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Law and Regulations

When we talk about what the ADA requires on ADA.gov, we are usually referring to two sources:

  1. The text of the ADA, also referred to as the ADA statute, passed by Congress in 1990 and later amended.
  2. Regulations developed by the Department of Justice that state/local governments and many businesses must follow to ensure that they do not discriminate against people with disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed by Congress in 1990. It was amended by Congress in 2008. This is the law that protects the civil rights of people with disabilities in many aspects of public life.

The Americans with Disabilities Act

Learn more about the ADA on our Introduction to the ADA page.

The Department’s ADA Regulations

The Department’s ADA regulations are legal requirements that state/local governments and many businesses must follow. The regulations are divided into titles. The Department of Justice writes the Title III regulation and part of the Title II regulation.

State and Local Governments (Title II)

State and local governments include state, county, and city government services and programs, offices, and other facilities (such as city parks). Learn more about the basics of Title II on our Introduction to the ADA page.

Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities (Title III)

Public accommodations include most businesses and nonprofits that are open to the public. Commercial facilities, like warehouses, need only comply with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Learn more about the basics of Title III on our Introduction to the ADA page.