Access Rights Guide

The Maine Human Rights Commission is the State agency charged with the responsibility of enforcing Maine’s anti-discrimination laws. The Commission investigates complaints of unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, education, access to public accommodations, extension of credit, and offensive names.

Contact Information and Directions:

Resources on Federal Disability Rights Laws (From the Access Board)

A number of Federal laws address accessibility and protect the rights of persons with disabilities. These laws cover access to a wide range of facilities and services, including housing, transportation, employment, telecommunications, and voting. Knowing one's rights under the laws, or complying with their requirements, typically means getting the right information from the proper source. Check out their publications list:

Resources can also be found through (, a one-stop interagency web portal for people with disabilities, their families, employers, service providers, and others.

The Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) requires access to certain facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with Federal funds according to established design standards. These standards are enforced by the Board through the investigation of complaints. Technical assistance on the design requirements is also available from the Board.

Access Board    (800) 872-2253 (v)    (800) 993-2822 (TTY)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government services, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and telecommunications. Unlike the ABA, the ADA's coverage is not tied to the presence of Federal funding. Various agencies provide information or guidance on different sections of the law. Information on all sections is available through a network of regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers (DBTACs) sponsored by the Federal government.

ADA Basic Building Blocks
A FREE online course that explores the legal requirements and the spirit of the ADA

All Sections: Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center  DBTACs    (800) 949-4232 (v/TTY)

Employment:    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission    (800) 669-4000 (v)    (800) 669-6820 (TTY)

Government Services and Public Accommodations:    Department of Justice   (800) 514-0301 (v)    (800) 514-0383 (TTY)

Transportation:    Federal Transit Administration    (888) 446-4511 (v/relay)

ADA Accessibility Guidelines:    Access Board    (800) 872-2253 (v)   (800) 993-2822 (TTY)

Telecommunication Relay Services:    Federal Communication Commission    (888) 225-5322 (v)   (888) 835-5322 (TTY)

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ensures access to programs and activities that are federally funded. It also protects the rights of Federal employees with disabilities. Federal agencies are responsible for enforcing requirements as they apply to their own programs, services, and employment practices. The law also requires electronic and information technology procured by Federal agencies to be accessible according to standards issued by the Access Board.

Employment: Contact the responsible Federal agency's Equal Employment Opportunity Office.

Programs and Activities: Each Federal agency is responsible for ensuring that the programs and activities it funds meet the access requirements of section 504 of the law. To find an agency's 504 contact, call the Access Board or visit its website at:

Electronic & Information Technology:    General Services Admin.

Electronic & Information Technology Standards:    Access Board    (800) 872-2253 (v)   (800) 993-2822 (TTY)

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of disability, as well as race, color, gender, and religion. It covers housing in the public and private sectors. Under the law, new multifamily housing must be able to be adapted for accessibility according to established guidelines.

Department of Housing and Urban Development
(800) 669-9777 (voice)
(800) 927-9275 (TTY)

The Telecommunications Act requires telecommunications products and services to be accessible according to guidelines developed by the Access Board, where readily achievable. It covers a broad range of products, including telephones, cellular phones, pagers, and fax machines. The Federal Communications Commission enforces requirements of the law.

Federal Communications Commission
(888) 225-5322 (v)   (888) 835-5322 (TTY)

Accessibility Guidelines: Access Board
(800) 872-2253 (v)   (800) 993-2822 (TTY)

The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discriminatory treatment of people with disabilities in air travel. Regulations issued by the Department of Transportation under the Act cover a range of issues, including boarding assistance and access features in newly built aircraft.

Aviation Consumer Protection Division
Department of Transportation
(866) 266-1368 (v)   (866) 754-4368 (TTY)

The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act ensures access to polling places used in Federal elections and requires States to make available registration and voting aids, such as instructions in large type. (Also, the newly passed Help America Vote Act of 2002 addresses access to polling places and voting systems. The Election Administration Commission, a new entity to be established under the law, will implement the act's reforms.)

Voting Section, Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
(800) 253-3931 (v/TTY)

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"Access Currents" is a free newsletter issued by the Access Board every other month by mail and e-mail. Send questions or comments to or call (800) 872-2253 ext. 0026 (voice) or (800) 993-2822 (TTY). Mailing address: 1331 F Street, N.W., Suite 1000; Washington, D.C. 20004-1111.


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