Q. Does the ADA apply to State and
A. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against
qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, activities, and
services of public entities. It applies to all State and local governments,
their departments and agencies, and any other instrumentalities or special
purpose districts of State or local governments. It clarifies the requirements
of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for public transportation
systems that receive Federal financial assistance, and extends coverage to all
public entities that provide public transportation, whether or not they receive
Federal financial assistance. It establishes detailed standards for the
operation of public transit systems, including commuter and intercity rail
Q. When do the requirements for State
and local governments become effective?
A. In general, they became effective on January 26,
Q. What changes must a public entity
make to its existing facilities to make them accessible?
A. A public entity must ensure that individuals with
disabilities are not excluded from services, programs, and activities because
existing buildings are inaccessible. A State or local government's programs,
when viewed in their entirety, must be readily accessible to and usable by
individuals with disabilities. This standard, known as "program accessibility,"
applies to facilities of a public entity that existed on January 26, 1992.
Public entities do not necessarily have to make each of their existing
facilities accessible. They may provide program accessibility by a number of
methods including alteration of existing facilities, acquisition or
construction of additional facilities, relocation of a service or program to an
accessible facility, or provision of services at alternate accessible sites.
Q. What does title II require for new
construction and alterations?
A. The ADA requires that all new buildings constructed by
a State or local government be accessible. In addition, when a State or local
government undertakes alterations to a building, it must make the altered
Q. Is the Federal government covered by
A. The ADA does not cover the executive branch of the
Federal government. The executive branch continues to be covered by title V of
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination in services and
employment on the basis of handicap and which is a model for the requirements
of the ADA. The ADA, however, does cover Congress and other entities in the
legislative branch of the Federal government.