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Accessibility Rights

Maine Resources

Maine Human Rights Commission:

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.

National Resources

Resources on Federal Disability Rights Laws:
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.

DOL Disability Resources:

A one-stop interagency web portal for people with disabilities, their families, employers, service providers, and others.

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.


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.

Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC):

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

Government Services and Public Accommodations- Department of Justice:

Federal Transit Administration:

Federal Communication Commission:

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.

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:


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.

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.

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.)

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