Title II - State and Local Government Activities

Title II applies to State and local government entities and protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in services, programs, and activities provided by State and local government entities. Title II requires State and local governments give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all of their programs, services and activities.  (e.g. public education, employment, transportation, recreation, health care, social services, courts, voting, and town meetings).

Title II extends the prohibition on discrimination established by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to all activities of State and local governments regardless of whether these entities receive Federal financial assistance.

Public entities are required to make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid discrimination, unless it can be demonstrated doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity being provided. Public entities are not required to take actions that would result in undue financial and administrative burdens.

State and local governments must ensure effective communication occurs with people who have hearing, vision, or speech disabilities. State and local governments follow specific architectural standards in the new construction and alterations of their buildings. They also must relocate programs or otherwise provide access in inaccessible buildings. 

The Department of Justice published revised regulations for Titles II and III of the ADA on September 15, 2010.  The 2010 Standards set minimum requirements – both scoping and technical -- for newly designed and constructed or altered State and local government facilities, public accommodations, and commercial facilities to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. More details on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design can be found here.

 More information on state and local government can be found here.

How to file a complaint

Complaints of title II violations may be filed with the Department of Justice within 180 days of the date of discrimination. In certain situations, cases may be referred to a mediation program sponsored by the Department. The Department may bring a lawsuit where it has investigated a matter and has been unable to resolve violations. Title II may also be enforced through private lawsuits in Federal court. It is not necessary to file a complaint with the Department of Justice (DOJ) or any other Federal agency, or to receive a "right-to-sue" letter, before going to court.

For more information, contact:

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Disability Rights Section - NYAV
Washington, D.C. 20530


(800) 514-0301 (voice)
(800) 514-0383 (TTY)

Title II Technical Assistance Manual

This technical assistance manual addresses the requirements of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which applies to the operations of State and local governments. This manual is part of a broader program of technical assistance conducted by the Department of Justice to promote voluntary compliance with the requirements not only of title II, but also of title III of the ADA, which applies to public accommodations, commercial facilities, and private entities offering certain examinations and courses.

The purpose of this technical assistance manual is to present the ADA's requirements for State and local governments in a format that will be useful to the widest possible audience. The guidance provided in the Department's regulations and accompanying preambles has been carefully reorganized to provide a focused, systematic description of the ADA's requirements. The manual attempts to avoid an overly legalistic style without sacrificing completeness. In order to promote readability and understanding, the text makes liberal use of questions and answers and illustrations.

More information on the Title II Technical Assistance Manual can be found here.