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Withdrawn Technical Assistance: Title II Highlights (revised in 2008)

The Department of Justice has withdrawn and, where applicable, removed from ADA.gov, this technical assistance document. This document is outdated and does not fully reflect current law or has been replaced by a more up-to-date document. Withdrawal of a guidance document does not change covered entities' legal responsibilities, as reflected in the ADA, its implementing regulations, and other binding legal requirements and judicial precedent. The Department will continue to fully and fairly enforce all laws within its jurisdiction, including the ADA.

I. Who is Covered by Title II of the ADA

The title II regulation covers "public entities."

"Public entities" include any State or local government and any of its departments, agencies, or other instrumentalities.

All activities, services, and programs of public entities are covered, including activities of State legislatures and courts, town meetings, police and fire departments, motor vehicle licensing, and employment.

  • Unlike section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which only covers programs receiving Federal financial assistance, title II extends to all the activities of State and local governments whether or not they receive Federal funds.

Private entities that operate public accommodations, such as hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, dry cleaners, doctors' offices, amusement parks, and bowling alleys, are not covered by title II but are covered by title III of the ADA and the Department's regulation implementing title III.

Public transportation services operated by State and local governments are covered by regulations of the Department of Transportation.

  • DOT's regulations establish specific requirements for transportation vehicles and facilities, including a requirement that all new busses must be equipped to provide services to people who use wheelchairs.


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