It is the policy of Prince George's County Government to fully comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act to prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment, services, activities, and programs sponsored by the County. If you are a person with a disability and would like to participate in any County sponsored services, programs, or activities, please call 301-265-8400 or Maryland Relay - 711.
What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?
This landmark legislation, signed into law July 26, 1990 removes many of the barriers face by people with disabilities in the workplace, public and commercial facilities, transportation, and in communications.
The ADA provides protection for the nearly 50 million Americans who have physical or mental disabilities that substantially limit such daily activities as walking, talking, seeing, hearing, or self-care. People with a record of such a disability and those regarded as having a disability are also protected.
The Americans With Disabilities Act has five parts:
- Title I - Employment
- Title II - State and Local Government, including Public Transportation
- Title III - Public Accommodations and Services Operated by Private Entities
- Title IV - Telecommunications
- Title V - Miscellaneous Provisions
For more information about the ADA or your rights as a person with a disability please contact:
ADA Coordinator at 301.265.8400 /Maryland Relay 711
Title I- Employment
Title I prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities. It requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified applicant or employees, unless such accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer. Reasonable accommodations may include: making worksites accessible, modifying existing equipment, providing new devices, modifying work schedules, restructuring jobs, and providing readers or interpreters.
Title I also prohibits the use of employment tests and other selection criteria that tend to screen out individuals with disabilities, unless such selection methods are shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity.
Title I also bans the use of pre-employment medical examinations to determine the existence of a disability. But medical examinations are allowed after a job offer has been made if: the results are kept confidential; all persons offered employment in the same job category are required to take the exam; and the results are not used to discriminate. While employers are not permitted to inquire about a job applicant's disability, they may inquire about the individual's ability to perform certain job functions.
Title I applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. Employers with fewer employees are exempt from Title I.
Title II - Public Services
Title II requires that the services and programs of local, state, and other nonfederal government agencies be accessible to people with disabilities.
Title II also seeks to ensure that people with disabilities have access to transportation. All new buses must now be accessible. Transit authorities must provide supplementary paratransit services or other special transportation services for individuals with disabilities who cannot use fixed-route bus services, unless this would present an undue burden.
All new rail vehicles and all new rail stations must be accessible. Existing rail systems must have one accessible car per train within five years of enactment. Amtrak must make all of its existing stations accessible within 20 years. Key subway and commuter rail stations must generally be accessible within three years.
Title III - Public Accommodations
Public accommodations include all entities that affect commerce (sales, rental, and service establishments), educational institutions, recreational facilities, and social service centers. Eligibility criteria that tend to screen out individuals with disabilities are prohibited, unless alterations would fundamentally alter the nature of services provided by the facility.
Public facilities are also required to provide auxiliary aids when needed to enable those with visual, hearing, or sensory impairments to participate in the program, but not when such efforts results in an undue burden on the business. Examples of auxiliary aids are large printed documents, recorded documents, brailing, interpreters, or a reader. A restaurant need not provide menus in Braille for blind patrons. Instead, a waiter or waitress could read the menu aloud. A public facility may choose among various alternatives as long as the result is effective communications.
Physical barriers must be removed from existing public facilities when readily achievable (easy to accomplish, at little expense). In most cases all that is needed is the ramping of a few steps. But the construction of all facilities and alterations of existing public facilities must be accessible to people with disabilities. Elevators generally are not requires that are less than three stories high or have less than 3,000 square feet per story.
Title III also addresses transportation provided by private entities
Title IV - Telecommunications
Title IV amends the Communication Act of 1934 to require that telephone companies make their services accessible to the hearing-impaired as well as to the rest of the population. This means providing telecommunication relay services that permit the use of TDDs.
Title V - Miscellaneous Provisions
Title V addresses such issues as the ADA's relationship to other laws, including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, requirements relating to the provisions of insurance, regulations by the Access Board, prohibition of state immunity, inclusion of the Congress as covered entity, implementation of each title, promotion of alternatives means of dispute resolution, and provision of technical assistance.