Posts Tagged ‘accessibility’

Happy Accessible Clients is our Goal

| Wednesday, June 12th, 2013 | Comments Off on Happy Accessible Clients is our Goal

It’s always good to feel appreciated.  A huge part of providing our professional service lies in how happy and grateful our clients are.

In particular, a project we worked on with a non-profit last year has proved fruitful.  They had us perform an inspection, determine a scope of work, and then did construction to become compliant.  By doing so, they fulfilled the local building authority’s requirements for accessibility and can now serve the public.

Friends of Culver City Scout House is pleased to announce the grand re-opening of the Culver City Scout House. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Friday June 7, 2013. Guests included Culver City Mayor Jeff Cooper, the City Council, City Staff, members of BSA Troop 113 and the Culver City Rock and Mineral Club (CCRMC).

The Scout House has served the community for over 70 years. In 2009, a group of concerned citizens formed the non-profit Friends of Culver City Scout House (FOCCSH) in an effort to perform much-needed repairs and save the building. Working together with City officials, the FOCCSH came up with a plan to raise funds and perform the required renovations. The renovations were all done at no cost to the City. The restored facility is shared use, with the City receiving the majority of available hours.

Friends of Culver City Scout House express their appreciation to the following companies for the generosity of time and materials: Stock Building Supply, Timberland Tree Company, Mobile Mini and Bee Capture. Special thanks to Yours Truly Accessibility Corporation and The Architech Group for their expertise in accessibility compliance.

Original Link here:

Up and Coming Future ADA Lawsuits

| Sunday, September 4th, 2011 | Comments Off on Up and Coming Future ADA Lawsuits

If you were disabled, you’d probably have to rely on public transit unless you wanted to drop a few thousand (at least) to make your vehicle usable.

Lack of reliable accessible public transportation leads to further challenges for disabled individuals to keep steady employment.

Reposted from [Washington Post].

The accessibility issues of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) services outlined in the Aug. 7 Metro article “Ride, interrupted” are not only violations of federal law and a point of frustration for people with disabilities but also a contributor to the extremely low employment rate for people with disabilities.

Seventy percent of people with disabilities are unemployed or underemployed. As a result of a class-action lawsuit on behalf of more than 20,000 people, we have heard from many MetroAccess and Metrorail users who fear disciplinary action or loss of their jobs because of MetroAccess’s unreliable service.

One user believes that the lack of reliable, accessible transportation harms the potential for professional advancement. “Being late to work hinders promotion potential; if my supervisor can’t rely on me to be there when I am needed, I cannot get promoted to the next level,” she said.

Employment is a key factor in the ability of any individual, including a person with a disability, to live independently and contribute to the community. By denying people with disabilities the right to access basic public transportation, WMATA is denying these individuals the right to fully realize their professional potential.

Kat Taylor, Washington

Understanding the frustration disabled citizens have goes a long way in understanding the root that generates disability suits.

Why make things doubly difficult by being incompliant?

Questions? email us at or call us at 866 982 3212.

Who will rock the boat?

| Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 | 1 Comment »

This blog is about how people who have control over a building situation can achieve ada accommodations. So we are very heavy on focusing with the end result of what is a long process in construction and design.

We talk much about the requirements of the code, interpretations and the law for disabled access. But in the pursuit of cost effective reasonable accommodations, we shouldn’t lose sight of what disabled access is for. With the focus on cost, business doesn’t always make the best of what is world populated by humans with human need.

Quoting Mia on her latest blog: Cant rock the boat hell if we have to well sink it

Over the life of this blog ,it has been my intention to shine a light on any person or group who takes money or gets kudos for being advocates and angels for the disabled community but in reality are more the problem than the cure.

The reality of the code is that there are people who need those requirements. The requirements of the code here in the United States have been the result of years of study through the access-board, and represent the best cost-benefit analysis that government can offer between minimum cost and maximum benefit.

