United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act
2010 Regulations
2010 Design Standards
Technical Assistance Materials
ADA Business Connection

The Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in everyday activities, such as buying an item at the store, going to the movies, enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, exercising at the health club, or having the car serviced at a local garage.

To meet the goals of the ADA, the law established requirements for businesses of all sizes. These requirements went into effect on January 26, 1992. Businesses that serve the public must modify policies and practices that discriminate against people with disabilities; comply with accessible design standards when constructing or altering facilities; remove barriers in existing facilities where readily achievable; and provide auxiliary aids and services when needed to ensure effective communication with people who have hearing, vision, or speech impairments. All businesses, even those that do not serve the public, must comply with accessible design standards when constructing or altering facilities.

ADA Publications for Businesses - 2010 Regulations

ADA Update: A Primer for Small Business  | PDF An illustrated guide to help small businesses understand the requirements of the 2010 ADA regulations (2011)

Revised ADA Requirements: Accessible Pools - Means of Entry and Exit  | PDF
This publication is designed to help title II and title III entities understand the new requirements for swimming pools, especially existing pools, apply to them (2012)

Questions and Answers: Accessibility Requirements for Existing Swimming Pools at Hotels and Other Public Accommodations| PDF (2012)

Revised ADA Requirements: Service Animals| PDF
This publication provides guidance on the term “service animal” and the service animal provisions in the Department’s new regulations (2011)

Revised ADA Requirements: Ticket Sales | PDF
This publication provides guidance on the Department's new nondiscrimination requirements that apply to selling tickets for assigned seats at events such as concerts, plays, and sporting events. (2011)

Revised ADA Requirements: Effective Date and Compliance Date | PDF
This publication sets out several different "compliance dates," dates by which entities covered by the ADA are required to comply with the new or revised provisions of the Department's rules. (2011)

ADA Publications for Businesses - 1991 Regulations

Title III Technical Assistance Manual and 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)

ADA Guide for Small Businesses | PDF
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

Maintaining Accessible Features in Retail Establishments | PDF (2009)
Maintaining Accessibility in Museums | PDF (2009)
Accessible Information Exchange: Meeting on a Level Playing Field| PDF (2009)
Accessibility Benefits Older Adult Customers| PDF (2006)
Accessible Customer Service Practices for Hotel and Lodging Guests with Disabilities| PDF(2006)
Building a Diverse Customer Base | PDF (2006)
Tax Incentives for Business| PDF(2005)
Gathering Input from Customers with Disabilities| PDF(2007)

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

Communicating with People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Hospital Settings| PDF(2003)
Communicating with Guests Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Hotels, Motels, and Other Places of Transient Lodging| PDF(2003)
Assistance at Gas Stations | PDF(2002)
Restriping Parking Lots| PDF (2001)

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)

Accessible Stadiums | PDF
A 4-page publication highlighting features that must be accessible in new stadiums and providing guidance on line of sight for wheelchair seating locations. (1996)

Five Steps To Make New Lodging Facilities Comply With The ADA |
A 3-page document highlighting five steps that owners, operators, and franchisors can take to make sure that new lodging facilities comply with the ADA. (1999)

Other ADA Publications

2010 Title III Regulations and Standards for Accessible Design

ADA Regulations for Businesses -- (title III) - Department of Justice requirements for businesses and non-profit service providers

ADA Standards for Accessible Design
Enforceable standards issued by the Department of Justice for new construction, alterations, renovations, and additions to businesses.

ADA Video Gallery

Ten Employment Myths -- 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.

Ten Small Business Mistakes -- This thirteen-minute video identifies common mistakes that small businesses make when trying to comply with the ADA and addresses the importance and value of doing business with 50 million people with disabilities.

ADA Signing Ceremony -- This video documents the speech given by President George H. W. Bush when he signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law on July 26, 1990.

Talk to an ADA Specialist (800) 514-0301 voice | (800) 514-0383 TTY