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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.

accessible parking spaces with stores in background

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.



graphic bullet Introduction to the ADA

graphic bullet Talk to an ADA Specialist

(800) 514-0301 voice | (800) 514-0383 TTY


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graphic bullet ADA Publications for Businesses

ADA Business Briefs

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ADA Business Brief:
Communicating with People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Hospital Settings

PDF screen version - Communicating in Hospital Settings (148k)

PDF print version
- Communicating in Hospital Settings (1100k)

HTML version - Communicating in Hospital Settings

reduced image - First page of Business Brief
ADA Business Brief:
Communicating with Guests Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Hotels, Motels, and Other Places of Transient Lodging

PDF screen version - Communicating in Transient Lodging (88k)

PDF print version
- Communicating in Transient Lodging (672k)

HTML version

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ADA Business Brief:

Assistance at Gas Stations (PDF) screen version (124k)

Assistance at Gas Stations (PDF) print version
(676k)

Assistance at Gas Stations (HTML)

reduced image - Service Animals ADA Business Brief
ADA Business Brief:

Service Animals (PDF) screen version

Service Animals (PDF) print version

Service Animals (HTML)

reduced image - Restriping Parking Lots ADA Business Brief
ADA Business Brief:

Restriping Parking Lots (PDF)

Restriping Parking Lots (HTML)


ADATA : Readily Achievable Barrier Removal and Van-Accessible Parking (PDF) | Readily Achievable Barrier Removal and Van-Accessible Parking (HTML)

Readily Achievable Checklist for Existing Business Facilities

ADA Guide for Small Businesses (PDF) | ADA Guide for Small Businesses (HTML)

ADA Questions and Answers


graphic bullet This Month's ADA Featured Publication - ADA Tax Incentives Packet for Businesses

image of three pages from tax packet

This collection of information presents an overview of the ADA tax credits and deductions for businesses. It includes IRS Form 8826 for the Disabled Access Credit, a Fact Sheet on the tax incentives for improving accessibility, ADA publications list and a letter from Attorney General Ashcroft.

ADA Tax Packet



graphic bullet ADA Standards for Accessible Design

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

graphic bullet ADA Regulations for Businesses

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

graphic bullet Information about the ADA and Employment

graphic bullet Learn More about the ADA

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Department of Justice ADA Publications

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The President's New Freedom Initiative Announcement

Remarks by the President on the New Freedom Initiative

Small Business Administration logo Small Business Administration Home Page


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ADA Documents | ADA Standards | Tax Credits and Deductions | Learn More | Search

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last update December 18, 2003