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The Five Titles of the Americans with Disabilities Act

by RevaComm on May 17, 2017
The Five Titles of the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act became a civil rights law nearly 30 years ago. Five titles outline the public entities affected and how each must provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Upcoming web accessibility changes will primarily affect public entities defined under Titles II & III.

The goal of the ADA law is to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA is segmented into 5 titles that address different areas of public life.

ADA – Title 1: Employment

  • Equal employment opportunities and benefits for people with disabilities.
  • Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applications or employees.
  • Regulated & enforced by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

ADA – Title 2: Public Services, State & Local Government

  • Prohibits discrimination on basis of disability by public entities, operated by state and local governments.
  • Public entities are required to make programs, services, and activities accessible.
  • Regulated & enforced by U.S. Department of Justice.

ADA – Title 3: Public Accommodations & Services Operated by Private Entities

  • Public accommodations* (privately-owned, leased or operated facilities) are prohibited from discrimination against people with disabilities.
  • Businesses are responsible for eliminating accessibility barriers and providing accommodations when serving people with disabilities.
  • Regulated & enforced by U.S. Department of Justice.
    *Public accommodations = Hotels, restaurants, retail merchants, doctor’s offices, golf courses, private schools, day care centers, health clubs, sports stadiums, movie theaters, etc.

ADA – Title 4: Telecommunications

  • Telephone and Internet companies are required to provide services that enable communication via phone.
  • Regulated by Federal Communication Commission.

ADA – Title 5: Miscellaneous Provisions

  • Covers a variety of provisions related to the ADA.
  • This title also provides a list of certain conditions that are not considered disabilities.


Source: ADA National Network (

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