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Disability Discrimination: Applicable Laws

Below is a list of federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on disability in a number of settings, and links to the full texts of those laws. (Note: Many states have civil rights laws of their own which mirror those at the federal level, so your state may have its own laws that are very similar to those identified below. In addition, municipalities like cities and counties can enact ordinances and laws related to civil rights.)

  • Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 (FindLaw)
    Prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in provision of (and access to) air transportation.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (FindLaw)
    Protects persons with disabilities from discrimination in many aspects of life, including employment, education, and access to public accommodations.
  • Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (FindLaw)
    Requires that buildings and facilities designed, constructed, altered, or leased with certain federal funds after September 1969 must be accessible to and useable by handicapped persons.
  • Fair Housing Act (FindLaw)
    Prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (FindLaw)
    Ensuring that the rights of students with disabilities are protected, and that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education.
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (FindLaw)
    Protects disabled individuals from discrimination by employers and organizations that receive federal financial assistance.
Next Steps
Contact a qualified civil rights attorney
to help you protect your rights.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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