Resources below offer ideas and guidance on ways to improve accessibility for businesses or places.
A really helpful guide is ADA Update: A Primer for Small Businesses.
That primer's url is: www.ada.gov/regs2010/smallbusiness/smallbusprimer2010.htm.
And click here for a great 3-min video offering a clear-eyed view of wheechair travel accessibility.
Generally, to improve access, address these four priorities:
FIRST PRIORITY: Provide handicapped parking. The following factsheet provides a brief overview: https://adata.org/factsheet/parking; click here for a detailed video about accessible parking.
The ADA Checklist for Existing Facilities is an excellent and comprehensive step-by-step guide for identifying actions you can take to improve the accessibility of your business; the url is https://www.adachecklist.org/doc/fullchecklist/ada-checklist.pdf. If you run a lodging, look at Accessible Lodging, found at this url https://adata.org/factsheet/accessible-lodging.
Remember, your business or activity is almost certainly a "public accommodation" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Public accommodations are "businesses, including private entities, that are open to the public or that provide goods or services to the public." (Lodgings that rent five or fewer rooms and with the owner living onsite are not public accommodations under ADA.) ADA regulations list 12 categories of public accommodations, and these include places like lodgings, restaurants, movie theaters, schools, day care centers, recreation facilities, museums, galleries, and public gathering places. ADA rules for public accommodations are covered in Title III of the ADA; here's a handy checklist of those regulations: https://adachecklist.org/about.html#what. By March 15, 2012, public accommodations should have removed architectural barriers if doing so was "readily achievable." Both a landlord owning a place of public accommodation and his or her tenants who operate businesses there are subject to Title III requirements.
ADA 2010 Standards for accessible design can be found at: https://www.ada.gov/2010ADAstandards_index.htm.
The following Guide to the ADA Standards makes it easy to find information about particular standards, such as "Entrances, Doors, and Gates" or "Parking Spaces" and also includes animations like the one linked to above for public toilets. The url for the Guide is: https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/buildings-and-sites/about-the-ada-standards/guide-to-the-ada-standards.
Links to resources related to improving accessibility
Accessibility checklists from the Northwest ADA Center: http://nwadacenter.org/toolkit/accessibility-checklists#
Accessibility checklist for hotels (from Washington state): http://nwadacenter.org/sites/adanw/files/files/AccessibilityChecklist_Hotels%202012(1).pdf
ADA tax incentives: https://adata.org/factsheet/quicktips-tax
Hospitality and restaurant industry fact sheets and quick tips
(from https://www.adahospitality.org/content/Publications and https://wheelchairtravel.org/):
Northwest ADA Center: http://nwadacenter.org/. The Northwest ADA Center provides information, training, and guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act to Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
Reasonable Accommodations: http://nwadacenter.org/topics/reasonable-accommodations
this Q&A write up from the Disability Rights Section of the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division provides a very good overview that should clarify what is and is not a service animal.
tax incentives -- see ADA tax incentives
Links to help you hire folks with disabilities
ADA Title I regulations cover employers with 15 or more employees. Title I regulations also apply to employment agencies and labor organizations.
For more information, click here: https://www.gpadacenter.org/employers
The Small Business at Work Toolkit (Helping small businesses leverage the talents of people with disabilities):
Instead of searching the web for whatever article may appear first, we hope you’ll come back here often to explore the eight topics in this toolkit: