Fundamental Civil Rights For Persons With Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990, based on Congressional findings that 43,000,000 Americans have one or more physical or mental disabilities and that this number is increasing as the population as a whole is growing older. Historically, society has tended to isolate and segregate individuals with disabilities and, despite some improvements, such forms of discrimination continue to be a serious and pervasive social problem. 

Congress found that discrimination existed in such critical areas as employment, housing, public accommodations, education, transportation, communication, recreation, institutionalization, health services, voting and access to public services. Further, Congress found that the Nation’s proper goals regarding individuals with disabilities are to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living and economic self-sufficiency for such individuals. Finally, Congress found that the continuing existence of unfair and unnecessary discrimination and prejudice denies people with disabilities the opportunity to compete on an equal basis and to pursue those opportunities for which our free society is justifiably famous.

Technical Assistance Available

You may receive technical assistance on the ADA at 1-800-526-7234 or technical assistance at 1-800-949-4232. In order to reach the United States Department of Justice to receive information or file a complaint, you may call a toll free number, 1-800-514-0301 (voice) or 1-800-514- 0383 (tdd). The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division maintains home pages for:  (1) Section 508 of the Rehab Act, (2) Americans with Disabilities Act, and (3) Employment Litigation Section. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accepts complaints on employment discrimination.

Housing discrimination is covered under the Fair Housing Act and Housing and Urban Development accepts complaints on housing discrimination.

ADA Document Portal contains an ADA collection of more than 7,400 documents and has created several additional collections (over 15,000 documents).  Funded by U. S. Department of Education, NIDRR.

Order ADA CD-Rom From USDOJ

Order the CD-ROM via the internet or by calling the ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 (voice) or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY), 24 hours every day.

This free CD-ROM contains a complete collection of the Department’s ADA materials. It includes the Department?s regulations, architectural design standards, and technical assistance publications. Designed for easy use on laptop computers in the field, or other computers that lack high speed Internet access, the CD-ROM will make searching documents and identifying appropriate ADA information easier and more efficient.

Documents on the CD ROM are provided in a variety of formats, including HTML, WordPerfect, and text (ASCII), to enable people with disabilities and others to gain easy access, translate materials to braille, or use screen readers. Many documents are also provided in Acrobat PDF format so that they appear as they do in print and permit the publication to be reprinted by personal computers.

State of Oklahoma ADA/504 Coordinators

In order to ensure that Title II nondiscrimination, accessibility and other requirements are met by State entities and that individuals can easily identify the ADA coordinator of the state agencies, the Office of Disability Concerns has provided a list of state agency coordinators through its website.  Click here to download the list.

Access to Courthouses

ADA Coordinator for Courthouses in Oklahoma

National Center for State Courts click here

NCSC’s State by State ADA Highlights, 2006  

Access to the Florida Courts:  Identifying and Eliminating Architectural Barriers, Final Report by the Court Accessibility Subcommittee, Standing Committee on Fairness and Diversity, 2008 click here

Courthouse Access Advisory Committee click here

Achieving Accessible Courthouses, by Dave Yanchulis, June 2007 click here

Justice for All:  Designing Accessible Courthouses, published November 16, 2006 click here

News Release on Report click here

Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities click here

ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments, from U. S. Department of Justice, first and second installments issued in 2006 and third and fourth installments issued in 2007 click here

Access Statements and Resources from Other Courts

Day in Court for ADA, article for National Public Radio by Joseph Shapiro, January 2004 click here

US DOJ Settlement Agreements For Accessibility to Oklahoma Courthouses

  • Settlement Agreement with US DOJ and Oklahoma County regarding courthouse accessibility, 1999
  • Settlement Agreement with US DOJ and Adair County regardiang courthouse accessibility, 2000   

More on Courthouse Access Advisory Committee…

An advisory committee established by the U.S. Access Board that included representatives from the AIA has released a report offering recommendations on making courthouses more accessible to people with disabilities.

The Courthouse Access Advisory Committee presented its report to the full board in November. It provides design guidance and best practice recommendations for achieving access in courthouses and offers outreach and educational strategies for disseminating this information.

Over the course of its two-year charter, the committee examined design issues in depth, toured different types of courthouses across the country, and crafted solutions that ensure access without compromising traditional features essential to courthouse design. The committee’s recommendations will supplement accessibility guidelines the board maintains under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Architectural Barriers Act.

James L. Beight, AIA, Phillips Swager Associates, and Andrew Goldberg, Assoc. AIA, AIA manager of federal regulatory affairs, represented the AIA on the committee. Other members of the committee included disability groups, members of the judiciary, court administrators, representatives of the codes community and standard-setting entities, government agencies, and others with an interest in accessibility issues.

Said Access Board Chair and General Services Administration Deputy Administrator David L. Bibb, “I am confident, thanks to the work of this committee, that future courthouses will fulfill the promise that justice for all means access for all.”

SIgnificant ADA Cases

Olmstead Opinion from United States Supreme Court (integration mandate)

Fisher Opinion from Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (integration mandate applies to persons “at risk” of institutionalizion)

Lane Opinion from United States Supreme Court (access to courthouse)

Settlements with US DOJ in Oklahoma

For Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) search of US DOJ webpage on ADA, click here.

For instructions to search all US DOJ webpages, click here.

Road To Freedom Bus Tour Stopped in Oklahoma City in 

Road To Freedom was a national awareness campaign inspired by the historic journey of Justin & Yoshiko Dart to mobilize support for passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990.  The year-long, cross-country bus journey launched from Washington, DC on November 15th, 2006 was aimed to engage audiences across the United States in the story of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the history of the disability rights movement. They hoped to mobilize Americans to keep the promise of the ADA – freedom, inclusion, and opportunity for children and adults with physical, mental, cognitive and developmental disabilities.