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Legislative Resources

Individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination in employment, education, housing, transportation and in accessing public services and private businesses by a number of different laws.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990 and prohibits discrimination in employment, state and local governmental programs.

The Fair Housing Act as Amended in 1988 prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of homes based on disability.

The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits commercial airlines from discriminating against person with disabilities.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act mandates that every child be provided with a "free, appropriate education."

Together these laws provide people with disabilities important protections in accessing many aspects of society. Some of these pieces of legislation are massive and complex. Fortunately, there are some great resources available to help you in understanding your rights and responsibilities under these laws.

The Southwest ADA Center is the leading resource on the Americans with Disabilities Act and related disability rights laws in the Southwest region. The Center is part of the ADA National Network funded by the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the Department of Education. To reach the Southwest ADA Center or the center that serves your state call 1-800-949-4232.

The Disability Law Handbook was written by attorney Jacquie Brennan and produced by the Southwest ADA Center. It is well written and easy to understand treatment of federal disability laws. To date, thousands have been disseminated and reviews have been excellent. It is especially useful for those that need an introduction federal disability nondiscrimination legislation.

The most comprehensive resource for information about disability laws, benefits and programs is the federal governments website located at You can also find links to thousands of resources from many different government agencies, as well as state and local governments and non profit organizations across the country. New resources are added daily to enhance the ten main subject areas: Benefits, Civil Rights, Community Life, Education, Emergency Preparedness, Employment, Health, Housing, Technology and Transportation. It is an excellent resource. The site is easy to navigate and there is a "tour guide" function to help you find the information you need.