Accessibility of Physical Locations

Parking spaces reserved for the disabled in outdoor lot for the public

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Who Is Responsible for ADA Compliance in Commercial Buildings?

The landlord (or property owner) and the tenant (or business owner) may both bear legal responsibility for ADA compliance.

The accessibility of spaces impacts the inclusion of people with disabilities

The world around us can be built in ways that tend to be more or less accessible to people with disabilities. Accessibility initiatives and rules related to the physical world should serve to strategically enhance access, which is a civil right.

Schools, libraries, hotels, markets, theaters, recreation facilities, restrooms, transportation, and any place the public uses or visits should be created in a way that does not hinder independent use by people with disabilities. There may be differences in the rules and expectations between new projects, alterations, and existing spaces.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and is one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation. It applies to exterior and interior spaces of the various covered facility types and is enforced or overseen by a number a number of federal agencies, such as the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation, depending on the sphere of life or facility in question.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Accessibility guidelines for the built environment: where to start

The U.S. Access Board is a federal agency that provides design guidelines that help set enforceable accessibility compliance standards. Many of the requirements, instructions, and definitions for physical accessibility can be found in the:

  • ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG)
  • Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Standards

Accessible parking

There are legal requirements for the number, location, and features of accessible parking spaces.

Accessible parking

New construction and alterations

All areas of new construction must adhere to minimum accessibility requirements.

New construction accessibility

Restaurants and dining areas

Restaurants have to consider accessibility requirements like table height and wheelchair clearance.

Restaurant and dining accessibility 

Recreation facilities

Rides, fishing and boating facilities, golf courses, swimming pools, and other recreation and play areas have to meet applicable ADA and ABA Standards.

Recreation facilities accessibility

Public transportation

Transportation facilities and vehicles must be in accordance with applicable standards, such as ADA Standards and ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles.

Public transportation accessibility