All colleges and universities are expected to comply with ADA regulations unless they can prove undue hardship. When ADA regulations are not met, the College may suffer legal consequences.


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Signed into law in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities across all facets of public life such as employment, education, transportation, and public accommodation.

Title II of the ADA addresses “nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services.” This requires that all state or government-funded programs provide people with disabilities an equal opportunity (or accommodation) to benefit from all their programs, activities, facilities, and opportunities.

Title III of the ADA addresses “nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities.” Public accommodation includes most places of lodging, recreation, transportation, education (such as Carleton College), and dining, along with stores, care providers, and places of public displays.

Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504 states that “No qualified person with a disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which receives Federal financial assistance.”

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires “electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities” — this ensures digital access for people with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities.

Legal Consequences

Institutions of higher education have had lawsuits filed against them due to a lack of accessible materials and resources. Although a private institution, Carleton is not exempt from these legal requirements.