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Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

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The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is the short title of United States Public Law 101-336, signed into law on July 26, 1990. It is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination to the disabled as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, commonly referred to as the ADA, consists of three introductory sections and five titles:

  • Introductory Sections
    • Table of Contents
    • Findings and Purposes
    • Definitions
  • Main Section
    • Title I - Employment
    • Title II - Public Services (and public transportation)
    • Title III - Public Accommodations
    • Title IV - Telecommunications
    • Title V - Miscellaneous

Some complain that the ADA has made little progress in eliminating such discrimination because it is primarily complaint-driven. That is, individuals must make complaints of discrimination under the act to the person or agency charged with handling such complaints, only after which the agency may take action. Each title of the act created an agency to handle such complaints, ranging from bodies of the federal executive branch to local civil rights enforcement agencies. Further, individuals under each title have the "private right of action"; that is, the right to privately sue the alleged discriminating person or body. Many of these lawsuits have helped to clarify provisions of the act by forcing courts to interpret the law for specific cases, creating a body of legal precedent.

See Disability Discrimination Act for the corresponding UK legislation.

(Link to some of the big legal cases would be good here).

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