If something is accessible, that thing is usable by a person with a disability. Accessible can apply to an environment, product or service, program, or activity. It can also apply to a wide range of communications, including elevator buttons, fire alarms, documents, lectures, and movies.

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Because of the ADA
Infographic titled 'Because of the ADA.'

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law on July 26, 1990. The ADA is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including access to jobs, schools, transportation, and public and private places that are open to the general public. The law is divided into five titles (or areas) where the various protections for people with disabilities are spelled out. The goal of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

Here are just a few of the positive effects that can be observed today, all because of the ADA.

Are you going out into the community? You can park in an accessible parking space. You can take an accessible bus. You can easily enter stores because of a curb ramp and doors that are accessible. You can navigate through stores along a clear path of travel. Signage at areas like bathrooms is clear and concise with raised characters and Braille. Drinking fountains are accessible. The checkout counter and service counters you encounter are lower and more accessible. You can bring your service animal with you.

Are you going to the movies? theaters offer assisted listening devices to help you hear better.

Are you making a phone call? You can use a relay service to assist you with communication.

Are you going to a concert or sporting event? You have access to wheelchair accessible seats alongside your friends and family.

Are you going to work? You can request a change in how things are typically done from your employer, called a reasonable accommodation, to assist you with work tasks.

Are you going to vote or to a town meeting? Your polling place and municipal programs, offices and meetings must be accessible to you.

Are you going to the Doctor? You can request an interpreter to communicate more efficiently. You can request medical information in a manner that works for you.

Nearly 37 million people in our country have a disability and nearly 25% of today's 20 year olds will experience disability in their lifetime. (ADA National Network, ADA Anniversary Toolkit)

'This Act is powerful in its simplicity. it will ensure that people with disabilities are given the basic guarantees for which they have worked so long and hard. Independence, freedom of choice, control of their own lives, the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American mainstream.' -President George H.W. Bush, ADA Signing Ceremony, July 26, 1990
ADA Accessible Parking 101
Infographic titled 'ADA Accessible Parking 101' featuring a graphic of an accessible parking spot with arrows identifying aspects listed below.
 Accessible parking spaces must be provided whenever parking is provided including:
 Signage that includes the International Symbol of Accessibility.
 An adjacent access aisle is needed.
 Located on the shortest accessible route to an accessible entrance.
 1 of every 6 must be sized for vans.
 If you have any questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact us at 1-800-949-4232
Accessible Swimming Pools
Infographic titled 'Accessible Swimming Pools':
ADA Accessible Swimming Pools:
Large pools (more than 300 linear feet of pool wall) must have at least two accessible means of entry, at least one being a pool lift or sloped entry.
Smaller pools (less than 300 linear feet of pool wall) must have at least one accessible means of entry, provided it is either a pool lift or a sloped entry.
Accessible Shopping: Clear Paths
Infographic titled 'Accessible Shopping: Clear Paths' featuring a photo of a woman using a motorized shopping cart in a supermarket.

It's important to provide sufficient space for all customers to shop.

Avoid overcrowding aisles and entrances with seasonal items, displays, racks or equipment that reduce accessible routes to less than 36 inches width.

Provide accessible routes to all shopping areas, including service counters, fitting rooms and bathrooms.

If you have questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact us at 1-800-949-4232
Snow Removal: For Business Owners
Infographic titled 'Snow Removal for Business Owners' featuring a man walking through the snow with a cane.

'Where a public accommodation must provide an accessible route, the route must remain accessible and not blocked by obstacles'
- Department of Justice ADA Title III Technical Assistance Manual

After snow, businesses should AVOID:
Plowing snow into accessible parking, access isles, or curb cuts.
Having snow or ice on the accessible route to the entrance.

Removing snow is a readily achievable barrier removal

If you have questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact the Northeast ADA Center at 1-800-949-4232