Filing a Complaint Based on Disability Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that in order to have a disability; it must substantially limit one or more major life activities. The impairment to your major life activity must be substantial and of significant duration. If the impairment created by your disability is not readily apparent, you will need verification from your doctor as to the nature, extent, and duration of your disability.

How to File a Complaint Based on Disability Discrimination

A discrimination claim based on disability can usually be filed in person, by telephone, by email, or by regular mail.

Where to Start

For Fairfax County residents, contact Fairfax County's Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs. A human rights specialist will meet with you to discuss the facts and circumstances you have presented and may assist in formulating a formal complaint. Your complaint will be investigated and could be resolved locally. If the complaint is employment-related, the case will also be filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If your case involves housing, it will be dual-filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

What Information Should Your Complaint Include?

  • Your full name, address, email address, and contact information.
  • The name and address of the entity or person that you believe committed the discrimination.
  • A description of the acts of discrimination, the dates they occurred, and the names of the individuals involved.
  • Other information you believe necessary to support your complaint, including copies (not originals) of relevant documents.

What Are Possible Outcomes?

  • If there is insufficient evidence to support the claim, it will be dismissed. (Appeal is possible).
  • The claim may be resolved based upon an appropriate remedy (back pay, job reinstatement, rental of a house or apartment, etc.).
  • It may be referred to mediation. The U.S. Department of Justice's ADA Mediation Program works to achieve a cooperative resolution of ADA complaints against businesses and state and local governments.
  • It could be referred to another government agency if jurisdiction is involved.

Examples of Evidence/Supporting Documents to a Claim

  • Medical records substantiating your disability.
  • Journal entries listing the facts and circumstances of acts or omissions of discrimination.
  • Witness statements.
  • Copy of your request for reasonable accommodation (if denied).
  • Legal documents that may have a bearing on the case.
  • Copy of your company's anti-discrimination policy (if it is not being enforced and is applicable in your case).
  • A statement about the nature of your disability and why the alleged acts or omissions constituted discrimination.


List of Federal Agencies for Filing a Complaint Based on Disability Discrimination

Aviation Consumer Protection Division
Attn: C-75-D
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
1-800-778-4838, TTY 800-455-9880
Online complaint form:
Paper complaint form:

Transportation Security Administration
Disability and Multicultural Division
Office of Civil Rights & Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement
Office of Civil Rights and Liberties
601 South 12th Street
Arlington, VA 20598-6006
Complaint form:

Federal Reserve Consumer Help
PO Box 1200
Minneapolis, MN 55480
1-888-851-1920, TTY 1-877-766-8533
Online complaint form:
Paper complaint form:

Educational Institutions
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1475
202-453-6020, TTY 1-800-877-8339; Email:
Complaint forms:
A complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days of the alleged discrimination.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Washington Field Office
131 M Street, NE
Fourth Floor, Suite 4NWO2F
Washington, DC 20507-0100
1-800-669-4000, TTY 1-800-669-6820
A complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days from the day the discrimination took place.

Government Agencies (local, state, federal) and Private Entities (hotels, restaurants, etc.)
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section -1425 NYAV
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530
1-800-514-0301, TTY 1- 800-514-0383
Complaint form:

Hospitals and Medical Providers
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office for Civil Rights
150 S. Independence Mall West, Suite 372
Philadelphia, PA 19106-9111
1-800-368-1019, 1-TTY 800-537-7697; Email:
Complaint form:
A complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act or omission.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
451 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20410
1-800-669-9777, TTY 1-800-927-9275; Email:
Complaint form:

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Inspector General Equal Employment Opportunity Office
2800 Mark Center Drive, 12E24
Alexandria, VA 22350-1500
703-604-8324, TTY 711
A complaint must be filed within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act. The complaint process is explained on the IG/EEO website.

Post Office
United States Postal Service
Office of the Consumer Advocate
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Room 4012
Washington, DC 20260-2200
1-800-275-8777; TTY1- 877-889-2457

Public Transportation
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
Office of Civil Rights
1200 New Jersey Avenue
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4648, TTY 711
Complaint process (should be in writing): A complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act.


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