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Written by Edward Lai

Americans with Disabilities Act Overview – Part 2

As discussed previously in Part 1, the Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in certain areas of public life, such as employment, education, transportation, and both public and private places. The law ensures that disabled individuals have equal rights and opportunities in the United States. The ADA is made up of five titles (sections), each pertinent to an area of public life. Part 2 discussed Titles III, IV and V.

Title III – Public Accommodations

Regulated and enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice, Title III prohibits private places of public accommodation from discriminating against people with disabilities. Public accommodations include facilities such as restaurants, hotels, physician’s offices, golf courses, private schools, day care centers, health clubs, sports stadiums, cinemas, grocery stores, retail stores, and privately owned systems of transportation. All new construction and modifications must provide access to disabled individuals. If readily achievable, existing buildings must remove barriers to services. Businesses are also required to make “reasonable modifications” to the way they function in order to accommodate disabled individuals. There is also the additional requirement that businesses ensure effective communication with individuals who have vision, hearing, and speech disabilities.

Title IV – Telecommunications

Regulated by the Federal Communication Commission, Title IV requires telephone and Internet companies to establish interstate and intrastate telecommunications relay services (TRS) 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. TRS allows individuals with hearing and speech disabilities that use text telephones (TTYs or TDDs) and callers that use voice telephones to communicate with each other via a third party communications assistant. In addition, closed captioning of public service announcements is required.

Title V – Miscellaneous Provisions

Title V is comprised of several provisions relating to the ADA in its entirety. These include the ADA’s effect on other laws, impact on insurance, abrogation of state immunity, prohibition against coercion and retaliation, disqualification based on illegal drug use, and granting of reasonable attorney’s fees for the prevailing party. Title V also lists the conditions that are not considered as disabilities.

Professional and Experienced Legal Assistance

The Law Office of Edward Lai can assist you with questions regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act and other legal matters. If you would like to have a consultation, please contact their office through this website or call (510) 397-8287.

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