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Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted in 1990, prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including employment, schools, transportation, and telecommunications, and it assures their access to all places of “public accommodation,” including banks.

The ADA is divided into five titles. Title III prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by places of public accommodation and requires newly constructed or altered facilities to comply with accessibility standards issued by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board).

Title III also requires public accommodations to remove barriers in existing buildings where it is easy to do so without much difficulty or expense. It directs businesses to make "reasonable modifications" to their usual ways of doing things when serving people with disabilities, and requires that they take steps necessary to communicate effectively with customers with vision, hearing, and speech disabilities. This title is regulated and enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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