The Ultimate Guide to ADA Compliance
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive federal law that ensures people with disabilities have equal access to all areas of public life, like employment opportunities and places of public accommodation.
If you operate a business with a commercial facility in the United States, then you’re likely already aware of the importance of complying with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Rose Paving has created this Guide to ADA Compliance with everything you need to make sure your facility is safe, free from barriers, and accessible for all.
What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
Enacted in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a far-reaching federal law that guarantees equal opportunity for individuals withdisabilities in all areas of public life, specifically:
- Employment (Title I)
- Public Services (Title II)
- Public Accommodations (Title III)
- Telecommunications (Title IV)
- Miscellaneous (Title V)
Though the ADA applies to all sectors of public life, the sector that applies to your commercial property is Title III (Public Accommodations). In short, Title III sets the minimum standards for accessibility for alterations and new construction of facilities, known as 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.
Title III also mandates private entities, like hotels, restaurants, health clubs and movie theaters to remove barriers in existing buildings where it is easy to do so and without much difficulty or expense.
Who is Subject to the ADA Requirements?
As a federal law, all areas of public life in the United States are subject to the ADA requirements. If you operate a business that relies on a commercial facility, you are subject to the ADA twice, via Title I and Title III.
Title I applies to every employer and is designed to ensure people with disabilities have the same access to employment opportunities and benefits as people without disabilities. Title III, however, only applies to Private Places of Public Accommodation, defined as facilities, both public and private, used by the public, such as:
- Retail Merchants
- Doctor’s Offices
- Golf Courses
- Private Schools
- Day Care Centers
- Health Clubs
- Sports Stadiums
- Movie Theaters
ADA Compliance Resources for Businesses
The Americans with Disabilities Act is an all-inclusive legal document filled with complicated technical language and standards that is, at times, difficult to understand.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of ADA resources available to the general public:
- 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design
- Guidance on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design
- Revised Final Title III Rule: A Compilation of Regulatory Provisions and Guidance — Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities
- 28 CFR Part 36 — Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities
- ADA Update: A Primer for Small Business
Though the Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law, state and local governments frequently exercise their right to pass accessibility legislation that goes above and beyond the federal standards. That is why we recommend consulting with your local Rose Paving team before you begin a new parking lot project.
Who Enforces Title III of the ADA?
As a federal law, Title III of the ADA is enforced by the Department of Justice (DOJ). According to 42 U.S.C. § 12188, the DOJ may bring legal action against any private entity that fails to comply with the ADA and its Standards for Accessible Design.
What are the ADA Requirements for Commercial Properties?
The ADA requirements for commercial properties are designed to ensure disabled access to highly-trafficked areas of the facility referred to as Primary function Areas, defined as any area where people carry out one or more of the major activities for which a facility is utilized.
The Checklist of ADA Requirements for Commercial Properties is quite detailed and includes things like:
- Installing accessible hardware on doors and windows.
- Upgrading public and company bathrooms with accessible appliances.
- Increasing the number of accessible parking spots to your parking lot.
- Increasing the width of door frames to allow wheelchairs.
- Installing ADA handicap ramps or creating curb cuts at entrances and exits.
Keep in mind that commercial buildings constructed before 1990 are subject to a different set of regulations, outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities (Title III).
What are the ADA Requirements for Accessible Parking Lots?
The minimum accessibility requirements for buildings and facilities are outlined in the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and categorized into two sections, Title II: Program Access and Title III: Barrier Removal.
Title II: Program Access requires all State and local government agencies to ensure that people with disabilities can gain access and participate in the activities they offer by adding accessible parking to their parking lots.
Private entities, on the other hand, are subject to Title III: Barrier Removal, which mandates business owners to remove barriers when it is “readily achievable” to do so, such as designating accessible parking.
The number of accessible parking spaces required by the ADA varies depending on the total number of parking spaces in the parking lot. Generally speaking, however, a commercial facility needs one accessible parking space for every 25 parking spaces in the parking lot.
What are the Penalties for ADA Noncompliance?
Any private entity that fails to comply with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design are not only subject to legal action from the Department of Justice (A fine ranging from $75,000 violation and $150,000 for every subsequent violation), but they are also subject to class action lawsuits filed by individuals with disabilities.
How Do I Make Sure My Business is ADA Compliant?
The best way to ensure your commercial facility complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act is to read the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and contact Rose Paving for a consultation.
From handicapped accessible parking lots and parking lot pavement striping, to new access ramps and sidewalks, we at Rose Paving offer every service you need to ensure your parking lot, garage and commercial property comply with all ADA Title III: Public Accommodation requirements.
Contact Rose Paving to get started on your ADA compliance assessment today!