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."
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.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) Public Law 101-336, 104 Stat. 327 (1990)
- Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, Public Law 110-325, 122 Stat. 3554 (2009), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. ADA.gov contains an (unofficial) source for this codified statute incorporating the 2008 revisions.
- The Public Law is divided into five titles:
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
- 42 U.S.C. 12102 Disability defines, “disability” as:
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
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.
- Arnold & Porter Legislative History: Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 - contains a comprehensive legislative history of the ADA of 1990 (UM Law Access)
- ProQuest Congressional - Search for the “Americans with Disabilities” to locate links to congressional bills, reports, hearings, Congressional Record, legislative history, Congressional Research Reports, etc.
- Disability Law in the United States: a Legislative History of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, compiled by Bernard D. Reams, Jr., Peter J. McGovern & Jon S. Schultz (1992), HeinOnline.
- Legislative History of Public Law 101-336, the Americans with Disabilities Act. Prepared for the Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred First Congress, Second Session, U.S.G.P.O., 1990. HeinOnline.
- Legislative History of the Americans with Disabilities Act, ed. by G. John Tysse, (1991).
- Legislative History of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Public Law 101-476 As Amended by Public Law 101-119, compiled by Bernard D. Reams, Jr., Hein (1994), 5 volumes.
- Thomas - Go to Advanced Search, choose Congress, enter "Americans with Disabilities Act" in the word phrase box. Click Search. Links to Congressional bills and resolutions will be retrieved.
- National Network of ADA Centers Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers for Employment Matters
- ADA Technical Assistance Materials
- ABA Commission on Disability Rights
- Disability Discrimination page of the EEOC. Contains links to regulations and titles I and V of the A.D.A. as well as statistics on the number of complaints filed with the E.E.O.C. and money recovered. (see box labeled “For More Information,”)
- Disability.gov Links to various government and non-government websites. Information about disability programs, services, laws and benefits.” Includes state resources.
- Disability/Ability Related Links, Sacramento State College of Education Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, School Psychology, and Deaf Studies Degree and Credential Programs. Links to sources in all fields concerning disability, not just law.
- Job Accommodation Network-JAN, JAN is a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) of the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Southeast ADA Center, (formerly Southeast Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center, or DBTAC) Links to the addresses of resources by state.
- United States Access Board, a Federal Agency Committed to Accessible Design. Contains a link to the A.D.A. Accessibility Guidelines (A.D.A.A.G.) and other standards and regulations, which are design requirements for the construction and alteration of facilities in the private and public sectors as well as links to other relevant documents. (Click on Publications.)
- United States Department of Justice ADA. Has links to publications, rules, regulations, and other federal agencies with A.D.A. responsibilities.
- United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section
- United States Department of Labor. Office of Disability Employment Policy
Select Books From the UM Law Library
- Federal Disability Law in a Nutshell, 5th Ed., by Ruth Colker, (2016).
- Americans with Disabilities Act: Employee Rights and Employer Obligations (1992-2014). Lexis (2015-current).
- Americans with Disabilities Act Handbook, 4th Ed, by Henry H. Perritt, (2003-2014).
- Understanding the ADA, 4th Ed., by William D. Goren (2013).
- Understanding Disability Law, 2d Ed., by Mark C. Weber, (2012).
- What We Have Done: An Oral History of the Disability Rights Movement, by Fred Pelka, (2012).
- Disability Discrimination and the Workplace, by Peter A. Susser & Peter J. Petesch, (2011).
- Equal Employment of Persons with Disabilities: Federal and State Law, Accommodations, and Diversity Best Practices, by John Parry, (2011).
- Forging a Federal-State Partnership: a History of Federal Developmental Disabilities Policy, by Robert M. Gettings, (2011).
- Civil Mental Disability Law, Evidence and Testimony: a Comprehensive Reference Manual for Lawyers, Judges and Mental Disability Professionals, by John Parry, (2010).
- Disability Discrimination Law, Evidence and Testimony; A Comprehensive Reference Manual for Lawyers, Judges and Disability Professionals, by John Parry (2008).
- ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act Architectural Barrier Removal and Compliance Manual: a Simplified Approach to Accessibility, by James E. Jordan, (2005).
- Disability Civil Rights Law and Policy, by Peter Blanck, (2004).
- Public Accommodations Under the Americans With Disabilities Act: Compliance and Litigation Manual, by Anne Marie Estevez, Beth S. Joseph (2003). Westlaw.
- Americans with Disabilities Act, a Technical Assistance Manual on the Employment Provisions (Title I), Title I, II, and III, by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (1992) and ADA Regulations and Technical Assistance Materials.
To locate titles not included in this Research Guide, search Baron, the Online Catalog for the following subjects and their subtopics:
Other Research Guides
- Reassignment Under the ADA: Must an Employer Hire a Minimally Qualified, Disabled Employee Over a More Qualified Non-Disabled Applicant? A Legal Research Guide, by Amy R. Stein, (2009).
- Disability Law Research Guide, Georgetown University Law Library
- Harvard Disability Law Research Guide
- Pace Law Library Health Research Guide, Disability Page
- Cornell Disability Law Research Guide