Many people think that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) primarily covers workplace accommodations. The only public accommodations they associate with ADA are handicapped parking spaces and Braille numbers on elevator buttons. In fact, the ADA’s public facilities rules, as outlined in Title III of the act, are far more comprehensive than that. All sorts of buildings and businesses fall under Title III: restaurants, schools, office buildings, banks, doctors’ offices, and movie theaters, to name a few. Accommodation can include anything from adjusting store shelves to constructing special ramps and entryways.
Some people mistakenly believe that ADA requires businesses to make all sorts of prohibitively expensive changes or else face stiff penalties. The truth is that ADA is designed to benefit the disabled, not to punish business owners. The key to understanding ADA is knowing what is and is not required, as well as what constitutes an acceptable accommodation.