The Americans with Disabilities Act, using a standard of “reasonable accommodation,” mandates that governments and businesses take steps to ensure that people with disabilities have access to employment, government services, and businesses.

Such access comes with costs, although not providing such access also imposes costs. There is very little research that documents or estimates these costs.

This project attempts to take a significant step in the direction of a data-based discussion of this issue.


This work aims to understand different expenses incurred by governments or private organizations to provide accommodations to people with disabilities, especially those required under the ADA.

This was driven by our research questions:

  • What are the government and private sectors’ financial expenses to accommodate people with disabilities?
  • What are the expenses related to compliance with the ADA?


Student Questions

Students with disabilities are not required to pay any of the costs of accommodation services. The University is prohibited from charging students with disabilities more for participating in programs or activities than they charge any other student. The University also may not refuse accommodations based on non-availability or insufficiency of funds.

However, the University may meet its obligation by assisting students in obtaining reimbursement for their costs from an outside agency or organization, such as a state VR agency. The University may also provide alternate accommodations if they can demonstrate that providing a specific auxiliary aid or service would result in undue financial or administrative burdens on the institution’s resources.

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Funding for Accommodations Provided to People with Disabilities Including Mandates under the Americans with Disabilities Act

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