Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Definition & Meaning:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law enacted in 1990 that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.

The purpose of the ADA is to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

For example, under the ADA, businesses must provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, and public accommodations must be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

This might include installing ramps for wheelchair access or providing Braille and large print for those who are visually impaired.

The ADA is divided into several titles. Title I covers employment, requiring employers with 15 or more employees to provide equal opportunities to individuals with disabilities.

Title II addresses public services and transportation, mandating that public transportation be accessible to everyone.

Title III focuses on public accommodations and services operated by private entities, ensuring accessibility to businesses like restaurants, hotels, and theaters.

One important aspect of the ADA that has gained prominence with the rise of the internet is the requirement for digital accessibility.

Websites, online platforms, and other digital resources are increasingly seen as part of public accommodations, meaning they must be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

This could involve providing text alternatives for non-text content or making sure websites can be navigated using a keyboard alone.