So while this entry isn’t so much about specific numbers here, I do want to remind you all, before we get back to our normal stream of access tips that the end result of any disabled compliance needs to be of benefit to the people who would use it. Another quote:

Another example, a internist who proclaims she is disabled friendly with full access and expert at all medical problems pertaining to life in a wheelchair, we arrive her doorways are too small for chairs her toilet door has a 14 inch step and she proclaims that I shouldn’t complain and be thankful for what ever i get? Folks it’s bad when doctors or advocates are taking government money or worse taking ours and they know nothing or even worse they don’t give a damn, but I have started to receive notes from parents telling me not to rock the boat, they’ll put up with second best the doctor is “really nice” he is incompetent but nice? If parents don’t stand and yell ”hell no” who will? The kid in the chair can’t stand at all, a baby with cerebal palsy can’t scream help. We cannot tolerate incompetence, were not fixing a car that can have the engine replaced, its our life, it’s the life of our children. If these so called experts don’t know a damn thing i dont care if they can put on puppet shows, let them do them for someone else but their not getting their incompetent hands on our most precious posessions our loved ones

Mia’s writings aren’t for everyone, as there’s plenty of strong emotion in there — and no wonder — considering how misunderstood disabled access is! We’ve heard the horror stories of individuals who go up and down streets suing businesses for disabled access — now while Mia and the millions of others like her (who are disabled and angry) don’t do this — only a handful do — you do begin to get a sense of where this frustration can lead to in the hands of a few explosive individuals.

If you want to understand more from her point of view, that of your average disabled patron, please take a look at her blog Disabled Access Denied. Otherwise, we will return to the regular accessibility tips in the next few days.

Introducing Disabled Access Denied

| Monday, May 23rd, 2011 | 2 Comments »

One of the complaints by various building officials, property managers and business owners who are, at times, angry for having to pay for or enforce laws that require facilities to be made have said to me:

  • I never see that platform lift being used
  • We never see those people come in here

Both of these complaints stem from a misunderstanding of both the real accommodations have for people who have disabilities and how many disabled individuals are out and about.

First some statistics. The answer? At least one in five. Don’t believe it? See this source, Access to Disability Data citing a very old source, from the early 1990s. Given that this year, of 2011, the first baby boomers have reached 65, AND The number of disabled veterans is rising especially as the United States has more than three military actions going on today, you can be sure that there are plenty of disabled citizens out today.

Now even if you provide accommodations that’s not enough to get people with disabilities into your establishment. I won’t talk about marketing or sales funnel, but installing a platform lift isn’t enough — it’s really possible that your external path of travel is so incompliant that the disabled can’t even get in the door. Plus a business that is known to be disabled unfriendly is likely to not get business from the disabled. A family taking grandma out to dinner isn’t going to take her to a restaurant that will embarrass her or cause her difficulty.

With this in mind, I want to draw attention to a recent connection we’ve made, a blog by one Mia G Vayner who runs a blog: “Disabled Access Denied“. With the advent of social media online and social networking, Vayner is one of the rising voices of a growing disgrunted and traditionally under-represented group of people.

I had invited Vayner to write herself an introduction, and it is presented below.

Disabled Access Denied was the message I got every time I rolled up to a restaurant that wasn’t accessible or a doctors office that had 10 steps up to its door or my favorite — when store owners used their existing disabled ramps as prime retail space.

My name is Mia G. Vayner and I’ve never been known for taking these types of injustices quietly. My friends will tell you I have always had a disability: a quick wit, a sharp mind and a total inability to handle stupidity. If you’re asking about the wheels under my ass, its a hereditary neurological disorder that is degenerative and makes walking and standing with any regularity impossible. This has been my life for about 5 years. When you mix my friends opinion of me with the ever growing lack of care and concern by those in power for the rights of the wheelchair bound my choices became scream or do something about it. The first meant I need to put a lawyer on retainer and the second involved starting a blog. That is how was born.

My blog serving notice to those who say through their laws, their lack of adherance to laws, their complete disregard or simple lack of thought for the disabled, we’ll photograph, we’ll blog and we’ll tell the powers that be that until they make it right, until they Respect our Existance, they can Expect our Resistance.

Now our business blog here at YTA’s main focus is to you business owners and contractors — so between Vayner and ourselves, we address different audiences. Plus, we are located in Los Angeles — Disabled Access Denied has strong roots in New York City. So there are some differences in where we are coming from.

Nonetheless, I think it a good opportunity for many of you to take a look at Disabled Access Denied and understand where your direct customers and end-users of construction come from — what their interests are and how strongly inaccessible construction impacts their ability to just get from point A to point B.

