ADA Title II – State and Local Governments

Posted by Reeve Foundation Staff in Daily Dose on July 19, 2016 # Advocacy and Policy

On July 26, 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. At that signing, President Bush called the nation to “let the shameful walls of exclusion come tumbling down.” This month we’ll be sharing a posting about the titles of the ADA, what they mean, and how we must continue to fight to protect the ADA. See our first post about Title I – Employment.

Title II – State and Local Governments

Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, activities, and services of public entities.

This applies to all State and local governments, their departments and agencies, and any other instrumentalities or special purpose districts of State or local governments, including activities of State legislatures and courts, town meetings, police and fire departments, motor vehicle licensing, and employment. For example, state and local governments:

  • Must provide programs and services in an integrated setting, unless separate or different measures are necessary to ensure equal opportunity.
  • Are required to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures that deny equal access to individuals with disabilities, unless a fundamental alteration in the program would result.
  • Must furnish auxiliary aids and services when necessary to ensure effective communication.
  • Must ensure that individuals with disabilities are not excluded from services, programs, and activities because buildings are inaccessible.

Since the Rehabilitation Act was signed into law in 1973, discrimination on the basis of disability had been illegal in all federally funded programs. Title II of the ADA extended this to state and local government programs.

Coming next: Title III – Public Accommodations

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.