- People First
The Americans with Disabilities Act (A-D-A) was signed into law on July 26, 1990. The A-D-A gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations and telecommunications.
Passed "to carry out the A-D-A's objectives of providing a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination by reinstating a broad scope of protection to be available under the A-D-A."
The Department of Justice regulations that implement the A-D-A for state and local governments.
The Department of Justice regulations that implement the A-D-A for businesses and non-profit service providers.
File a complaint
You can now file a State of Delaware A-D-A discrimination complaint form online with the State Council for Persons with Disabilities.
A-D-A National Network
The A-D-A National Network page contains a wealth of resource information available.
Federal A-D-A and Disability Resources
Federal A-D-A and Disability Resources are also available on the Federal A-D-A Resource page.
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division A-D-A information is available on their website or by clicking on the A-D-A.gov icon below.
State of Delaware ADA Coordinator
John McNeal, State ADA Coordinator
Margaret M. O'Neill Bldg., Suite 1
410 Federal Street
Dover, DE 19901
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers, State and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees, including State and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations.
U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers no-cost outreach programs to provide general information about the E-E-O-C, its mission, the employment discrimination laws enforced by E-E-O-C and the charge/complaint process. Learn more at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions, no cost outreach page.
The U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a dedicated section covering "Disability Discrimination" that provides additional information on topics that include:
- Facts About The Americans with Disabilities Act
- Notice of Rights Under the A-D-A Amendments Act (external link)
- Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 covers the definition of disability, enforcement and benefits under state worker's compensation laws along with other issues of interest to employers. Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 covering definitions, employment of individuals with disabilities and remedies and attorneys' fees.
- Regulations covering 29 C.F.R. Parts 1630, 1640, and 1641 and a fact sheet on the E-E-O-Cs Final Regulations Implementing the ADAAA.
- Policy and Guidance covering caregiving responsibilities of workers who are caring for individuals with disabilities.
- Statistics covering enforcement and litigation statistics and A-D-A changes.
- EEOC Efforts for Veterans with Disabilities contains an employer guide that helps to explain rights and responsibilities for veterans with disabilities in the workplace.
Additionally many EEOC offices have bilingual staff available to make presentations. EEOC information materials and other publications are available at no cost, including many in languages other than English. Order publications from their website using their publications request form.
Employers' Practical Guide to the A-D-A
The Employers' Practical Guide to the Americans with Disabilities Act is a summary of some of the most frequent issues that employers have regarding accommodations and A-D-A compliance. The information has been divided into 4 sections - "Americans with Disabilities Act Basics," "Applications and Interviews," "Employees," and "Employees on Leave and Former Employees." Learn more by reading the EMPLOYERS' Practical Guide to the A-D-A.
Policies and Procedure Information
Obtain additional information on what policies and procedures might be useful, how to recognize and handle accommodation requests, how to determine effective accommodations, and what types of accommodations might be reasonable by reading the EMPLOYERS' GUIDE: EMPLOYEES.
A-D-A Checklist for Existing Facilities
View the A-D-A Checklist for Existing Facilities to verify whether or not your facility complies with A-D-A requirements.
2010 A-D-A Standards for Accessible Design
View the 2010 A-D-A Standards for Accessible Design to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The United States Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy's "Frequently Asked Questions" page shares answers to questions they often receive.
Employers seek to incentivize employees to participate in such programs, but cannot violate federal laws prohibiting discrimination based on health status, disability, and genetic information, or the dissemination of personal health information, to do so. To harmonize these competing interests, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued final rules (the "Final Rules") on how employer-provided wellness programs can simultaneously comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as amended by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Final Rules become effective in January 2017 and apply to all workplace wellness programs.
Businesses can learn about available tax breaks that are available for many businesses to accommodate people with disabilities from the IRS by following this link. Tax breaks.
The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) is a multi-faceted initiative to foster collaboration and action around accessible technology in the workplace. Guided by a consortium of policy and technology leaders, PEAT works to help employers, IT companies, and others to understand why it pays to build and buy accessible technology, and how to do so. PEAT is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and is managed by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of Nort America (RESNA.
Job Accommodation Network (J-A-N)
The Job Accommodation Network (J-A-N) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.
A to Z of Disabilities and Accommodations
The Job Accommodation Network (J-A-N) offers employers the "A to Z of Disabilities and Accommodations" by disability, topic, and limitation.
Many employers misunderstand the Americans with Disabilities Act and are reluctant to hire people with disabilities because of unfounded myths. This seventeen-minute video responds to concerns expressed by employers, explaining the ADA in common sense terms and dispelling myths about this often overlooked pool of well-qualified employees.
