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Chapter 1: Coverage

Italicized text was added to the original Title III Technical Assistance Manual through supplements issued in 1993 and 1994.

Regulatory references: 28 CFR 36.102-36.104.

1.1000 General.

Title III of the ADA covers --
  1. Places of public accommodation
  2. Commercial facilities
  3. Examinations and courses related to applications, licensing, certification, or credentialing for secondary or postsecondary education, professional, or trade purposes.

The obligations of title III only extend to private entities. State and local government entities are public entities covered by title II of the ADA, not by title III.

Title III also covers private entities primarily engaged in transporting people. The Department of Transportation has issued regulations implementing that section of title III.

Is the Federal Government covered by title III because it is not a "public entity" under title II? The operations of the executive branch of the Federal Government are not covered by title III of the ADA. They are covered, however, by sections 501 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which prohibit disability discrimination in programs and activities conducted by Federal Executive agencies or the United States Postal Service, and by the Architectural Barriers Act, which requires that the design, construction, and alteration of Federal buildings be done in an accessible manner. The activities of the legislative branch, including Congress, on the other hand, are covered under title V of the ADA.

Are places of public accommodation and commercial facilities subject to the same requirements? No. Both places of public accommodation and commercial facilities (which include many facilities that are not places of public accommodation) are subject to the title III requirements for new construction and alterations. In addition to these requirements, places of public accommodation must be operated in accordance with the full range of title III requirements, such as nondiscriminatory eligibility criteria; reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures; provision of auxiliary aids; and removal of barriers in existing facilities.

Are continuing education courses sponsored by a State bar association subject to title III? Yes. Continuing education courses sponsored by a State bar association are related to licensing, certification, and credentialing of attorneys, and therefore are covered by title III's special requirements for certain examinations and courses, whether or not they are mandatory. Independent of these requirements, if a continuing education course is offered by a private entity that owns, operates, leases, or leases to a place of public accommodation, the entity offering that course would have to meet all of the requirements generally applicable to public accommodations.