Law Research Guide: Americans With Disabilities Act

Last Updated: Sept. 19, 2014. AJB

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by president H.W. Bush.  As explained at ADA.gov, "[t]he ADA is one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life"  This legislation was modeled "after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 -- the ADA is an 'equal opportunity' law for people with disabilities."

 Secondary Sources

For a general introduction to the field look in American Jurisprudence 2d, American Law Reports, and Corpus Juris Secundum are all good places to start when looking for information on a legal topic.  American Jurisprudence 2d: New Topic Service is a separate looseleaf volume of the American Jurisprudence set, which is normally located at the end of the regular set called New Topic Service has a section by the name, “Americans with Disabilities Act: Analysis and Implications.”  References to this section are listed as NTS in the general index. Core A Collection, Westlaw, and Lexis.

 Statutes

Title I:           Employment
Title II:          Public Services
Title III:         Public Accommodations and Services Operated by Private Entities
Title IV:         Telecommunications (for the hearing and speech impaired)
Title V:           Miscellaneous provisions

The term : “disability” means with respect to an individual—

A. a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
B. a record of such an impairment; or
C. Being regarded as having such an impairment

 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) & Federal Register

Both the C.F.R. and Federal Register are in hard copy in the library Reference Collection and on HeinOnline, Westlaw, Lexis Advance. Unofficial information on federal regulation can be obtained through several websites: FDsys, eCFR, federal regulation, and regulation.gov.

 Case Law

Most cases regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act will be heard in Federal Court, though exceptions may exist when a case involves the disability laws of a state.  In addition to performing searches in Westlaw and Lexis, citations to cases and brief annotations of relevant federal cases are available through West’s Federal Practice Digest and West’s Florida Digest, 2d by locating "Civil Rights -- Disabled Persons" in the Descriptive Word Index.

 Looseleaf Services and Reporters

  • BNA’s Americans with Disabilities Act Manual, 1992 - current. This three volume looseleaf service contains reproductions of both federal and some state materials, some of which are hard to find. Updated monthly. Looseleaf Collection (1992-2011 only) & BloombergBNA
  • BNA Labor Relations Reporter, volume 10, contains Americans with Disabilities Cases, including selected federal, state and unreported cases. Looseleaf Collection, KF3365.L32, Westlaw.
  • Mental and Physical Disability Law Reporter, ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law, 1976 -. Reports of recent cases with citations to the full texts and brief notes and articles. “Recent Legislation and Regulations” is at the end of each issue. Ceased publication in 2011. Anglo American Periodicals (1984-2011 only), Westlaw (1987-2011) HeinOnline (1976-2011).

 Legislative History Sources

Legislative histories help the researcher understand the intent of the Congress or legislatures in passing the law and may contain documents such as congressional committee reports and committee hearings that were created by Congress or state legislatures in the making of a law. The sources listed below are reproductions of primary sources, not the original sources, that were published by the U.S. Government Printing Office.

 Internet Sources

 Select Books From the UM Law Library

 Subject Headings

To locate titles not included in this Research Guide, search Baron, the Online Catalog for the following subjects and their subtopics:

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QUICKLINKS

Training
Library Hours
Library Staff
Ask a Librarian

ACCESSING DATABASES FROM OFF-CAMPUS OR USING WIRELESS
Instructions: Video  |  Text

HELPFUL PHONE NUMBERS

Library Reference: 305-284-3585
Library Circulation: 305-284-3563
Automated Operator: 305-284-2250
Copy Center: 305-284-3272
Computer Help Desk: 305-284-5297

 

QUOTE
"Perhaps the two most valuable and satisfactory products of American civilization are the librarian on the one hand and the cocktail in the other."
- Louis Stanley Jast, Librarian