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Checklist (ADA) for Existing Facilities
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), state and local governments and business and nonprofit organizations must provide goods, services, and programs to individuals with disabilities on the same premise as everyone else. This is true for new and existing facilities. No matter how old the facility is, it must comply with the up-to-date ADA to allow those with disabilities the same opportunities. This is civil law. The ADA has various prerequisites for state and local governments and public spaces (organizations and nonprofit associations that serve the general population).
Prerequisites for State and Local Governments
State and local governments must guarantee that services, programs, and activities are available to individuals with handicaps. This falls under the public entities’ program availability obligations. Updates to existing facilities are required to be ADA compliant. The state and local governments are not required to take action that results in financial or administrative burdens. State and local governments’ ADA obligations for program availability can be found in the Bureau of Justice’s ADA Title II Regulations, 28 CFR, Part 35.150.
Necessities for Public Places
Public non-profit organizations and business must be ADA compliant by removing architectural barriers when it is “readily achievable” to do so; meaning if the barrier removal is feasible without to much expense or difficulty. The choice of what is feasible is determined by size, type, cost and fiances of the public accommodation. That is not to say that barrier removal that is currently considered too difficult will not be easily achievable later on. Public accommodations’ ADA obligations for boundary removal are in the Department of Justice’s ADA Title III regulations 28 CFR Part 36.304.
Needs for Accessibility
The list goes over the four needs that are stated in the Department of Justice ADA Title III guidelines. These needs are similarly relevant to state and local facilities.
1 – Accessible approach and entrance
2 – Access to goods and services
3 – Access to public toilet rooms
4 – Access to other items; an example is water fountains and public telephones
2010 ADA Accessibility Standards
The basis for this list is the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standard). However, it does not include all sections. For example, there are no inquiries concerning rooms in clinics or visitor rooms in hotels. Check the 2010 Standards for circumstances not canvassed in this list. Full compliance with the 2010 standards is required just for new development and changes.
Safe Harbor – Construction Before March 15, 2012
Components in buildings installed or adjusted before March 15, 2012, that agree with the 1991 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (1991 Standards) do not have to be changed to meet the 2010 Standards. For instance, the 1991 Standards permit 54 inches at most for a side reach range to control, for example, the working part of a paper towel dispenser. The 2010 Standards bring down that reach range to 48 inches at most. Therefore, if the dispenser was put in before March 15, 2012, with a maximum operating part at 54 inches, you do not have to adjust it to 48 inches.
Components of the 2010 Standards That Aren’t in the 1991 Version
The 2010 Standards are different than the 1991 Standards. The 1991 version excludes recreational facilities, for example, swimming pools, team seating, player seating, accessible routes to court sports facilities; saunas, steam rooms, fishing piers, play areas, exercise machines, golf facilities, miniature golf facilities, amusement rides, shooting facilities with firing positions, and recreational boating facilities. For this reason, they are not subject to safe harbor exemption. State and local governments must make these items accessible if necessary to ensure program accessibility unless an undue burden would result. Public accommodations must remove architectural barriers to these items.
This Checklist Does Not Include:
The ADA Title II and III guidelines have more than accessibility and barrier removal rules that must be followed. The guidelines mention prerequisites for nondiscriminatory approaches and the arrangement of hearing aids and other services, for example, sign language translators for individuals who are hard of hearing and Braille for those who are visually impaired. This agenda does not cover those necessities.
Therefore, this agenda is not meant to determine compliance for new buildings or any buildings being changed.
What Are Public Accommodations?
According to the ADA, public accommodations are private companies that own, lease, lease to operate, or operate a place of public accommodation. The proprietor and the occupant of the space both have obligations to get rid of barriers.
A public accommodation is a facility that has activities affect business and fall under any of the following:
- Places of lodging (hotels, inns, motels with six rooms or more)
- Facilities that offer food or drink (restaurants, bars, etc.) Places for shows or events (movies, theaters, concerts, etc.)
- Public gathering spaces (convention centers, lecture halls, etc.)
- Sales or rental facilities (electronic stores, shopping malls, grocery stores, etc.)
- Establishments that offer services (laundromats, dry-cleaners, banks, barber shops, beauty shops, travel services, shoe repair services, funeral parlors, gas stations, offices of accountants or lawyers, pharmacies, insurance offices, professional offices of health care providers, and hospitals)
- Public transportation facilities or stations (excludes air travel)
- Places of public display or collection (museums, libraries, etc.)
- Recreational establishments (zoos, parks, etc.)
- Educational facilities (nursery schools, high schools, colleges, etc.)
- Centers for social services (daycares, nursing homes, soup kitchens, adoption agencies, etc.)
- Health/exercise facilities (gyms, spas, soccer fields, etc.)
U.S. Department of Justice ADA Information
ADA National Network
800-949-4232 voice/TTY connects to your regional ADA Center
U.S. Access Board
800- 872-2253 voice
ADA Title III Regulations 28 CFR Part 36
2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design
1991 ADA Standards for Accessible Design
Tax Deductions and Credits for Barrier Removal
A considerable number of the images used are from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Access Board or are based on representations created by the U.S. Access Board and the U.S. Department of Justice.