Appendix A:

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was adopted as law in 1990 to ensure equal access to all individuals without regard to needs related to disability. This comprehensive law focuses on a number of areas, including accessibility to and within public buildings and services.

If you encounter problems with a building's accessibility, you should first speak with the building owner or manager and explain your problem. They may have been unaware of any accessibility difficulties, and could make immediate changes for you. If the building manager or owner is unwilling to help, the next step is to get other people in the building to talk to the management. Local advocacy groups, such as Centers for Independent Living, may offer intermediary services or provide alternative resources for addressing problems. If you cannot achieve a resolution of the problem using these methods, you can file a complaint with the Department of Justice. For information about filing a complaint, call the ADA information line at 800-514-0301.

A problem might be as simple as a plant that was placed in front of the elevator buttons or within the clear passage of a hallway. It may be as complex as a multi-level building not serviced by an elevator or doorways that are too narrow for you to pass through.

Access Board

The U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) provides technical assistance on the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. The Access Board can be reached at the following numbers:

U.S. Department of Transportation

The ADA also addresses accessibility to transportation services. The United States Department of Transportation oversees this aspect of the ADA. They can be reached at the following numbers:

  • Documents and questions
    • voice 202-366-1656
    • TDD 202-366-4567
  • Legal questions
    • voice 202-366-1936
    • TDD use relay system
  • Complaints and enforcement

General ADA Information

You can reach the ADA Information Line to obtain ADA documents, ask questions, and obtain referrals at the following numbers: