Tag Archives: disability law

Disability Law Series: The Fair Housing Act

The road to civil liberties and rights for those with disabilities has been a long one.  Over the next few weeks, we will highlight some of the most influential Federal civil rights law that ensures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities.

 The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination for housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin. This includes private housing, housing that receives Federal financial assistance, as well as State and local government housing.

The act states that is unlawful to discriminate the process of buying, renting or financing a home because of a disability, and this include discrimination by direct providers of housing, such as landlords and real estate companies.

If an individual has a physical or mental that limits one or more major life activities the landlord may not refuse to let the tenant make reasonable modifications to the dwelling or common use areas if necessary for the individual who is disabled to use the housing. Additionally, the landlord cannot be unwilling to to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing.

This can include not allowing a tenant to keep a guide dog because of the building’s no-pet policy. Another example is an apartment complex that offers tenants unassigned parking must honor a request from a mobility-impaired tenant for a reserved space near their apartment if necessary to assure that they can have access to their apartment.

For more information: http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/hce/title8.php

Disability Law Series: The Fair Housing Act | The Independence Center

Disability Law Series: The Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act

The road to civil liberties and rights for those with disabilities has been a long one.  Over the next few weeks, we will highlight some of the most influential Federal civil rights law that ensures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities.

The most notable act is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The ADA prohibits any kind of

discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. 


What is a Disability?

1) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or major life activities OR The ADA has a three-part definition of disability.  Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who:

2) Has a record of such an impairment OR

3) Is regarding as having such an impairment

A physical impairment is defined by the ADA as “any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine. A mental impairment is a mental or psychological disorder such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

The Details of the ADA

Title I of the ADA requires employers to provide qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from the full range of employment-related opportunities available to others. This means it prohibits discrimination in recruitment, hiring, promotions, training, pay, social activities, and other privileges of employment.

Title II requires that State and local governments give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all of their programs, services, and activities. This could include public education, recreation, health care, social services, and voting.

The transportation section of Title II covers public transportation services, such as city buses and public transit. According to the ADA, public transportation authorities may not discriminate against people with disabilities in regards to the provision of their services.

Title III of the act covers businesses and nonprofit service providers that are public accommodations. Public accommodations must comply with basic nondiscrimination requirements that prohibit exclusion, segregation, and unequal treatment. They also must comply with specific requirements related to architectural standards for new and altered buildings.

More Resources:

For more information on the ADA, visit their website: http://www.ada.gov

Frequently asked questions about the ADA

History of the ADA

Links to Federal web sites and other web sites with disability-related information: https://www.disability.gov/ 

Myths and Facts about the ADA

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