State of California California Department of Consumer Affairs


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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides civil rights protection for persons with disabilities that are parallel to those that have been established for women and minorities. The passage of the ADA was a major victory for the equal rights of people with disabilities. The Department of Rehabilitation provides full implementation of ADA to provide training, consultation, technical assistance for business, employers, employees, job applicants, and consumers of public and private services. The Department of Rehabilitation develops, purchases, provides, and advocates for programs and services in vocational rehabilitation, habilitation and independent living with a priority on serving persons with all disabilities.


Employment practices cannot discriminate against qualified persons with disabilities in the application and recruitment processes, hiring, advancement, training, compensation or discharge of an employee, or in any other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. Reasonable accommodation is not required if it creates an undue hardship for the employer.


State and local governments cannot discriminate against persons with disabilities or from excluding participation or denying benefits of programs, services or activities to persons with disabilities.

All private and public transportation systems must be accessible to all people, including individuals with disabilities. All new buses, rail and subway cars are required to be accessible to people who use wheelchairs. Retrofitting of existing buses is not required. (Regulation of transportation provisions falls under jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Transportation.


Private businesses must not discriminate in the "goods, services, facilities, procedures, and privileges, advantages and accommodations" offered to the public. Places of public accommodation include motels, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, convention centers, grocery stores, clothing stores, malls, museums, libraries, gyms, bowling alleys, amusement parks, or just about any other facility commonly used by the general public.


The ADA requires common carriers offering telephone services to the general public to increase the availability of interstate and intrastate telecommunication relay services to individuals with hearing and speech impairments. All common carriers of telephone services must offer non-voice relay services which interface with voice services. Compliance rests with the Federal Communications Commission.

Department of Rehabilitation
2000 Evergreen Street
Sacramento, CA 95815
(916) 263-8981
(916) 263-8671 (fax)
(916) 263-7477 (TTY)

Americans with Disabilities Act HOTLINE:
(916) 263-8674

US Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disabilities Rights Section
PO Box 66738
Washington, DC 20035-6738
(800) 514-0301

Government agencies are required to make "readily accessible and usable" all public facilities on which construction or alteration was begun after January 1992. The public sector is obligated to have "program access" whether or not specific facilities are physically accessible.

To formally file a complaint or to obtain further information:

Federal Communications Commission
Common Carrier Bureau
Informal Complaints and
Public Inquiries Branch
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554
(202) 418-2555
(888) 225-5322
(888) 835-5322 (TTY)
(866) 418-0232 (fax)

Newsletter is available in large print, audio tape and computer disk formats. Also available are information, materials, and assistance to individuals and entities covered by the ADA.

American With Disabilities Act (ADA)
Pacific Disability and Business
Technical Assistance Center
555 12th Street, Suite 1030
Oakland, CA 94607-4046
(510) 285-5600
(800) 949-4232 (hotline)
(510) 285-5614 (fax)

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission publication to help individual determine whether has a disability as defined by ADA with respect to employment provisions.

"Definition of the Term Disability" (800) 949-4232 (hotline)

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Provides information, advocacy, training, and referral services for people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities on a full range of disability civil rights laws.

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
2212 Sixth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 644-2555
(510) 841-8645
(800) 466-4232 (hotline)

For developmentally disabled information and assistance:

Alta California Regional Center
for the Developmentally Disabled
2135 Butano Drive
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 978-6400
(916) 489-1380 (fax) [Intake Dept.]

The Department of Developmental Services assists developmentally disabled individuals who have mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, or closely related conditions which require similar treatment. Conditions that are solely physical in nature are not included.

Department of Developmental Services
1600 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 654-1690

(916) 654-2054 (TTY)
(916) 654-1854 (fax)

The Department of Health Services enforces health standards in health facilities by licensing and certifying hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis centers, clinics, and home health agencies.

Department of Health Services
Licensing and Certification Division
ATCS-MS 3301
1615 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 997416
Sacramento, CA 95899-7416
(916) 327-2445
(916) 552-8811 (Licensing)

The Alliance for Technology Access is a nonprofit organization with 40 technology resource centers throughout the state for people with disabilities. They provide information on parent support groups and centers where equipment can be tried. Also provides evaluations for assistive technology related to computer use.

Alliance for Technology Access
1304 Southpoint Blvd., Suite 240
Petaluma, CA 94954
(707) 778-3011
(800) 455-7970
(707) 765-2080 (fax)
(707) 778-3015 (TTY)

Easter Seals, Project Action provides information, (documents and publications) as well as training and resources for ADA Transportation and public transportation services.

Easter Seals:
Project Action
700 13th Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005
(800) 659-6428
(202) 737-7914 (fax)
(202) 347-7385 (TTY)

The California Center for Law and the Deaf provide legal advice and assistance for deaf/hearing impaired in areas of marketplace, public facilities, special education, media emergency information, and telecommunications access. Handles individual and class action suits.

California Center for Law and the Deaf
14895 East 14th Street, #220
San Leandro, CA 94578
(877) DEAFLAW [332-3529] Toll free (Voice & TTY)
(510) 483-0922 (TTY and Voice)

The US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA) works on automotive safety for disabled consumers to develop safety standards for driving adaptive devices. NHTSA is currently focused on steering devices that attach to steering wheels that might interfere with airbags.

(800) 424-9393 (hotline)

The Protection and Advocacy, Inc. provides a manual to assist the consumer with questions related to the listed programs below to assist the disabled. The manual may be ordered over the phone. Protection and Advocacy, Inc. (PAI) would appreciate a $10.00 donation for the manual which is available in English, Spanish, (in specific sections it is available in Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese). For blind individuals, the manual is available on audio tape.

  • Private health benefit plans
  • Regional Centers
  • California Children's Services
  • Reasonable Accommodations in Employment
  • Vocational Rehabilitation (including loan programs)
  • Social Security Work Incentives
  • Special Education
  • Medi-Cal
  • Medicare
  • Veterans Administration

Protection and Advocacy, Inc.
100 Howe Avenue, Suite 235-N
Sacramento, CA 95825
(800) 776-5746
(916) 488-9960 (fax)
(510) 839-0811 (Oakland office)
(213) 427-8747 (Los Angeles office)

Consumers wanting information on special technology for vehicles (hand controls, etc.) may get information through Protection and Advocacy, Inc. (PAI),

Federal Aviation Associations Civil Rights Center (Airport Facilities)

(202) 267-5794

To complain about airport facilities, call the number listed. ADA does not cover air carriers. Air carriers are covered by Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

United States Government Department of Housing and Urban Development Enforcement Division Compliance and Disability Rights Section 451 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20410
(800) 795-7915
(202) 708-1455 (TTY)

United States Government Department of Fair Housing and Urban Development Fair Housing Compliance Division 450 Golden Gate Avenue, 9th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 436-6550
(800) 669-9777 (hotline)

Privately owned permanent housing is covered by the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA). The FHAA offers protection to persons with disabilities and can assist callers in obtaining their rights.

Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board 1331 F Street, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 272-0080
(800) 872-2253
(202)272-0082 (TTY)
(800) 993-2822 (TTY)
(202) 272-5447 (fax)

Provides information on accessible design in new construction and alterations.

Publications available:

None are offered by the Consumer Information Center.

See also: "Health Services (Department of)" entry in H of this directory.

               "Discrimination" entry in D of this directory. 

Other referrals: Aging (Department of)

Consumer Resource & Referral Guide Consumer Resource & Referral Guide
Directory of State Agencies Directory of State Agencies
Directory of Federal Agencies Directory of Federal Agencies
Return to DCA Home Page Return to DCA Home Page

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