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How to File an ADA Complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice

You can file an Americans with Disabilities Act complaint alleging disability discrimination against a State or local government or a public accommodation (including, for example, a restaurant, doctor's office, retail store, hotel, etc.) by mail or email.

To file an ADA complaint by mail, you may fill out this form and mail it to:

US Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section 1425 NYAV

Washington, D.C. 20530

To file an ADA complaint by fax, you may fax the form to:

(202) 307-1197

You may also file a complaint by email at ADA.complaint@usdoj.gov.

If you require accommodations because of a disability in order to prepare a complaint, see question 2 below.

If you have questions about filing an ADA complaint, please call:

ADA Information Line: 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TTY).

Main Section Telephone Number: 202-307-0663 (voice and TTY)


More Information about Filing an ADA Complaint

  1. How can I file an ADA complaint with the Department of Justice?
  2. What accommodations may I request if I cannot prepare my own ADA complaint because of my disability?
  3. What information should my ADA complaint include?
  4. How do I file an ADA complaint by e-mail?
  5. How do I file an ADA complaint by regular mail or some other delivery service?
  6. What happens after my complaint is received?
  7. How can I find out the status of my complaint?
  8. What happens if my complaint is referred for possible mediation?
  9. What happens if my complaint is opened for investigation?
  10. What happens if my complaint is referred to another federal agency?
  11. How will the information in my complaint be used?
  12. Information in Spanish about filing an ADA complaint

1. How can I file an ADA complaint with the Department of Justice?

If you believe that you or another person has been discriminated against by an entity covered by the ADA, you may file a complaint with the Disability Rights Section (DRS) in the Department of Justice. A complaint may be sent by email, the quickest way to file a complaint, or by letter. (Letters and packages sent to the DRS by U.S. Mail are delayed for security screening.) While email complaints are the quickest and receive an immediate reply confirming that they have been received, there is no guarantee of privacy when you send an e-mail. See questions 4 and 5 below for instructions on filing by email or by regular mail.

2. What accommodations may I request if I cannot prepare my own ADA complaint because of my disability?

Individuals who are deaf, have hearing loss, or have speech disabilities may submit complaints using the DRS TTY line, 1-800-514-0383, or via the telephone relay system, calling 1-800-514-0301 (voice). Individuals who communicate using American Sign Language (ASL) may schedule an appointment (using either number above) to make a complaint via direct video connection to a member of our staff.

Individuals with other disabilities may have their complaints taken orally over the telephone. To schedule an appointment to dictate the text of a complaint, call the ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 (voice) or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY) .

3. What information should my ADA complaint include?

Provide the following information:

    A. Your full name, address, the telephone numbers where we can reach you during the day and evening, and the name of the party discriminated against (if known);
    B. The name and address of the business, organization, institution, or person that you believe has committed the discrimination;
    C. A brief description of the acts of discrimination, the dates they occurred, and the names of individuals involved;
    D. Other information you believe necessary to support your complaint, including copies (not originals) of relevant documents; and
    E. Information about how to communicate with you effectively. Please let us know if you want written communications in a specific format (e.g., large print, Braille, electronic documents) or require communications by video phone or TTY.

To guide you in providing the requested information, you may use this ADA complaint form for any ADA complaint.

4. How do I file an ADA complaint by email?

Include all of the information listed above, either in the body of the email or in an attachment. Attach relevant documents to your email. Send your complaint to ada.complaint@usdoj.gov. You will receive an automatic reply email confirming that your complaint has been received. Please keep a copy of your complaint and the reply email for your records. If you do not receive an automatic reply email, please contact DRS at the voice or TTY number above.

5. How do I file an ADA complaint by regular mail or some other delivery service?

DRS accepts complaints sent by regular mail through the U.S. Postal Service or by any other parcel delivery service. Please be aware that the receipt of complaints sent by regular mail or some other delivery services may be delayed by 4 - 6 weeks because of necessary security screening precautions. To file a complaint using regular mail or some other delivery service, send your completed complaint with copies (not originals) to the following address:

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section - NYAV
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

Please keep a copy of your complaint and the original documents for your own records.

6. What happens after my complaint is received?

After the complaint is received, we will inform you of our action, which may include:

    A. Contacting you for additional information or copies of relevant documents;
    B. Referring your complaint for possible resolution through the ADA Mediation Program;
    C. Referring your complaint to the United States Attorney's Office in your area for investigation;
    D. Referring your complaint to another federal agency with responsibility for the types of issues you have raised.
    E. Investigating your complaint; or
    F. Considering your complaint for possible litigation by the Department of Justice.

Since we receive a high volume of ADA complaints and have limited resources, we cannot investigate or litigate every complaint. If we cannot investigate your complaint due to lack of resources or for some other reason, we will send you a letter explaining why your complaint will not be investigated.

7. How can I find out the status of my complaint?

We review each complaint carefully. Because we receive a large volume of ADA complaints from people throughout the United States, our review can take up to three months and sometimes longer. If you have not heard from us by the end of this three-month period, you can find out the status of your complaint by calling 1-800-514-0301 (voice) or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY). A member of our staff will contact you to tell you if your complaint has been received and if it is still under consideration for possible action.

8. What happens if my complaint is referred for possible mediation?

The ADA Mediation Program provides mediation services free of charge in an effort to achieve a cooperative resolution of ADA complaints against businesses and state and local governments. If we decide that your complaint may be appropriate for mediation, we will contact you and the entity that you complained about to find out if you are both willing to participate in mediation.

9. What happens if my complaint is opened for investigation?

If your complaint is opened for investigation, an investigator or attorney will be assigned and will contact you to obtain additional information. The investigator or attorney will contact you at least every three months to advise you of the status of the investigation.

During the investigation, the attorney or investigator will not necessarily make a determination about whether or not an ADA violation has occurred. If he or she believes there is a pattern or practice of discrimination, or the complaint raises an issue of general public importance, DRS may attempt to negotiate a formal settlement of the matter, or may file a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of the Unites States. We do not act as an attorney for, or representative of, the complainant.

10. What happens if my complaint is referred to another federal agency

If we decide your complaint is appropriate for referral to another federal agency, we will notify you of this decision and send you a copy of the letter sent to the other agency.

11. How will the information in my complaint be used?

The personal information will be used primarily for the Department of Justice’s authorized civil rights compliance and enforcement activities. DRS will not disclose your name or other identifying information about you unless it is necessary for enforcement activities against an entity alleged to have violated federal law, or unless such information is required to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, or disclosure is allowed through the publication of a routine use in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a. To further the Department’s enforcement activities, information DRS has about you may be given to: appropriate Federal, State, or local agencies: Members of Congress or staff; volunteer student workers within the Department of Justice so that they may perform their duties; the news media when release is made consistent with the Freedom of Information Act and 28 C.F.R. § 40.2; and the National Archives and Records Administration and General Services Administration to perform records management inspection functions in accordance with their legal responsibilities.

Providing DRS with the requested information is voluntary except that failure to provide such information may result in DRS being unable to process your complaint.

For other questions, call the ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 (voice) or 1-800-514-0383. Information Specialists are available to answer questions on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time). On Thursday, the information line is staffed from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time).