Independent Living Resource Center

Disability and Related Civil Rights Legislation

The Rehabilitation Act and Amendments -

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - requires that public agencies, private business and professionals provide accommodations that are reasonable or readily achieveable to make their programs and services accessible for persons with different disabilities. This not only means modifying existing buildings for wheelchair accessibility, but also providing communication access assistance such as qualified interpreters or note takers to ensure adequate communication when participating in the programs and services they provide to the public.   Check out the ADA Fact Sheet.

Fair Housing Act Amendment (FHAA) - This Act was designed to protect people against discrimination in housing. It is illegal to refuse to rent or sell property to someone based on that person's disability or protected class status. It also requires landlords to allow their tenants to make modifications to dwellings at the tenant's expense. The dwelling must return to the original status, if the landlord requests it, when the tenant leaves.

Employment and Disability - There are federal and state organizations within the community that can help train or retrain you for work. If you are recently disabled unable to return to the job you had prior to your disability there is re- training resources and support available. Contact your local Vocational Rehabilitation Office or One Stop Career Center for more information.  Employers need reliable, qualified workers with or without disabilities. In fact, under the ADA, employers who employ 15 or more people have an obligation to give you an equal chance at any job that you are qualified to do. They also have an obligation to make reasonable accommodations at your work site, such as raise your desk, lower the shelves, or make your work area larger. ILRC can assist with mediation with employers on disability-related or accommodation issues, provide referrals to support programs and employment resources.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - Adopted in 1997 to continued the requirements established by PL 94-142 for a free and appropriate education in the most inclusive environment. The Individuals with Disabilities Education.  Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) aligns IDEA closely to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), helping to ensure equity, accountability and excellence in education for children with disabilities.

The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (ABA) - The ABA requires access to facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with Federal funds. Passed by Congress in 1968, it marks one of the first efforts to ensure access to the built environment.

The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) - This legislation was enacted in 1986 to eliminate hindrances in air travel for persons with disabilities. All domestic air carriers and all airport facilities must be made accessible. The ACAA protects you from discrimination, ensures equality in travel opportunities and treatment, and makes the air carrier liable if they damage your wheelchair or other mobility aids.

The Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-431) - mandates the addition of closed-caption decoder chips in televisions 13 inches or greater.  It is a remarkably short piece of legislation - the key part is less than a page long.

There are many other access statutes, both state and federal.