The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990, following earlier national legislation that guaranteed disability rights in government, housing and education. The ADA is the most comprehensive of the country's disability laws.
The ADA is divided into four main sections, or Titles. Title III addresses public accommodations. Specifically, Title III covers businesses that are open to the public that fall within one of 12 categories listed in the ADA:
- Places of lodging
- Food and drink establishments
- Place os exhibition or entertainment
- Places of public gathering
- Sales or rental establishments
- Service establishments
- Public transportation terminals, depots or stations
- Places of public display or collection
- Places of recreation
- Places of education
- Social service center establishments
- Place of lodging
Title III prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and requires requires newly constructed or altered buildings of these businesses to comply with the ADA Standards. The ADA Standards establish design requirements for the construction and alteration of facilities subject to the law.