Section 210 of the Congressional Accountability Act (CAA), which applies Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to Congress, protects members of the public who are qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination with regard to access to public services, programs, activities, or places of public accommodation in covered locations and offices.

Offices of the Senate and the House of Representatives (including district offices); all committees of Congress; the Capitol Guide Service; the Capitol Police; the Congressional Budget Office; the Office of the Architect of the Capitol; the Office of the Attending Physician; and the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights (OCWR) are all required to comply with this requirement in their dealings with the public.

Individuals who feel their rights under this provision have been violated can file a charge of discrimination with the General Counsel of the OCWR. This charge must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. After a charge is filed, the General Counsel will conduct an investigation. If the investigation of the alleged discrimination reveals that a violation may have occurred, the General Counsel may either request mediation to resolve the dispute and/or file a formal complaint before a Hearing Officer with the OCWR.

At least once each Congress, the General Counsel is required to inspect and report to Congress on the compliance of the legislative branch with the CAA’s requirements regarding access to public services and accommodations for the disabled.

For more information, please refer to the Congressional Accountability Act.

See also: Tips for Improving Office Accessibility and ADA Accessibility Tutorial