US Department of Education NIDRR Technical Assistance Program

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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.

1.8000 Relationship to other laws

1.8100 Rehabilitation Act.

Title III is intended to provide protection to individuals with disabilities that is at least as great as that provided under title V of the Rehabilitation Act. Title V includes such provisions as section 504, which covers all the operations of Federal Executive agencies and programs receiving Federal financial assistance. Title III may not be interpreted to provide a lesser degree of protection to individuals with disabilities than is provided under section 504.

1.8200 Other Federal and State laws.

Title III does not disturb other Federal laws or any State law that provides protection for individuals with disabilities at a level greater or equal to that provided by the ADA. It does, however, prevail over any conflicting State laws.

ILLUSTRATION: A restaurant has constructed a new facility that is subject to both local building code accessibility requirements and the requirements of the ADA. With respect to some building features, the local code contains more stringent technical requirements than the ADA; with respect to others, the ADA has the stronger standard. Each building element should comply with the requirement (local or ADA) that provides the greatest degree of accessibility.

Which law applies if the ADA provides broader remedies, but the other applicable law provides more stringent technical requirements? Both. An aggrieved individual may file a lawsuit under both the ADA and another law where both apply, but the ADA’s remedies would be applicable only to the ADA claim, because the ADA enforcement process may be used only to enforce the requirements of the ADA. The ADA would not preempt the other law’s requirements or remedies.