Integration for people with disabilities at all levels of mainstream society is the aim of the ADA. The intent of Title III is to direct that people with disabilities deserve and must be given equal access to all public programs and services. Title III specifically addresses “places of public accommodation,” some of which are: restaurants, hotels, theaters, museums, grocery stores, gas stations, parks, schools, doctor’s offices and factories.
These public places must offer people with disabilities, “…full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations…” and they must be offered in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the individual.
Businesses might have to take certain limited steps to achieve an integrated setting in existing buildings, but the good news is that the modifications need only be “readily achievable.” This means that modifications for accessibility should be “easy to accomplish and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense.” While not exhaustive, following is a short list of generally “readily achievable” modifications:
- Ramping a curb;
- Widening an entrance door;
- Installing an automatic door opener;
- Installing visual alarms;
- Designating accessible parking spaces;
- Repositioning furniture, shelving or office equipment to allow a wider path of access.
Simple modifications like these can make all the difference to the independence of people with disabilities. Learn more about Readily Achievable Barrier Removal.
While methods that provide maximum integration are most compliant, there are also a number of alternatives to barrier removal that allow goods and services to be offered when barrier removal is not feasible. Check out Barrier Removal Alternatives and the ADA Title III Technical Assistance Manual to learn more about achieving accessibility.
People with disabilities have a right to participate in and enjoy the same activities, at the same locations and with the same independence, ease and convenience, as those without disabilities.
Alternatives to Barrier Removal – Disability & Hospitality