you.

Possible outcomes include: following up for more information, starting a mediation or investigation, directing you to another organization for further help, or informing you that we cannot help.

Think you or someone you know has experienced a disability rights violation?

File a complaint