The Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a federal civil rights law that gives protections to individuals with disabilities. The makes it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities at work, in school and in public areas. Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can make it easier for you to get your child the help she needs.

ADA guarantees an individual with disabilities:

  • Freedom from discrimination at schools that receive federal funding, including public schools, private schools, colleges and universities.
  • Freedom from discrimination in the workplace (with the exceptions of workplaces that employ fewer than 15 individuals.)
  • Legal rights and reasonable accommodations

ADA works in tandem with other education laws affecting individuals with disabilities such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). While ADA does apply to private and public schools, does not specifically guarantee the right to a free appropriate public education. A child who is covered by ADA may not be eligible for special education services.

For more information about what obligations schools have with respect to complying with ADA, visit

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