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ADA / Disability Rights Laws

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, is a comprehensive federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.  The ADA is organized into five titles:

  • Title I: Employment
  • Title II: State & Local Governments
  • Title III: Places of Public Accommodations 
  • Title IV: Telecommunications
  • Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions

    See also: Americans With Disabilities Act – Questions and Answers (

    How You Can Honor the ADA

    One in five Vermonters has a disability. What can you do to honor the vision and power of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the human rights and potential of individuals with disabilities?

    • Hire qualified candidates with disabilities who come to you for job opportunities and learn about the different ways to accommodate workers with disabilities.
    • Ask your town officials to redesign sidewalks to eliminate single step entrances in your town.
    • Remember to make accessibility changes when you do a major renovation of a place the public uses.
    • Make your domestic violence shelter, your senior program, your day care center, your voting place, your arts and recreation programs and other community services accessible so all can benefit.
    • Hire ASL interpreters and learn how to use a TTY and other telecommunication services for Americans who are Deaf or have other communication disabilities.
    • Support Vermont’s work to build housing and community supports that make the choice to live at home and in the community – rather than in a nursing home or other institution – a real choice for more Vermonters of all ages.
    • Make your Web site accessible.
    • Learn about disability rights and services and find out how people with disabilities, designers and innovative policymakers are transforming programs and services for Americans with disabilities.
    • Invite people with disabilities to your planning commissions, governing board and community forums and hold these meetings in accessible places.
    • See an improvement in access in your town: better sidewalks, interpreters at town meetings, more restaurants and businesses that are accessible? Write a letter to the paper celebrating the change. No improvements? Write a different letter!
    • Put information about your work or services in accessible formats (large print, Braille, or audio).
    • Organize! Protest inaccessibility and work with your neighbors for change.
    • Churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship are also often places where arts events, community suppers, discussion groups take place. Make your place of worship accessible to all.
    • Support local efforts to implement the ADA and other disability rights laws in your community. Contact your city’s ADA Coordinator to get involved.
    • Have a disability? Know someone who does? Get to know the ADA and other disability rights laws and speak up for implementation and enforcement.
    • Celebrate the power we have to build inclusive communities: Together we can change the world.

    “Barriers to employment, transportation, public accommodations, public services, and telecommunications have imposed staggering economic and social costs on American society”

    – Questions & Answers ADA booklet, US DOJ

    Need help? Want ideas or solutions?  Contact the Community Access Program: 1 800 639-1522