A-D-A National Network
The A-D-A National Network developed "A-D-A Fact Sheets"on numerous topics that are available as webpages and PDF files with many also available in Spanish.
Many federal agencies issue regulations, provide technical assistance and enforce different sections of the A-D-A. For example the Department of Justice is responsible for Title II, which applies to state and local governments, and Title III, which applies to businesses and non-profit organizations. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission handles all things related to the A-D-A and employment. Below is a list of the relevant federal agencies.
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
The DOJ issues, enforces and provides technical assistance on the A-D-A regulations governing public accommodations and state and local government services. Technical assistance is provided by telephone and by web-based material on Title II and III issues such as service animals, polling places, accessible websites and emergency preparedness.
DOJ Technical Assistance Materials
File a complaint with DOJ.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The EEOC issues, enforces and provides technical assistance on the A-D-A Title I employment regulations. Technical assistance is provided by web-based material on many A-D-A subjects such as reasonable accommodation, pre-employment inquiries, performance standards and employee medical exams.
EEOC Technical Assistance Materials (scroll to the bottom for factsheets)
Filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC
U.S. Access Board
The Access Board issues the document that is the basis of the A-D-A Standards for Accessible Design. It provides technical assistance on the Standards by telephone and develops guidelines to the Standards which include helpful illustrations and animations.
Technical Assistance by Phone:
Access Board Homepage
Guide to the A-D-A Standards
U.S. Department of Labor
Two agencies within the Department of Labor enforce portions of the A-D-A. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has coordinating authority under the employment-related provisions of the A-D-A. The OFCCP also regulates Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against individuals with disabilities, and requires these employers to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain workers with disabilities. The Civil Rights Center is responsible for enforcing Title II of the A-D-A as it applies to the labor- and workforce-related practices of state and local governments and other public entities. The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides publications and other technical assistance on the basic requirements of the A-D-A. It does not enforce any part of the law.
Civil Rights Center
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
The D-O-T issues and enforces the A-D-A transportation regulations. Most of the A-D-A provisions fall under the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The FTA Office of Civil Rights is responsible for civil rights compliance and monitoring to ensure nondiscriminatory provision of public transit services.
Guidance on the A-D-A and Transportation
File a complaint with F-T-A
Other divisions of DOT that have A-D-A obligations include:
- Federal Highway Administration – A-D-A compliance in the public right-of-way (roadway travel lanes, medians, planting strips, and sidewalks).
- Federal Railroad Administration – Administers intercity and commuter rail compliance with A-D-A.
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – Administers A-D-A regulations requiring accessible, timely Over-the-Road Bus service for passengers with disabilities.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - The FCC enforces A-D-A regulations covering telecommunication services.
- Accessible Communications for Everyone - Accessible Communications for Everyone, or A-C-E, is an FCC initiative that seeks to break down barriers to communications services through collaborative efforts with software developers, engineers, technologists, and organizations in the disabilities community.
- Consumer guides on accessibility issues and filing accessibility complaints.
Federal Communications Commission
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
HUD enforces A-D-A Title II housing complaints. HUD develops and enforces two "companion" housing laws. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Fair Housing Act.
Disability rights in housing
File a complaint with HUD
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA supports citizens and first responders in preparing for, protecting against, responding to, recovering from, and mitigating all hazards.
Disability and Emergency Management – This external page provides information on the work that FEMA is doing to facilitate accessible emergency management.
Disability in America
People with disabilities constitute the nation's largest minority group, and the only group any of us can become a member of at any time. Learn more about "Disability in America" suffering physical, emotional and mental disabilities.
For more A-D-A information, visit the Mid-Atlantic A-D-A Center's website.
- A-D-A Enforcement
- A-D-A Federal Enforcement
- A-D-A History
- A-D-A Statistics
- Air Travel
- Architectural Accessibility
- Arts and Culture
- Disability Statistics
- Emergency Preparedness
- General Information
- Health Care
- History of the A-D-A
- Universal Design
- Youth with Disabilities
On July 26, 1994, the Americans with Disabilities Act ("A-D-A") became effective for employers with as few as fifteen (15) employees during any 20-calendar week period of any current or preceding year. That number includes part time, temporary and full time workers. If your employment base fits into this category, the A-D-A applies to you.
The A-D-A was written to prohibit employers from discriminating, in any way, against any person who has a physical or mental impairment, which is considered to be a qualified disability. Documentation is the only proof you have when you are asked to explain how you handled a disability complaint or request.
State and Local Governments
Title II: Materials Specifically For State and Local Governments
- Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by "public entities," which are programs, services and activities operated by state and local governments.
- Requires public entities (programs, services and activities operated by state and local governments) to be accessible to individuals with disabilities.
