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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does the ADA apply to State and local governments?
2. What employees are covered by the ADA?
3. What practices and activities are covered by the employment nondiscrimination requirements?
4. How does the ADA affect participation in a State or local government’s programs, activities, and services?
5. What changes must a public entity make to its existing facilities to make them accessible?
6. How will ADA’s requirements for State and local governments be enforced?
7. How do I file a complaint of discrimination with DHMH regarding denial of equal opportunity in accommodations and employment under ADA?
8. What kinds of auxiliary aids and services are required by the ADA to ensure effective communication with individuals with hearing or vision impairments?
9. Does the requirement for effective communication mean that a program put all of its documents in Braille?

1. Does the ADA apply to State and local governments?
Yes, ADA applies to all State and local governments, their departments and agencies, and any other instrumentalities or special purpose districts of State or local governments.

2. What employees are covered by the ADA?

The employment provisions apply to private employers, State and local governments, employment agencies, labor unions, and educational institutions.

3. What practices and activities are covered by the employment nondiscrimination requirements?

The ADA prohibits discrimination in employment practices, including the job application process, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. It also applies to recruitment, advertising, tenure, layoff, leave, fringe benefits, and all other, employment-related activities.

4. How does the ADA affect participation in a State or local government’s programs, activities, and services?

A State or local government must eliminate any eligibility criteria for participation in programs, activities, and services that screen out persons with disabilities, unless it can establish that the requirements are necessary for the provision of the service, program, or activity.

5. What changes must a public entity make to its existing facilities to make them accessible?

A public entity must ensure that individuals are not excluded from services, programs, and activities because existing buildings are inaccessible. A State or local government’s programs must be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

6. How will ADA’s requirements for State and local governments be enforced?

Private individuals may bring lawsuits to enforce their rights under Title II, and may receive the same remedies as those provided under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, including reasonable attorney's fees.

7. How do I file a complaint of discrimination with DHMH regarding denial of equal opportunity in accommodations and employment under ADA?

If you believe you have been denied equal opportunity by DHMH because of your disability, you can file a complaint within 180 days of the alleged act of discrimination. A complaint can be filed in several ways:

•By writing the ADA Coordinator, DHMH, Office of Equal Opportunity Programs, 201 W. Preston Street, 5th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21201 or by calling (410) 767-6600 voice, or the Maryland Relay 711 or 1-800-735-2258 TDD
•By filing an administrative complaint with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by calling toll-free 1-800-669-4000 voice or 1-800-800-3302 TDD
•By writing to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, 330 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20201
•By writing to the Coordination and Review Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20530
•By filing suit in the local Federal court.

8. What kinds of auxiliary aids and services are required by the ADA to ensure effective
communication with individuals with hearing or vision impairments?

Appropriate auxiliary aids and services may include services and devices, such as, qualified interpreters, assistive listening devices, notetakers, and written materials for individuals with hearing impairments; and qualified readers, taped texts, and brailed or large print materials for individuals with vision impairments.

9. Does the requirement for effective communication mean that a program put all of its documents in Braille?

Braille is not a required format for all documents. A public entity must ensure that its communications with individuals with disabilities are as effective as communications with others.
A public entity is required to make available appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective communication.

Examples of auxiliary aids and services that benefit various individuals with vision impairments include magnifying lenses, qualified readers, taped texts, audio recordings, Brailed materials, large print materials, or assistance in locating items.

The type of auxiliary aid or service necessary to ensure effective communication will vary in accordance with the length and complexity of the communication involved. For example, for individuals with vision impairments, employees can often provide oral directions or read written instructions.