The Americans with Disabilities Act gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, transportation, State and local government services, telecommunications, and in the goods and services provided by businesses.
Small towns offer a variety of essential programs and services that are fundamental to the public and to everyday American life. Although the range of services offered by small towns varies, it is essential that people with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in the programs and services that towns offer. Applying for a building permit or business license, playing ball in the local park, marching in the Memorial Day parade, attending an annual street festival or a town meeting, or calling 9-1-1 for emergency police, fire, or rescue all are typical town programs, activities or services covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. The ADA gives people with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in the mainstream of public life offered to all Americans.
This guide presents an informal overview of some basic ADA requirements and provides cost-effective tips on how small towns can comply with the ADA.
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