What is the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is the most comprehensive federal civil rights law that protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination and provides for equal access and opportunity. Former President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA into law on July 26, 1990.

ADA Questions & Training Requests

Contact your ADA Center


Phone: 1-800-949-4232 ( voice/tty)


New England ADA Center: Connecticut, Maine, Massachussetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont Northeast ADA Center: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands Mid-Atlantic ADA Center: Delaware, DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia Southeast ADA Center: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee Great Lakes ADA Center: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin Southwest ADA Center: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas Great Plains ADA Center: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska Rocky Mountain ADA Center: Colorado, Montana, North and South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming Pacific ADA Center: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada Northwest ADA Center: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington Northwest ADA Center: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington Pacific ADA Center: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada Region 2: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands Pacific ADA Center: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada ADA National Network Select a state from U.S. map to find your ADA Center

What areas (Titles) are in the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to situations in these five areas, referenced by ADA Titles:
Note: Links go to an external website - ADAportal.org.

  1. Employment (Title I)
  2. State and local government (Title II)
  3. Public accommodations / private businesses (Title III)
  4. Telecommunications (Title IV)
  5. Transportation and miscellaneous provisions (Title V)

Definition of Disability

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against any qualified individual with a disability. Specifically, the ADA protects three categories of individuals:

  1. Individuals who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.
  2. Individuals who have a record of a physical or mental impairment.
  3. Individuals who are regarded as having an impairment, whether they have an impairment or not.

The ADA does not include a list of covered disabilities under the law. Therefore, to determine if you are covered under the law, you need to determine if you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.

The definition of disability does not include simple physical characteristics, common personality traits, or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantages.

The ADA also excludes coverage for individuals who currently use illegal drugs, certain sexual disorders and preferences, and compulsive gambling, kleptomania, and pyromania.

Additional ADA Resources

Disclaimer: The ADA National Network provide these links as a courtesy and do not endorse, take responsibility, or exercise control of the organization nor vouch for the accuracy of the contents of the destination link. Accessibility cannot be guaranteed for external websites.

Southeast ADA Center
Information, Training and Guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Phone: 404-541-9001 [voice/tty] • Web: adasoutheast.org

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The Southeast ADA Center is a member of the ADA National Network
and a project of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University.