When does my facility need to be ADA compliant?

According to the ADA Code of Federal Regulations, anytime your facility falls under one of two categories, ADA compliance is necessary. These categories are as follows:

  1. Places of public accommodation (business that have store fronts, restaurants, hotels, public buildings and parks, government housing, etc)
  2. Commercial facilities that need to be accessed by people with disabilities.

These categories include most buildings except private residences and businesses that have neither front door access nor people with disabilities as employees. Lets use an example to help bring this home.

Example 1: You own a shipping/receiving business that has 10 employees. None of your current employees are disabled and your building does not have a store front that would be accessed by your customers. Your facility does not need to be ADA compliant. However, as soon as an employee is hired that is disabled, your facility (to the extent that it would need to be accessed by such individuals) would need to come into compliance with ADA. This would include your parking lot, restroom facilities, sidewalks, water fountains, public telephones, and, of course, the building itself.

Example 2: You own the same shipping/receiving company with the same 10 employees. Instead of hiring a disabled worker, you decide to turn your front entryway into a reception area where customers can come in and conduct business. Your facility (to the extent that it would need to be accessed by such individuals) would then need to come into compliance with ADA.

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