Americans with Disabilities Act

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Related to Americans with Disabilities Act: ADA

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.
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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

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and revised ADA regulations implementing title II and title III.
All barriers to library and information services should be eliminated to achieve full and complete access, as set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990" (Information 2000, 1991, p.
Lee briefs research on the case law that has resulted from the Americans with Disabilities Act. She finds that the Act has not resulted in significant employment gains for persons with disabilities nor has it led to many legal findings of discrimination.
Gorman presented the Supreme Court with the issue of whether punitive damages can be awarded in a private suit brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act.
Other areas of the law also pertain to accessibility, such as the broader Section 504 that gives disabled individuals equal access to "a college, university, or other post secondary institution, or public system of higher education," and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ( adahom1.htm).
This frees the EEOC to sue an employer on behalf of a worker for discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars race and sex discrimination on the job.
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.
The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 (PL 101-336), along with the recent reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997 (PL 105-17), has led to an expanding social awareness of disability issues and, increasingly, to students with disabilities seeking access to colleges, universities and vocational technical programs (Benz, Doren & Yovanoff, 1998; Stodden, 1998).
Once "road rage" has been officially baptized, then pharmaceutical companies can market drugs to reduce its symptoms, sufferers will be eligible for special consideration by their employers under the Americans With Disabilities Act, and (most importantly) Dr.
The Carolina Alliance for Fair Employment also found that three-fourths of workers were asked medical questions prior to an offer of a job, a practice that violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law.

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