Accessibility of zoos, aquariums, and museums has been improving, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is a civil rights law for people with disabilities. Its basic intent is to eliminate discrimination against a person with a disability and provide inclusive opportunities.
Accessibility laws before the ADA did not require the public sector to make its facilities, programs, or services accessible to people with disabilities. However, under the ADA this changed. The ADA is divided up into five main sections or titles. Title II and Title III have direct effects on zoos, museums and aquariums. In Title II, Subtitle A, discrimination is prohibited by public entities to people with disabilities. Public entities are defined as any state or local government. Many zoos come under the responsibility of recreation departments, city or county governments.
Under Title III, public accommodations and services operated by private entities are required to be accessible to people with disabilities. One of the specific public accommodations given as an example is zoos. [See A Day at the Zoo for more details.]