(ADA) Enforcement/Litigation

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities. The Department of Justice enforces the ADA's requirements in three (3) areas:

Card-Sized Self-server Gas Fact Sheet Now Available — The Department of Justice has printed a new card-sized version of its technical assistance fact sheet on providing assistance at self-server gas stations. This is new version, which is easily stored in a vehicle's glove compartment, may be obtained by calling the ADA information line. The standard-size fact sheet is also available through the ADA Home Page, ADA Fax-on-Demand (document #3210) and the ADA Home Page.


Through lawsuits and both formal and informal settlement agreements, the Department of Justice has achieved greater access for individuals with disabilities in hundreds of cases. Under general rules governing lawsuits brought by the Federal Government, the Department of Justice may not file a lawsuit unless it has first unsuccessfully attempted to settle the dispute through negotiations.


The Department of Justice may file lawsuits in Federal court to enforce the ADA and may obtain court orders including compensatory damages and back pay to remedy discrimination. Under title III the Department of Justice may also obtain civil penalties of up to $50, 000 for the first violation and $I 00, 000 for any subsequent violation.

Technical Assistance

The ADA requires the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to entities and individuals with rights and responsibilities under the law. The Department of Justice encourages voluntary compliance by providing education and technical assistance to businesses, governments, and members of the general public through a variety of means. Our activities include providing direct technical assistance and guidance to the public through our ADA Information Line, ADA Home Page, and Fax-on-Demand, developing and disseminating technical assistance materials to the public, undertaking outreach initiatives, operating an ADA technical assistance grant program, and coordinating ADA technical assistance government-wide

ADA Home Page

An ADA home page is operated by the Department of Justice. The home page provides information regarding:

  • The Toll-Free ADA Information Line,
  • The Department of Justice's ADA enforcement activities,
  • The ADA technical assistance program,
  • Certification of State and local building codes,
  • Proposed changes in ADA regulations and requirements, and the ADA Mediation Program.

The home page also provides direct access to:

  • ADA regulations and technical assistance materials (which may be viewed online or downloaded for later use),
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) ADA materials, and
  • Links to the Department of Justice's press releases, ADA Bulletin Board, and Internet home pages of other Federal agencies that contain ADA information.

Department of Justice and Small Business Administration Intensify Outreach to Small Business

The Department of Justice and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have begun an outreach initiative to increase the awareness of small businesses of their rights and responsibilities under the ADA. SBA's fifty-three (53) Business Information Centers and fifty-seven (57) Business Development Centers located in every State will disseminate ADA materials to the existing and new small businesses they serve. The more than 13,000 representatives of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) who work closely with these SBA Offices will also enhance dissemination efforts. The first material disseminated by this initiative will be a jointly issued version of the ** ADA Guide for Small Businesses. This edition will include the toll-free number for the SBA information line for small businesses.

ADA Information Line

The Department of Justice operates a Toll-Free ADA Information Line to provide information and publications to the public about the requirements of the ADA. Automated service, which allows callers to listen to recorded information and to order publications, is available twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven seven (7) days a week. ADA specialists are available on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM and on Thursday from 1:00 PM until 6:00 PM (Eastern Time). Spanish language service is also available.

To obtain general ADA information, get answers to technical questions, order free ADA materials, or ask about filing a complaint, call: (800) 514-0301 (voice); (800) 514-0383 (TDD)

ADA Fax-On-Demand

The ADA Information Line Fax Delivery Service allows the public to obtain free ADA information by fax twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week. By calling the number above and following the directions, callers can select from among thirty-two (32) different ADA technical assistance publications and receive the information, usually within minutes, directly on their fax machines or computer fax/modems. A list of available documents and their code numbers may also be ordered through the ADA Information Line.

Publications and Documents

Copies of the Department's ADA regulations and publications, including the Technical Assistance Manuals for titles 11 and 111, and information about the Department's technical assistance grant program can be obtained by calling the ADA Information Line, visiting the ADA Home Page on the World Wide Web, or writing to the address listed below. All materials are available in standard print as well as large print, Braille, audiotape, or computer disk for persons with disabilities.

For More Information

Disability Rights Section Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P. 0. Box 66738
Washington, D.C. 20035-6738

Copies of the legal documents and settlement agreements mentioned in this publication can be obtained by writing to:

For More Information

Freedom of Information/ Privacy Act Branch 
Administrative Management Section 
Civil Rights Division 
U.S. Department of Justice 
P.O. Box 65310 
Washington, D.C. 20035-5310 
Fax: (202) 514-6195 

Currently, the FOI/PA Branch maintains approximately 10,000 pages of ADA material. The records are available at a cost of $0.10 per page (first 100 pages free). Please make your requests as specific as possible in order to minimize your costs.

The FOI/PA Branch also provides access to ADA materials at usdoi.gov/crt/foia/records.htm. A link to search or visit this website is provided from the ADA Home Page.