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Serving Region 9 - Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada & the Pacific Basin

Need ADA Assistance? 1-800-949-4232 (Voice/TTY) Email Us

ADA Information

Introduction to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Barriers to employment, transportation, public accommodations, public services, and telecommunications have imposed staggering economic and social costs on American society and have undermined efforts by people with disabilities to receive an education, become employed, and be contributing members of society. By breaking down these barriers, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) enables society to benefit from the skills and talents of individuals with disabilities, allows businesses to gain from their increased purchasing power and ability to use it, and leads to fuller, more productive lives for all Americans.

The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The ADA is one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life -- to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in state and local government programs and services. Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – the ADA is an "equal opportunity" law for people with disabilities.

To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered.

How to Get Technical Assistance on the ADA

The Pacific ADA Center is one in a national network of ten centers that provide technical assistance on the ADA. Each center staffs a toll-free information line and provides informal guidance on ADA information specific to its region. The Pacific ADA Center serves all areas in Federal Region 9 of the ADA National Network, which includes Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Basin Territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Find your regional ADA Center

The Pacific ADA Center's Technical Assistants can answer most questions you have immediately. Questions that require research will be handled in a professional and prompt manner.

Technical Assistance is available from the Pacific ADA Center Monday - Friday, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific Time at 800-949-4232 (V/TTY) or contact us online. All calls are confidential