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What is ADA?

September 15th, 2011 ADA

ADA stands for Americans with Disabilities Act, and it is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits the exclusion of people with disabilities from everyday activities. These activities include, buying an item at the store, watching a movie in a theater, enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, exercising at the local health club or having their car serviced at a local garage. The law established requirements for private businesses of all sizes to meet the goals of the ADA. These requirements first went into effect on January 26th, 1992 and have been recently updated in 2010. The requirements apply to both for-profit and non-profit organizations.

With the understanding that many small businesses can not afford to make significant physical changes to their stores or places of business, the ADA has requirements for existing facilities built before 1993 that are less strict than the ones built after early 1993 or modified after early 1992. In addition, tax credits and deductions were established that can be used annually to offset many costs of providing access to people with disabilities.


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