John L. Wodatch

Retired Chief, Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division,
U. S. Department of Justice

photo_john-wodatch_01John Wodatch is a disability rights attorney, specializing in the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He served for 42 years in the Federal government, where he authored the government’s comprehensive disability rights regulations and created and led the Department of Justice’s section in charge of enforcing the ADA.

He served as the Department of Justice’s chief technical expert during the writing and passage of the ADA. He was then chief author of the Department of Justice’s 1991 ADA regulations, created DOJ’s ADA technical assistance programs, and oversaw the Department’s ADA enforcement efforts. He was responsible for the first major revision of the Department’s ADA regulations, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design. He is also the chief author of the first Federal regulations implementing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

As a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations he assisted in the development of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He now provides training and guidance on the ADA and continues work on the international level, assisting countries with their own disability rights laws.

He received a B.A. from Trinity College, an M.P.A. from Harvard University, and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law School.