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File a Complaint

The Americans with Disabilities Act provides an important tool to fight discrimination: filing a complaint with an appropriate federal agency. This page outlines the steps to get you started.

Who You Can File a Complaint Against

If you believe that you or someone else was discriminated against based on a disability, you can file an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaint against:

  • a state government or local government, such as a:
    • public hospital
    • public school
    • other state or local government program
  • a private business that serves the public, such as a:
    • restaurant
    • doctor’s office
    • shop
    • hotel

Where and How to File Your Complaint

The nature of your complaint determines where you should file it. The table below tells you where and how to file your complaint.

Type of Complaint Agency to File With How to File
Employment (e.g., issues at work or in applying for a job) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Follow instructions on the EEOC site
Air travel (involving a specific airline) Department of Transportation (DOT) Follow instructions on the DOT site
Housing (e.g., denied housing or denied an accessible living space based on disability) Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Follow the instructions on the HUD site
Complaints involving anything else Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division See below

Filing a Complaint with the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

There are three options for filing:

  1. Online
    Follow instructions on the DOJ site
  2. Mail
    Fill out and send the paper ADA Complaint Form a letter containing the same information, to:

    U.S. Department of Justice
    Civil Rights Division
    950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    4CON, 9th Floor
    Washington, DC 20530

  3. Fax
    Send to (202) 307-1197

Remember to keep a copy of your complaint and the original documents for your own records.

If you’d like more information, our answers to common questions is a good place to look.

After You File a Complaint

We might refer your complaint to:

We could also:

Unfortunately, we cannot investigate every complaint. We will let you know if we are unable to mediate, refer, or investigate your complaint.

When You Will Hear From Us

We receive many ADA complaints from people around the United States. So, our review can take up to three months.

If you have not heard from us after three months, you can call the ADA Information Line to check your complaint’s status. You can reach the ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 (voice) or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY).

Even if we do not take any formal action, your complaint provides us with valuable information, helping us find issues affecting multiple people or communities, and helping us understand emerging trends and topics.

ADA Mediation Program

Mediation is a process that does not involve the courts. Mediation typically involves one or more meetings between you, the organization you complained about, and an impartial mediator, and it is designed to help you reach a mutual agreement. It can be a fair and quick way to resolve ADA complaints. It is confidential and voluntary.

If we think that your complaint might be a good fit for mediation, we will contact you and the organization you complained about. We will ask if you are both willing to participate in mediation.

If we investigate your complaint:

An investigator or attorney will contact you to get more information.

The Department will not give your name or other personal information to anyone unless it is necessary for enforcement activities or is required by law.