ADA and Sororities
One of the least understood federal regulations are those included in provisions of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). This legislation was passed in 1990 to extend the civil rights protection prohibiting discrimination to persons with disabilities.
ADA addresses the three major areas of employment, government services and public accommodations. Title III of the Act specifically
addresses the requirements of a building that is subject to this legislation.
As with most federal regulations, they often times are not accurately used and such is the case with local governments and sometimes universities will use this federal regulation terminology to serve as a big stick in their community to lead others to believe that they must comply with the ADA. They state that certain new codes are ADA required when in fact it is not part of the legislation which deals with those entities that are eligible under the Act.
Before we can even comment on whether this can be an accurate statement, it begs the question of whether women’s fraternity/sorority (sororities) properties are even subject to this legislation. The answer to that question is a resounding no, as sororities are not subject to this Act for a variety of reasons, primarily the fact that sororities are considered “private clubs” and, as such, are not subject to this legislation. Should you desire to read more detail on why a sorority is not subject to ADA, refer to this Fraternal Law article.