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State Council for Persons 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 ADA 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

Public Services: State and Local Government
  • 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. (
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) -- PDF
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. -- PDF

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.

Title II Technical Assistance Manual | Supplement

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.

The ADA and City Governments: Common Problems

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)

ADA Guide for Small Towns

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)

ADA Checklist for Emergency Shelters
Access for 9-1-1 and Telephone Emergency Services

A 10-page publication explaining the requirements for direct, equal access to 9-1-1 for persons who use teletypewriters (TTYs). (1998)

Correctional Facilities

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)

Small Business
Title III: Materials Specifically for Businesses and Non-Profits

What is Title III?

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

Title III Technical Assistance Manual | Supplement

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)

Reaching Out to Customers with Disabilities

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 ADA Requirements

Learn more about Small Businesses A-D-A requirements by reading the United States Department of Justice's "ADA UPDATE - A Primer for Small Business".

ADA Guide for Small Businesses

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.

ADA Business Briefs

Short publications explaining specific ADA issues that are designed to be easily printed and distributed to employees.

Small Business Administration - Creating a Culture of Inclusivity
Small Business Administration – What you need to know to hire qualified disabled candidates
SBA Office of the National Ombudsman
Opening Doors to Everyone

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.

Private Business Interpretation

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.

Customer Service for Business

Learn more about how ensuring full access to your business and services is a great way to expand your customer base.

Additional Information

ADA Title II and Title III Regulations Fact Sheet Series

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)

A Planning Guide for Making Temporary Events Accessible to People With Disabilities

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.

ADA In Focus Newsletter

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.