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Laws, Regulations & Standards

When we talk about what the ADA requires on, we are usually referring to two sources:

  1. The text of the ADA, also referred to as the ADA statute, passed by Congress in 1990 and later amended.
  2. Regulations developed by the Department of Justice that state/local governments and many businesses must follow to ensure that they do not discriminate against people with disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed by Congress in 1990. It was amended by Congress in 2008. This is the law that protects the civil rights of people with disabilities in many aspects of public life.

The Americans with Disabilities Act

Learn more about the ADA on our Introduction to the ADA page.

ADA Regulations

DOJ is responsible for issuing regulations under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that explain the rights of people with disabilities and the obligations of those covered by the law.

What is a regulation?

A regulation (also called a “rule”) is a set of requirements issued by a federal agency to implement laws passed by Congress. When Congress passes laws, many details are often left to federal agencies to flesh out in regulations. For example, when Congress passed the ADA, it gave DOJ the authority to issue regulations that explain the rights and obligations under Titles II and III of the ADA.

Check out DOJ’s current ADA regulations:

  • Title II (State and Local Governments)

Download PDF for ADA’s Title II Regulations (4.2MB, 279 Pages)

  • Title III (Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities)

Download PDF for ADA’s Title III Regulations (4.2MB, 279 Pages)

In the Spring 2023 Unified Agenda, DOJ announced that it plans to issue new ADA regulations on the following topics:

What is the Unified Agenda?

The Unified Agenda provides information about federal agencies’ regulatory priorities and the specific regulations that they plan to issue in the short and long term.

Design Standards

View the 1991 and 2010 Design Standards, and the Guidance on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.