ADA Lawsuits | What you should know
Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires most almost all entities to make its services, products, and facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Title II prohibits state and local governments from denying participation in any programs, benefits, activities, or services because of a disability. Examples of programs, benefits, activities, and services include DMVs, public parks, public schools, sidewalks, crosswalks, curbcut systems, and courthouses. These cases can involve physical barriers in buildings that prevent access to individuals with mobility disabilities and what we call “programmatic access” barriers — state and local governments are required to modify their policies, practices, and procedures to allow people with disabilities to participate. An example of programmatic access is a city providing real-time closed captioning for all COVID briefings during press conferences so that deaf citizens will receive necessary information or a community college providing testing accommodations to a blind student who needs a Braille device and more time to complete exams.
Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability in the activities of places of public accommodation. This includes businesses that are open to the public and fall into one of the twelve categories listed in the ADA, such as restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, schools, recreational facilities, daycare facilities, doctors’ offices, stadiums, and more.
ADA Lawsuits: Frequently asked questions
What is the American with Disabilities Act definition?
The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. The purpose of the law is to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities by ensuring they are provided equal opportunities when it comes to public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
What is considered a Place of Public Accommodation under the American with Disabilities Act?
- an inn, hotel, motel, or other places of lodging, except for an establishment located within a building that contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and that is actually occupied by the proprietor of such establishment as the residence of such proprietor;
- a restaurant, bar, or other establishment serving food or drink;
- a motion picture house, theater, concert hall, stadium, or other places of exhibition or entertainment;
- an auditorium, convention center, lecture hall, or other places of public gathering;
- a bakery, grocery store, clothing store, hardware store, shopping center, or other sales or rental establishment;
- a laundromat, dry-cleaner, bank, barbershop, beauty shop, travel service, shoe repair service, funeral parlor, gas station, the office of an accountant or lawyer, pharmacy, insurance office, professional office of a health care provider, hospital, or other service establishments;
- a terminal, depot, or other station used for specified public transportation;
- a museum, library, gallery, or other places of public display or collection;
- a park, zoo, amusement park, or other places of recreation;
- a nursery, elementary, secondary, undergraduate, or postgraduate private school, or other places of education;
- a daycare center, senior citizen center, homeless shelter, food bank, adoption agency, or other social service center establishment; and
- a gymnasium, health spa, bowling alley, golf course, or other places of exercise or recreation.
Does a service animal fall under the ADA?
Yes. Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.
Are emotional support animals considered service animals under the ADA?
Who is responsible for implementing the requirements of Title II and III?
The Department of Justice has been tasked with adopting and publishing standards.
Who is responsible for implementing the requirements for public transit?
When public transit is at issue, the Department of Transportation, through the Federal Transit Administration, is the agency responsible for setting standards and adopting regulations to implement the requirements of the ADA.
Who is responsible for implementing the requirements for architecture and design?
For physical/architectural barriers under either Title II or Title III, applicable standards depend on the date of construction or alteration. The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design are the most recent set of standards and apply to construction/alterations after March 15, 2012. Prior to that, the 1991 ADA Standards for Accessible Design were in effect. Both sets of standards are available here.
Do Titles II and III address communications with people with disabilities?
Yes. Both Title II and Title III require effective communication with people with communication disabilities.
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