- Outlines requirements for self-evaluation and planning; making reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid discrimination; identifying architectural barriers; and communicating effectively with people with hearing, vision and speech disabilities.
- Regulated and enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice. (http://www.ada.gov)
Part 35 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services (as amended by the final rule published on August 11, 2016)
A-D-A Primer for State and Local Governments
Learn more about A-D-A requirements for state and local governments by reading the A-D-A Update: A Primer for State and Local Governments.
State and Local Governments ADA Information
Additional information on the A-D-A for state and local governments is available from the Mid-Atlantic A-D-A Center's State and Local Government's page.
A 56-page manual that explains in lay terms what State and local governments must do to ensure that their services, programs, and activities are provided to the public in a nondiscriminatory manner. (1993)
Examples and Resources to Support Criminal Justice Entities in Compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
This document provides guidance to facilitate criminal justice entities' compliance with the ADA in their interactions with individuals with mental health disabilities or intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The guidance sets forth the key regulatory provisions under the ADA and provides examples of how local law enforcement, corrections, and justice systems entities have facilitated compliance with these obligations. It also provides recommendations for training criminal justice personnel, conducting reviews of policies and procedures, and collaborating with mental health and disability service providers and provides examples from the Department's criminal justice enforcement actions, with links to additional governmental resources. (2017)
Best Practices for 9-1-1 and Emergency Communication
Learn more about A-D-A best practices specifically for 9-1-1 and emergency communications services by reading the PCA toolkit found in Chapter 4 by reading the A-D-A Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments External Link found in Chapter 4, 9-1-1 and Emergency Communications Services.
A 9-page document that contains a sampling of common problems shared by city governments of all sizes, provides examples of common deficiencies and explains how these problems affect persons with disabilities. (2000)
A 21-page guide that presents an informal overview of some basic ADA requirements and provides cost-effective tips on how small towns can comply with the ADA. (2000)
An ADA Guide for Local Governments: Making Community Emergency Preparedness and Response Programs Accessible to People with Disabilities
A 11-page illustrated publication that provides guidance on preparing for and carrying out emergency response programs in a manner that results in the services being accessible to people with disabilities. (2006)
A 10-page publication explaining the requirements for direct, equal access to 9-1-1 for persons who use teletypewriters (TTYs). (1998)
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued revised Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title II regulations which took effect March 15, 2011. These regulations affect the obligations of Title II public entities (state and local government entities) that are responsible for the operation or management of adult and juvenile justice jails, detention and correctional facilities, and community correctional facilities, either directly or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements with public or private entities, in whole or part, including private correctional facilities. (§35.151(k) and §35.152)
TITLE III: MATERIALS SPECIFICALLY FOR BUSINESSES AND NON-PROFITS
Title III focuses on private businesses (also known as public accommodations). All new construction and modifications must be accessible to individuals with disabilities. For existing facilities, barriers to services must be removed if it is readily achievable. Public accommodations include facilities such hotels, restaurants, bars, theaters, grocery stores, hardware stores, dry-cleaners, banks, professional offices of health care providers, lawyers, and accountants, hospitals, private bus or train stations, museums, libraries, zoos, amusement parks, places of education, day care centers, senior citizen centers, homeless shelters, gymnasiums, health spas, bowling alleys, and golf courses to name a few. Learn more about Title III of the ADA by reviewing the Department of Justice ADA Title III Regulations
An 83-page manual that explains in lay terms what businesses and non-profit agencies must do to ensure access to their goods, services, and facilities. Many examples are provided for practical guidance. (1993)
This online course explains how the ADA applies to businesses in ten short lessons. Putting these lessons into practice will allow you to comply with the ADA and welcome a whole new group of customers to purchase your goods, products, and services. (2005)
Small Business A-D-A Requirements
Learn more about Small Businesses A-D-A requirements by reading the United States Department of Justice's "A-D-A UPDATE - A Primer for Small Business".
This 15-page illustrated guide presents an overview of some basic ADA requirements for small businesses that provide goods and services to the public. It provides guidance on how to make their services accessible and how tax credits and deductions may be used to offset specific costs. (2007)
ADA Business Connection: Expanding Your Market
Short publications that present information on the ADA and customers with disabilities.
The Department of Justice has revised its regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This rule took effect on March 15, 2011 and clarifies issues that have arisen over the past 20 years, contains new requirements, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards). This document provides guidance to assist small business owners in understanding how this new regulation applies to them.
People with disabilities are the largest and fastest-growing minority in the U.S. They control $1 trillion in total annual income. They have friends, family members, and business colleagues who accompany them to events and outings. And they use businesses and facilities that are accessible to them.
