Americans with Disabilities Act

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Americans with Disabilities Act

Legislation in the United States, passed in 1990, that extended civil rights laws to persons who are physically disabled. Among other provisions, it requires facilities to accommodate the disabled insofar as it is possible. Businesses must comply with the Act when they build or expand their buildings. For example, most new commercial buildings with steps are required to provide access for persons who use wheelchairs.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

A federal law that grants civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.

• Real estate: The Act is most relevant in its provisions regarding public accommodation. Responsibility for compliance is placed on both landlords and tenants, as well as other property owners. Many commercial leases allocate the burden of ADA compliance so that the tenant must pay for any alterations or improvements necessary to bring a property into compliance.

• Places of public accommodation: These include a wide range of entities, such as restau- rants, hotels, theaters, doctors' offices, pharmacies, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, and day care centers. Private clubs and religious organizations are exempt.

• Accessibility for existing properties: Steps must be taken to remove barriers, if it can be done easily and without much expense. The evaluation of the expense depends on the size and financial strength of the entity.

• Accessibility requirements when a property undergoes alteration or renovation: For example, if during renovations a doorway is being relocated, the new doorway must be wide enough to meet the new construction standard for accessibility. When alterations are made to a primary function area, such as the lobby of a bank or the dining area of a cafeteria, an accessible path of travel to the altered area must also be provided. The bathrooms, telephones, and drinking fountains serving that area must also be made accessible. These additional accessibility alterations are only required to the extent that the added accessibility costs do not exceed 20 percent of the cost of the original alteration.

• Accessibility in new construction: The ADA requires that all new construction of places of public accommodation, as well as of “commercial facilities” such as office buildings, be accessible. Elevators are generally not required in facilities under three stories or with fewer than 3,000 square feet per floor, unless the building is a shopping center or mall; the professional office of a health care provider; a terminal, depot, or other public transit station; or an airport passenger terminal.

• Litigation: Private individuals may bring lawsuits to obtain injunctive relief to force compliance with the ADA and recover their attorneys' fees for the litigation, but may not obtain money damages. Citizens may also file complaints with the United States attorney general, who is authorized to bring lawsuits in cases of general public importance or where a pattern of discrimination is alleged. The suit can ask for money damages and civil penalties.

• The official ADA Web site is www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/.

References in periodicals archive ?
1991 "The undue hardship defense to the reasonable accommodation requirement of the Americans with disabilities act of 1990.
In addition to the Internal Revenue Code, the authors point out other federal laws affecting employee benefits including: The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973 (HMO Act), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), the Civil Rights Act of 1964, especially Title VII, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
The conference program will commemorate the 20 (th ) Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 - the nation's mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
This trail will serve pedestrians, bicyclists, joggers, and skaters, and will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (AD A), the Bethesda CBD Sector Plan, and the Purple Line Functional Master Plan.
Carone uses the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the redesign of the International Symbol for Accessibility as jumping-off points for an in-depth look at this complex issue.
It set the stage for the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a disability can be a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
As a deaf man, he is subject to the protections of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and all applicable state statutes, the suit asserts.
These nonphysical injury cases may encompass any number of tort claims that do not involve physical injuries, such as those for racial discrimination, sexual harassment (without overt and observable physical harm), wrongful termination or violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 or the Employee Retirement Income and Security Act of 1974.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (1) (ADA) is a significant piece of social legislation.
Perkins Vocational-Technical Act Amendments of 1998, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and The School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994.
Not too long ago the City Council called for a ``study'' to see if the city of Los Angeles had to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.

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