The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was approved into law last 1990. It’s been a very significant civil rights law as it prohibits discrimination against all individuals with disabilities in the United States, providing protection for them in all areas of life. They are offered protection from discrimination in all public and private places such as with jobs, schools, transportation, commercial spaces, and even with state and local government offices.
Unfortunately, discrimination can be rampant among the United States. That is why the ADA offers civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities, similar to the protections provided to other individuals on the basis of religion, race, color, sex, nationality, and age. It is very important that laws are set in place so that equal opportunities and fair treatment are guaranteed to these people.
The ADA is divided into portions that outline nondiscrimination policies or standards for people with disabilities, e g “Title I (Employment)” and e g “Title III (Public Accommodation)” which we will shortly outline below.
ADA Title I – Equal Employment Opportunities
Title I ensures that equal opportunities are offered to applicants or employees with disabilities, ensuring they have access to the same opportunities and benefits that are available to people without disabilities.
Employers are also mandated to provide reasonable accommodations, which indicate modifying or adjusting the work environment or office space so that an employee with a disability can perform essential job functions.
This has resulted in many changes within the work force. Nowadays, people who were partly discriminated for having a disability are now able to work in various fields. One of the more popular observations from the past few years is seeing employees with speech and hearing impairments working in service or retail jobs. Signs or instructions are made available so that other employees and all customers are able to communicate with them properly.
ADA Title III – Nondiscrimination in Public Accommodation Places and Commercial Facilities
Title III of the ADA is one of the more, if not the most, well-known section. This is because it contains all the information that protects people with disabilities from discrimination in any public accommodation – such as restaurants, hotels, malls and retail shops, doctor’s offices, schools, sports stadiums, theaters, health clubs, and many more. It is within this section of the ADA wherein we can find the minimum standards for accessibility and usage of public facilities by persons with disabilities.
These standards carefully list down the construction requirements so that people with disabilities can enter, maneuver, or use the facilities as easily as possible. Existing buildings or those constructed before the ADA are mandated to remove barriers that post difficulties to individuals with disabilities. All offices and direct businesses are also required to modify their usual services to accommodate customers who have communication disabilities. Meeting these standards ensures that a public facility is ADA compliant and therefore caters to individuals with disabilities as well as they possibly could.
However, some public accommodations still fall short of these standards, causing people to file a complaint against them to the U S Department. Business owners that do not comply with these positive steps and changes to accommodate disabled persons may face legal consequences and even lawsuits.
File a Complaint for ADA Discrimination
Violations by ADA accommodations generally involve a failure to provide access, amenities, or services to people with disabilities. Failure to follow ADA standards and requirements can lead to penalties and even private lawsuits. The lawsuits are merited if injuries or blatant discrimination were caused onto the person with disabilities.
Hefty penalties await those business and organizations that do not abide by ADA standards. The first violation penalties can go as high as 75,000 USD while subsequent violations go up to 150,000 USD.
People with disabilities may file an ADA lawsuit to a federal agency as well as obtain federal court orders to stop ADA violations. Complaints are directly filed with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division in order for an investigation to begin, followed by an attempt to resolve the complaint.
The Department of Justice Civil Rights Division is located in Pennsylvania, Washington D C.
The complaint alleging disability discrimination must be filed within 180 days of the date of the alleged acts of discrimination or violation against you or a person with disability.
If you or another person has been discriminated against by an entity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you may file a complaint alleging disability discrimination to the DRS. The DRS is the Disability Rights Section in the Department of Justice.
All new complains submitted from all over the United States are subject to processing and review by the Disability Rights Section.
Filing a Complaint for ADA Discrimination
An ADA complaint, including any complaint alleging to disability discrimination by a state or local government, through any of the following means:
The ADA website contains all the pertinent information you need to present in order to file an ADA complaint. It is best to visit the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) website prior to filing your complaint to know some additional information.
Once ready to file the complaint, you may directly access the ADA website here: https://civilrights.justice.gov/
ADA complaints are accepted via email. People may file their complaint by sending an email to the following address: ADA.firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADA complaint via mail can be sent to the following address:
US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section – 1425 NYA
4CON, 9th floor
Washington, D. C. 20530
Fax: (202) 307 1197
To file an ADA complaint by facsimile or fax for short, you may opt to fax the completed ADA complaint form to the following number: (202) 307 1197.
Along with the ADA complaint form, you may fax relevant documents that may support your complaint. Feel free to obtain copies of relevant documents that you believe necessary to support you as you file an ADA complaint.
Just be sure to keep a copy of your complaint and the original documents for your personal records.
For questions about filing an ADA complaint, you may the ADA information line.
Their hotline numbers of the ADA information line are as follows: 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TTY).
Note: If you are unable to write or submit complaints because of your disability, the Department can assist you via phone or videophone. This technical assistance is offered to those who are unable to manually submit their complaints in the usual channels – online, via email, phone, or fax.
Contact the ADA information line at 1-800-514-0301 (voice) or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY) to schedule an appointment. It may take up two weeks or more before Department staff contact you.
Required Information to Support your Complaint
Kindly provide the following information along with your ADA complaint to the U S Department. This will aid the Department of Justice’s Disability Rights Section (DRS) with contacting you for further information about the alleged discrimination which is the basis for your complaints.
- Full name, address, telephone numbers
- Name of the party discriminated against
- Name and address of the business, organization, institution, or person that you believe committed the act of discrimination
- Brief description of the acts of discrimination, including dates of occurrence and names of individuals involved in the act
- Additional information and relevant documents that you believe will support your complaint
After submitting your complaints to the Civil Rights Division, they will get in touch with you for the next course of action. These include investigation, resolution, or possible litigation by the U S Department of Justice. Of course they will look into this practice of discrimination, especially if there is a pattern or practice involved in the complaint.