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ADA Compliance with ADA Documents

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ADA Documents

There are many laws that govern the ADA.  There are regulations and publications that support these laws. The following documents are a basic list of these that apply to ADA that assist us in performing ADA Inspections.  Maintaining ADA compliance with the ADA reports generated from an ADA inspection will achieve peace of mind and keep you legal with the ADA laws and guidelines.  ADA Expert Inspections,LLC uses the following codes and guidelines as a reference when performing our ADA Assessments and Services.

The United States Code (USC)

The Code of Laws of the United States of America is also referred to as the United States Code (USC). The USC is the official compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal statutes of the United States. It contains 53 titles (Titles 1–54, excepting Title 53, it being reserved).  The official version of those laws not codified in the United States Code can be found in United States Statutes at Large. 

The USC, as it pertains to ADA, is divided into titles, chapters, and sub-chapters that classify laws according to their subject matter. These Titles are listed as Titles I, II, III, IV and V 


                   Equal Employment Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities

This title is designed to help people with disabilities access the same employment opportunities and benefits available to people without disabilities.  Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants or employees.  A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable an applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions.  This portion of the law is regulated and enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Employers with 15 or more employees must comply with this law.

The regulation for Title I define disability, establish guidelines for the reasonable accommodation process, address medical examinations and inquiries, and define 'direct threat' when there is significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the individual employee with a disability or others.


       Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services

Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, activities, and services of public entities. It applies to all state and local governments, their departments and agencies, and any other instrumentalities or special purpose districts of state or local governments. It clarifies the requirements of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, for public transportation systems that receive federal financial assistance, and extends coverage to all public entities that provide public transportation, whether or not they receive federal financial assistance. It establishes detailed standards for the operation of public transit systems, including commuter and intercity rail (e.g., AMTRAK).

This title outlines the administrative processes to be followed, including requirements for self-evaluation and planning; requirements for making reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid discrimination; architectural barriers to be identified; and the need for effective communication with people with hearing, vision and speech disabilities. This title is regulated and enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice.


             Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities 

This title prohibits private places of public accommodation from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. Examples of public accommodations include privately-owned, leased or operated facilities like hotels, restaurants, retail merchants, doctor’s offices, golf courses, private schools, day care centers, health clubs, sports stadiums, movie theaters, and so on.   Not covered under Title III are: religious even if the activity they are providing, such as a food distribution pantry, is open to the public; airlines; and private residential (apartments, condos, home owner associations).

This title sets the minimum standards for accessibility for alterations and new construction of facilities.  It also requires public accommodations to remove barriers in existing buildings where it is easy to do so without much difficulty or expense. This title directs businesses to make "reasonable modifications" to their usual ways of doing things when serving people with disabilities. It also requires that they take steps necessary to communicate effectively with customers with vision, hearing, and speech disabilities.  This title is regulated and enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice. 

                                                 TITLE IV (TELECOMMUNICATIONS)

This title requires telephone and Internet companies to provide a nationwide system of interstate and intrastate telecommunications relay services that allows individuals with hearing and speech disabilities to communicate over the telephone. This title also requires closed captioning of federally funded public service announcements. This title is regulated by the Federal Communication Commission.

                                          TITLE V (MISCELLANENEOUS PROVISIONS)

The final title contains a variety of provisions relating to the ADA as a whole, including its relationship to other laws, state immunity, its impact on insurance providers and benefits, prohibition against retaliation and coercion, illegal use of drugs, and attorney’s fees. This title also provides a list of certain conditions that are not to be considered as disabilities.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The US Department of Justice originally published its ADA title II and title III regulations on July 26, 1991, 1991 Standards including the 1991 ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). The ADA originally published in 1991 was enacted in public law format and later rearranged and published in the United States Code. The 1991 Standards, printed as Appendix A of the title III regulation in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), July 1, 1994, could be used for new construction and alterations under Titles II and III until March 14, 2012. The ADA is a law, not a building code.

The 1991 Standards set guidelines for accessibility to places of public accommodation and commercial facilities by individuals with disabilities. These guidelines were to be applied during the design, construction, and alteration of such buildings and facilities to the extent required by regulations issued by Federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG)

ADAAG is a document that contains scoping and technical requirements for accessibility to buildings and facilities by individuals with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. These scoping and technical requirements are to be applied during the design, construction, and alteration of buildings and facilities covered by titles II and III of the ADA to the extent required by regulations issued by Federal agencies, including the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation, under the ADA.  ADAAG is not the same as the ADA Standards. The USAB regulations must be consistent with the ADAAG, but the ADAAG contains guidelines, not enforceable standards.

The original ADAAG was published in 1991 and was later supplemented to address state and local government facilities (1998), children's environments (1998), play areas (2000), and recreation facilities (2002). These later supplements are incorporated into both the updated ADA-ABA guidelines and the current standards.

Architectural Barriers Act (ABA Standards)

Standards issued under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) apply to facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with certain federal funds. Passed in 1968, the ABA is one of the first laws to address access to the built environment. The law applies to federal buildings, including post offices, social security offices, federal courthouses and prisons, and national parks. It also covers non-federal facilities, such as public housing units and mass transit systems, built or altered with federal grants or loans. Coverage is limited to those funding programs that give the federal agency awarding grants or loans the authority to establish facility standards. The law resulted in the first set of standards for the removal of architectural barriers: The Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS).  The UFAS is discussed below.

Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS)

The UFAS document sets standards for facility accessibility by physically handicapped persons for Federal and federally-funded facilities. These standards are to be applied during the design, construction, and alteration of buildings and facilities to the extent required by the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended. This document presents uniform standards for the design, construction and alteration of buildings so that physically handicapped persons will have ready access to and use of them in accordance with the Architectural Barriers Act, 42 U.S.C. 4151-4157.

The Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act (FHA), as amended in 1988, prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin. The FHA applies to a wide range of entities including, but not limited to, property owners, housing managers, homeowners and condominium associations, lenders, and real estate agents.  FHA coverage includes private housing, housing that receives Federal financial assistance, and State and local government housing. It is unlawful to discriminate in any aspect of selling or renting housing or to deny a dwelling to a buyer or renter because of the disability of that individual, an individual associated with the buyer or renter, or an individual who intends to live in the residence. Other covered activities include, for example, financing, zoning practices, new construction design, and advertising.

The FHA requires owners of housing facilities to make reasonable exceptions in their policies and operations to afford people with disabilities equal housing opportunities. For example, a landlord with a "no pets" policy may be required to grant an exception to this rule and allow an individual who is blind to keep a guide dog in the residence. The FHA also requires landlords to allow tenants with disabilities to make reasonable access-related modifications to their private living space, as well as to common use spaces. (The landlord is not required to pay for the changes.) The FHA further requires that new multifamily housing with four or more units be designed and built to allow access for persons with disabilities. Buildings with first occupancy after March 13, 1991 that have four or more dwelling units must comply with the Fair Housing Act design and construction requirements. This includes accessible common use areas, doors that are wide enough for wheelchairs, kitchens and bathrooms that allow a person using a wheelchair to maneuver, and other adaptable features within the units. The requirements do not apply to alterations and rehabilitation.


These documents are not all encompassing but rather the primary laws and standards that are followed by ADA Expert Inspections to determine your buildings ADA compliance through our ADA Inspections.


Of the five U.S. Codes, Title II and III are the primary focus of ADA Expert Inspections.  Click on our 'Services' section to review the other services available to you at ADA Expert Inspections.

You can contact us for additional information or search the internet for more material  on the ADA.