How can businesses provide access to people with disabilities? They can begin by opening their doors, literally. Accessible doors welcome everyone – and they're required by law.
The Department of Justice has issued several opinion letters on the ADA in response to direct inquiries since 1992. These letters are to be considered informal guidance only.
Learn more about how ensuring full access to your business and services is a great way to expand your customer base.
These regulations amend the DOJ's Title II requirements for State and Local Governments and Title III requirements for Places of Public Accommodation.
Americans with Disabilities Act Guide for Places of Lodging: Serving Guests Who Are Blind or Who Have Low Vision
A 12-page publication explaining what hotels, motels, and other places of transient lodging can do to accommodate guests who are blind or have low vision. (2001)
Street festivals, craft fairs, music events, sporting events and home shows are but a few of the many temporary events that take place every day in communities both large and small throughout the nation. Temporary events celebrate and support a "sense of community" and must encourage participation by all people. This guide provides information to assist planners, managers, operators and building owners in making temporary events accessible to people with disabilities.
Stay informed. Sign up to receive News, E-Bulletin and ADA In Focus Newsletter from the ADA Mid-Atlantic Region 3.
Non-visible Disabilities Guide
Learn more about non-visible disabilities by reading the Job Accommodation Network's guide.
Training and Conference Information
On Demand Training.
On demand training, archived webinars, trainings, workshops and conference information is available on the Americans with Disabilities Act by selecting the appropriate hyperlink below.
- A-D-A On Demand Training
- Archived Webinars
- Annual Mid-Atlantic A-D-A Update Conference
- Accessibility Online Upcoming Sessions
A-D-A Network Training.
The A-D-A National Network's training page offers web courses, workshops, audio conferences, webinars, podcasts, and multimedia programs.
Disability Support Resources and Information
Career One Stop provides resources and information to support persons with disabilities successful employment.
People First Language recognizes that individuals with disabilities are first and foremost, people. It emphasizes each person's value, individuality, dignity, and capabilities. The following examples provide guidance on what terms to use and which ones are inappropriate when speaking to, talking or writing about people with disabilities.
|People First Language||Offensive Labels|
People or Persons with disabilities.
Differently abled, challenged, handicapped or disabled.
He/she has a congenital disability.
Person who is deaf or hard of hearing.
Deaf-mute, deaf and dumb, etc.
A person who uses a wheelchair.
Wheelchair bound or confined to a chair.
A person with a brain injury.
A person who has an intellectual disability.
Retarded or mentally retarded.
People with autism or on the autism spectrum.
People with chemical or environmental sensitivities.
A person with Down syndrome.
Down's kid or a mongoloid kid.
A person with learning disabilities.
He/she is learning disabled or a slow learner.
He's/she's of short stature or he's/she's short.
He's/she's a dwarf.
He/she has a physical disability.
A person with spinal cord injury.
Amputee or person who lost a limb.
Gimp, lame, stubby.
He's/she's blind or has low vision.
Visually handicapped, blind as a bat.
Service animal or dog.
Seeing eye dog.
A person with an emotional disability.
Typical kids or kids without disabilities.
Normal and/or healthy kids.
He/she receives special education.
He's/she's in special ed.
Accessible parking, bathrooms, etc.
Handicapped parking, bathrooms, etc.
He/she has a need for. . .
He/she has a problem with. . .
How should I describe you or your disability?
What happened to you?
For PDF accessibility features:
- Download the latest version of Adobe Reader for best results
- To use Acrobat Reader's accessibility features, download a copy of the PDF document to your local computer
- From the File menu, select Save as and specify where on your computer you would like to save the copy
- Select the PDF document by clicking on it (Adobe Reader should launch), or start Adobe Reader and browse to the PDF document to open it
Read out loud function:
- When a document is open in Adobe Reader, from the View menu, select Read Out Loud, then one of the following:
- Activate (Shift + CTRL + V)
- Read this page only (Shift + CTRL + V)
- Read to end of document (Shift + CTRL + B)
- Pause (Shift + CTRL + C)
- Stop (Shift + CTRL + E)
Converting PDFs to text:
- From the File menu, select Save as Text, then indicate the file type and extension you prefer (the default is .text)
- Select where on your computer (i.e. desktop) you would like the file saved
Surfing the web / browser settings
Any person having special needs or requiring special aid, such as an interpreter for the hearing impaired, is requested to contact the State Council for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD).
Interpreters or other special accommodations
- Call the SCPD Office at 302-739-3621, or
- Email your request to SCPDGeneralMailbox
Documents in an alternative format
To request SCPD documents in an alternative format:
- Email your request to SCPDGeneralMailbox