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Advancing the Human & Civil Rights of People with Disabilities in Illinois

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FAQ

Girl in wheelchair on accessible playgroundFind answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about government services. Just click on a question below to read the answer or scroll down to read them all.

Does the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to state and local governments?

Does the ADA apply to the federal government?

How does Title II affect participation in a state or local government’s programs, activities and services?

Does Title II require a state or local government to modify its programs?

What changes must a public entity make to its buildings to make them accessible?

What does Title II require for new construction and alterations?

How will the ADA’s requirements for state and local governments be enforced?

Does the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to state and local governments?

Yes. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified people with disabilities in all public programs, activities and services.

Does the ADA apply to the federal government?

No. However, the federal government is covered by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

How does Title II affect participation in a state or local government’s programs, activities and services?

A state or local government must eliminate all requirements for participation in programs, activities and services that screen out or tend to screen out people with disabilities, unless it can show that the requirements are necessary.

Does Title II require a state or local government to modify its programs?

Yes. A public entity must reasonably modify its policies, practices or procedures to avoid discrimination, unless a modification would fundamentally alter the nature of its service, program or activity.

What changes must a public entity make to its buildings to make them accessible?

A public entity must ensure that people with disabilities are not excluded from services, programs and activities because buildings are inaccessible. This standard is known as “program accessibility.” Public entities do not necessarily have to make all buildings accessible. They may:

  • Alter buildings
  • Buy or construct other buildings
  • Move a service or program to an accessible space

What does Title II require for new construction and alterations?

The ADA requires all new buildings constructed by a state or local government to be accessible. In addition, when a state or local government alters a building, it must make the altered portions accessible.

How will the ADA’s requirements for state and local governments be enforced?

People may sue to enforce their rights under Title II within two years of an infraction in Illinois. People may also file complaints with eight designated federal agencies, including the departments of Justice and Transportation. However, if a person files with a federal agency, the time to file in court is still two years from the date of the alleged discrimination. The deadline for filing in court does not change just because a complaint was filed with a federal agency.


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Last updated: September 03, 2020

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