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Are You Discriminating?

5.25.06

Since its enactment in 1990, educational institutions have become increasingly familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In fact, it is now common knowledge that Title I of the ADA prohibits educational institutions with 15 or more employees from discriminating against employees or applicants for employment on the basis of a disability or perceived disability.

However, many educational institutions are unaware that their obligations under the ADA are not limited to the employment context. Title III of the ADA requires owners and operators of certain businesses to accommodate disabled patrons, customers and the public generally to the greatest extent possible. In addition to a general prohibition against discrimination based on disability, Title III provides specific examples of discriminatory conduct and mandates ADA compliance for new construction and alterations of buildings and facilities.

This article appeared in the May 2006 issue of School Planning & Management.

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