Americans with Disabilities Act


We envision a society where the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is upheld and people with disabilities live free of discrimination.

What We Do

We can assist individuals with disabilities who have been discriminated against or denied services through case management, legal representation and self-advocacy training. We provide training, education and outreach across the state on disability rights. Staff also work to improve laws, regulations, policies and practices that affect the rights of people with disabilities through litigation and advocacy.

What is the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.

Equal Access to Childcare Centers  

Children with disabilities should not be turned away from child care centers that need to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act based off of disability related assumptions, such as how much assistance they may need.  Please note, child care centers that do not receive federal funding do not fall under Section 504 and child care centers run by religious organizations do not fall under the ADA. Here are some resources on your rights to child care programs, programs working together to offer training and assistance to child care providers about children with disabilities, and the federally funded ABC voucher program to provide funding for childcare for children with disabilities. 

Effective Communication in Medical Settings

Four part video series in ASL

DRSC Client Success Story

In 2008, P&A filed a complaint to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on behalf of an individual who is deaf regarding effective communication concerns with the City of Columbia Police Department (CCPD). After many years, in 2016 the DOJ reached an extensive settlement with the CCPD. Among other things the CCPD agreed to: provide auxiliary aids and services when needed for effective communication and to do so free of charge; designate an ADA coordinator; develop an appropriate grievance procedure; provide “communication cards” for officers to use in the field; develop a communication assessment form; post signs about effective communication and the availability of auxiliary aids/services; put a TTY and video phone at CCPD stations/substations; provide staff training; and modify the handcuffing policy where the individual uses sign language Settlement Agreement Between the Department of Justice and the City of Columbia, South Carolina Police Department Under the Americans with Disabilities Act