Department of Justice ADA Mediation Program

Fact Sheet

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives legal rights to people with disabilities. The ADA requires state and local governments to make their programs accessible to people with disabilities.The ADA also covers places of public accommodations like stores, offices, restaurants, and hotels.2

If ADA rights have been violated, individuals can file their own lawsuit OR they can file a complaint with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and ask it to investigate the problem. The Department can handle complaints in several ways including filing a lawsuit if it finds ADA rights have been violated. DOJ also has a special program to help individuals solve their own disputes without a lawsuit. It is called “mediation.” This Fact Sheet provides information about the mediation program.

If both sides are willing, DOJ appoints a professional mediator to see if a settlement can be reached by informal discussion. The mediator does NOT decide the case, but in a neutral manner helps both sides talk and may give them suggestions. The mediator and both sides may meet in person OR by telephone. DOJ does not charge for this service. DOJ has contracted with the Key Bridge Foundation to provide mediators for ADA disputes.

Why consider mediation of your ADA complaint?

How do I ask for mediation?

Where do I get more information about mediation?

DOJ has said: In enacting the ADA, Congress specifically encouraged the use of alternative means of dispute resolution, including mediation, to resolve ADA disputes. Through its ADA Mediation Program, the Department of Justice refers appropriate ADA disputes to mediators at no cost to the parties. The mediators in the Department of Justice program are professional mediators who have been trained in the legal requirements of the ADA. The Department’s program has resolved many ADA disputes quickly and effectively.

For more information about the DOJ ADA Mediation Program you may go to the DOJ website at: Also a “Q&A” (question and answer) link is available on the DOJ website:

1 For more information, see P&A Fact Sheet “Title II of the ADA: State and Local Governments” at
2 For more information, see P&A Fact Sheet “Americans with Disabilities Act–Title III, Places of Public Accommodations” at

This publication provides legal information, but is not intended to be legal advice. The information was based on the law at the time it was written. As the law may change, please contact P&A for updates. 

This publication is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (the Administration for Community Living and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and by the US Department of Education (Rehabilitation Services Administration). It does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding authorities. 

P&A does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, color, creed, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, citizenship, age, religion, sex or sexual orientation, veteran status or any other class protected by law in the provision of its programs or services. Pete Cantrell is P&A’s designated coordinator for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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