Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees people with disabilities access to all parts of state and local government. It insures their right to be active citizens in their communities.
The ADA under Title II requires all state and local governments to provide equal opportunity to individuals with disabilities to participate in and benefit from public programs. Simply stated, state and local governments cannot keep people with disabilities from participating in programs and activities because of their disabilities.
Title II of the ADA builds on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 504 says that state and local governments that receive federal financial assistance provide equal opportunity to individuals with disabilities to participate and benefit. Title II of the ADA says it doesn't matter if state and local governments receive federal financial assistance. They must make all their programs accessible to people with disabilities.
Title II Part A applies to all state and local governments and became effective January 26, 1992.
Title II Part A is enforced by the Department of Justice and a number of other federal agencies.
Title II covers all public entities whether or not they receive federal financial assistance.
Public entities include any state and local government and any of its departments, agencies or other instrumentalities. Title II covers counties, municipalities, cities, boroughs, and special purpose districts.
All activities, services and programs of public entities are covered including state legislatures, executive branches and courts, town meetings, police and fire departments, motor vehicle licensing, employment, public libraries, public schools, parks and recreation facilities. People with disabilities can attend town meetings, city council sessions, and other functions, because these meetings must be held in places that are accessible.
Private entities that operate as public accommodations, such as malls, theaters, hotels, restaurants, doctors' offices, are covered under Title III of the ADA.
Public transportation services operated by state and local governments are covered by Title II Part B. The Department of Transportation enforces transportation regulations related to the ADA. One such regulation requires all new busses to be equipped to provide services to people who use wheelchairs. Public transportation will not be discussed further in this training. The Department of Transportation is still in the process of issuing regulations on accessible public transportation. Visit the Department of Transportation Web site for more information.
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