A Dress Addressed to Ada

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After the ADA was originally passed in , cases started being filed and ending up in courts. Some were appealed all the way to the U. Supreme Court. Rulings by the Supreme Court, as well as lower courts, began to narrow the definition of disability. Whether a person had a disability in order to sue became the focus of most disputes under the ADA. Congress never intended for it to be that way.

The focus of the ADA was supposed to be on access and accommodation, not on whether the person really had a disability. Congress had not foreseen the ways in which the courts would narrowly interpret, and ultimately change, the definition. Then in , effective in , the ADA Standards were passed into law.

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What are the Standards? If I am altering my building or adding an addition can I use the Stardards or do I use the Standards? It is important to remember that the Standards are still relevant after March 15, Elements not altered after March 15, that comply with the requirements for those elements in the Standards, do not need to be modified, even if the new standards have different requirements for these elements. How do the changes in the Standards apply to an existing parking lot?

However, if your business chooses to alter the parking spaces, the safe harbor no longer applies and your accessible parking must comply with the ADA Standards.

The Standards now require two van-accessible spaces even though the total minimum number of accessible spaces remains at seven. The business does not have to modify its parking lot to provide the additional van-accessible space until the lot undergoes a planned alteration re-striping, re-surfacing, etc. If the existing accessible parking spaces are not in compliance with the ADA Standards, you must construct or alter accessible parking spaces in compliance with the ADA Standards if it is readily achievable to do so.

Is my building grandfathered under the Standards or do I have to comply with the Standards?

A "safe harbor" means that you do not have to make modifications to elements in an existing building that comply with the Standards, even if the new Standards have different requirements for them. This provision is applied on an element-by-element basis. However, if you choose to alter elements that were in compliance with the Standards, the safe harbor no longer applies so the altered elements must comply with the ADA Standards. These elements include recreation facilities such as swimming pools, play areas, exercise machines, miniature golf facilities, and bowling alleys.

On or after March 15, , public accommodations must remove architectural barriers to these elements listed above are subject to the new requirements in the Standards when it is readily achievable to do so. What elements in the Standards were not in the Standards? The Standards contain elements that are not in the Standards. These elements include recreation facilities such as swimming pools, team and player seating, accessible routes to court sports facilities, saunas and steam rooms, fishing piers, play areas, exercise machines, golf facilities, miniature golf facilities, amusement rides, shooting facilities with firing positions, and recreational boating facilities.

Because these elements are not in the Standards, they are not subject to the 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. What is the definition of disability under the ADA law?

The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability. It also includes individuals who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability. Major life activities also include major bodily functions such as immune system functions, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.

Does an employer always have to provide reasonable accomodations to persons with disabilities? An employer does not have to provide a reasonable accommodation that would cause an "undue hardship. An employer may not claim undue hardship because the cost of an accommodation is high in relation to an employee's salary.

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An example would be if a person applies for a job as a customer service representative at a department store. The face of the person is badly scarred from an automobile accident. Are all people with disabilities covered under the ADA? For example, there is a section of the ADA that deals only with employment discrimination.

If a person with a disability is not employed and is not seeking employment, then that person would not necessarily be covered by that part of the ADA, although the person would be covered by other parts of the ADA.

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The enforceable ADA standards apply to places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and state and local government facilities. Standards issued under the Architectural Barriers Act ABA apply to facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with certain federal funds for federal buildings including post offices, social security offices, federal courthouses and prisons, and national parks.

Passed in , the ABA is one of the first laws to address access to the built environment.

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It also covers non-federal facilities, such as public housing units and mass transit systems, built or altered with federal grants or loans. Coverage is limited to those funding programs that give the federal agency awarding grants or loans the authority to establish facility standards. What are public accommodations?

A public accommodation is a private entity that owns, operates, leases, or leases to, a place of public accommodation. Places of public accommodation include one of the following 12 categories: 1 Places of lodging e. What is the difference between "public accomodation" and "commercial facility"? Businesses and non-profit organizations that provide goods and services to the public are called "public accommodations.

There are seven million businesses in the United States that fall in this category, ranging from major chains to small mom-and-pop establishments.

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All the lessons in this course apply to businesses in this category. Businesses such as manufacturers or wholesalers are called "commercial facilities. Implementation regulation 28 CFR, Section That said, the ADA has limits.


A "fundamental alteration" is a change that is so significant that it alters the essential nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations offered. Which barriers are examples of readily achievable barriers that can be removed?

There is no definitive answer to this question because determinations as to which barriers can be removed without much difficulty or expense must be made on a case-by-case basis. The Americans with Disabilities Act ADA requires state and local governments, businesses and non-profit organizations to provide goods, services and programs to people with disabilities on an equal basis with the rest of the public. The ADA has different requirements for state and local governments and for places of public accommodation businesses and non-profit organizations that serve the public.

State and local governments must ensure that services, programs and activities, when viewed in their entirety, are accessible to people with disabilities.

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Alterations to older buildings may be needed to ensure program accessibility. State and local governments are not required to take any action that would result in undue financial and administrative burdens. Because the ADA is a civil rights law and not a building code, older facilities are often required to be accessible to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate. What are the requirements for places of Public Accommodation?

Places of public accommodation include businesses and non-profit organizations that serve the public. Barrier removal that is difficult now may be readily achievable in the future as finances change. What access requirements for pools exist from ADA rules? People with disabilities were, for too long, excluded from participating in many recreational activities, including swimming.

The revised Standards change that. For the first time, the Standards set minimum requirements for making swimming pools, wading pools, and spas pools accessible. Newly constructed and altered pools must meet these requirements. Public entities and public accommodations also have obligations with respect to existing pools.

State and local governments must make recreational programs and services, including swimming pool programs, accessible to people with disabilities. Public accommodations must bring existing pools into compliance with the Standards to the extent that it is readily achievable to do so. The requirements for newly constructed and existing pools will ensure that, going forward, people with disabilities can enjoy the same activities—a community swim meet; private swim lessons; a hotel pool—at the same locations and with the same independence, ease, and convenience as everyone else.

The Standards establish two categories of pools: large pools with more than linear feet of pool wall and smaller pools with less than linear feet of wall. Large pools must have two accessible means of entry, with at least one being a pool lift or sloped entry; smaller pools are only required to have one accessible means of entry, provided that it is either a pool lift or a sloped entry.

There are a limited number of exceptions to the requirements. One applies to multiple spas provided in a cluster.