New England ADA Center
February Newsletter

ADA Question of the Month - Do You Know the Answer?
Apartment Question : Does the ADA cover private apartment buildings?

The answer to this month's question is located at the end of the newsletter.

Photo: Creative Commons.

New Hampshire is the First State to Join The Campaign to Change Direction - Changing the Culture about Mental Health in America
Campaign to Change Direction The New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability has partnered with former New Hampshire Chief Justice, John Broderick to promote The Campaign to Change Direction, a coalition of citizens and leaders who have come together to change the culture in America about mental health, mental illness, and wellness. More information can be found at

Winter Edition Newsletter Available from New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability
New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability The New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability (GCD) has developed a winter edition of their 2017 Newsletter. This edition covers topics such as, service animals, accessibility, mental health initiatives, new GCD resources, and communication technology.

The newsletter can be downloaded free of charge from their website at:

Attend Boston's Disability Commission Advisory Board Meetings the Fourth Monday of the Month
City of Boston Seal The Commission facilitates full and equal participation in all aspects of life by persons with disabilities in the city of Boston. Attendees are encouraged to bring their concerns affecting the disability community. Commission meetings are held the fourth Monday of the month, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m, Boston City Hall, 9th floor, Room 900.

News From Outside New England
Registration Now Open for the 2017 National ADA Symposium, May 14 - 17 in Chicago
The National ADA Symposium is the largest conference on the ADA! Eighty Breakout Sessions and Pre-Conference Sessions offer learning opportunities for everyone involved with the ADA. Visit for conference information and online registration.

Animated Information About Accessible Signs Now Available from the U.S. Access Board
U S Access Board Sign Animation Image A new animation video about accessible signage is now available from the United States Access Board as part of its online guide to standards issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA).

Image from the United States Access Board.

Section 508 ICT and Section 255 Telecommunication Requirements Updated 
Section 508 and 255 Refresh The U.S. Access Board published a final rule that updates requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 255 of the Communication Act. The Section 255 Guidelines address access to telecommunications products and services.

'Hamilton' Lawsuit Turns Spotlight on Broadway Accessibility
Hamilton an American Musical A lawsuit brought against the producers of "Hamilton" has turned attention to issues of accessibility for disabled Broadway theatergoers. The class action suit alleges "systemic civil rights violations" against blind and visually-impaired theatergoers.

Answer to the ADA Question of the Month

QuestionDoes the ADA cover private apartment buildings? 

Answer: Generally no. Title III (the section of the ADA that involves the private sector) covers places of public accommodation and commercial facilities. Under the ADA, private residence are neither places of public accommodation nor commercial facilities. Part of the reason is that the federal Fair Housing Act includes accessibility requirements for private (and public) multi-family housing. These requirements were issued just a few years before the ADA passed. If a private apartment building has a rental office, rents a meeting room to the public or sells membership to its pool or health club, those areas would be places of public accommodation with obligations under the ADA.

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New England ADA Center, a project of the Institute for Human Centered Design