The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990. The ADA is one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life — to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services. Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin — and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 — the ADA is an "equal opportunity" law for people with disabilities.
To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered. The American Camp Association works with experts to provide information to camps regarding the applicability of the law in the camp environment.
ADA - Specific Applications to Camps
- Food Allergies - May constitute a disability under ADA.
- ADA requirements regarding accessible pools, specifically regarding the means of entry and exit.
- ADA accessibility requirements regarding existing pools - FAQ
- Financial assistance to update pools to comply with ADA — There are two Federal tax incentives available to help cover costs of making access improvements for people with disabilities:
- A tax credit for small businesses that remove access barriers from their facilities or vehicles, provide accessible services, or take other steps to improve accessibility for customers with disabilities.
- Service Animals — ADA requirements regarding the ADA's service animal provisions (including a definition of a "service animal").
- ADA Hotline — Free service for all businesses with questions about compliance and enforcement.
- Americans with Disabilities Act — Full text of the law.
- ADA Technical Assistance — Information about the ADA and how to comply with the law.
- Americans with Disabilities Act Update: Utilizing the Civil Rights Law to Better Include Participants with Disabilities — Article, The CampLine, Winter 2013
- ADA Title III — The Department of Justice regulations that implement the ADA for businesses and non-profit service providers.
- ADA Standards for Accessible Design — Enforceable standards under Titles II and III for new construction, alterations, program accessibility, and barrier removal.
- ADA Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal
- National Network – Information, Guidance, and Training on the American with Disability Act
- American Association of People with Disabilities
- National Center on Accessibility