Know your rights if you have a disability

What to do if you are denied access or need help because of a disability.

About Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA is a civil rights law that protects people with different types of disabilities.

It protects them from discrimination in all aspects of social life.

It requires the state and local government make all programs accessible and usable to people with disabilities.

Important rights about ADA

If you have a disability, you should know your rights about ADA.

1. You should not be denied entry to City programs, benefits, activities or services, because of a disability.

2. City agencies must communicate with you in a way that is as effective as communication with others.

This may require providing services such as:

  • Large print or braille 

  • ASL interpreters or captioning 

  • Readers

  • Teletype (TTY) or the California Relay Service (by dialing 7-1-1)

3. City agencies must provide an equal opportunity for you.

Examples include:

  • Help you fill out forms

  • Explain materials or procedures in simpler language

  • Get you an appointment so you do not have to wait in a long line or in a crowded and noisy room

  • Allow you to apply for services over the phone instead of coming into the office

4. Public service areas must be accessible to you, including:

  • Bathrooms
  • Public telephones
  • Drinking fountains

If your rights are violated

You should file an ADA complaint if you think your rights are violated. We will respond to your complaint in 30 business days. 

We want to make sure all San Franciscans enjoy equal rights, equal opportunity, and freedom from illegal discrimination under disability rights laws.

Last updated November 3, 2022