Often times too, our focus is on the letter of the code, and as a result there is opportunity to forget what the end result should be. Here at YTA we don’t just want to help you provide legally compliant paths of travel and access to goods of services but also to provide good and safe customer experience so that people with disabilities can enjoy the same benefits and integration as their non-disabled peers.

So please take a look at the wealth of articles and information, and think about how your customer experience — especially those who are of different ability — are impacted by your customer experience. A good starting place is to sit in a wheelchair and try to get in the door, and use your restroom.

Contact information for Vayner can be gotten at Contact info or you can email her at or follow her on her twitter at Disableddenied.

As always if you have specific questions about accessibility at your site you can contact us at 866 982 3212 or

Denial of Service leads to Lawsuit: Service Dog

| Monday, May 9th, 2011 | Comments Off on Denial of Service leads to Lawsuit: Service Dog

Here is a very interesting story about service animals and places of public accommodation:

Christy Gardner, who was a driven athlete at Edward Little High School in Auburn and at Long Island College in New York, found basic training at Fort Leonard Wood a breeze.

She cruised through military police training before being deployed to the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea.

But she suffered a traumatic brain injury during police operations there, and even the most basic tasks became challenging, even dangerous. “My medical records said I was not allowed to bathe alone, in case I had a seizure,” said Gardner, 28.

With brain damage that makes her prone to terrible seizures, Gardner lays credits for her ability to live alone squarely at the four furry feet of her golden retriever, Moxie.

Moxie, a service dog, can sense her owner’s grand mal seizures 10 minutes before they hit, and warn her to sit on the ground so she doesn’t injure herself falling.

Moxie can pull blankets off Gardner so she doesn’t choke during a seizure in bed, and is trained to roll her on her side and dial 911 on a special, large-button cell phone. She even can open the door, run to a neighbor’s home and ring the doorbell for help in an emergency.

So Gardner was startled when she entered a Portland convenience store last summer to get Moxie some water and the owner ordered them to leave, then walked toward them, his hands outstretched, to herd them from the store.

Gardner was frightened, mostly for Moxie. “If something happened to her physically, I have to find a live-in nurse or I have to live in a (nursing) home,” Gardner said.

You can read more from The Portland Press Herald. I sourced it from this Twitter: Service Dog Registry of the United States.


An additional story:

An Aurora man has sued the International House of Pancakes, saying employees at the popular breakfast restaurant discriminated against him because he uses a service dog.

The suit, filed in Kane County Court, alleges that Ricky Lee Schopp went to the IHOP restaurant on Augusta Way in Aurora on June 30, 2009, with his mother and his service dog, Phato. Schopp is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair. Phato, a Labrador retriever, helps with certain skills, like opening doors.

At first, Schopp, his mother and the dog were seated at a table by the IHOP hostess, the suit says. However, not long after they sat down, an IHOP employee demanded they move to a different section of the restaurant that had no other customers, forcing them to eat alone, the suit says. The employee said the reason for the changing tables was that Schopp had a dog with him.

After being informed that it was a service dog, the employee still insisted they move or leave the restaurant, the suit alleges. Schopp chose to leave the restaurant.

You can also read this additional story of a Man from Aurora suing an IHOP for the same denial of service From: the Beacon News.

Service Dog Registry is a volunteer registry for Service Animals. It is NOT required. For more information about Service Dogs you can turn to United States Service Dog Registry.

Any questions about accessibility in general, feel free to call 866 982 3212 and

ADA Accommodation #3: Principles of Signage*

| Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 | 2 Comments »

Signage is one of the “Readily Achievable” statuses under ADA Accommodation. Basically, this means that you should be able to afford to achieve this ADA Accommodation. (For further detail see here: ADA Accommodation Cost.) Signage is also one of the most least understood ADA Accommodations.


ADA Requirements for Signage:

While there are many different requirements for when signs should be placed, here are some general guidelines.

  • Signage should be placed when there are multiple paths of travel or when points of destination (such as main entrance) is unclear.  The pedestrian circulation path should coincide with the accessible route.  So directional signage from the accessible parking to the main entrance, or from an assembly area to a restroom are prime candidates for adding signage.  We’ve all had problems locating where the restrooms or where a main entrance is, but that problem can become compounded if you are mobility impaired.
  • Directional signage is not required to have Braille.  But signage to permanent rooms and locations should have signage.  Braille should be Grade 2 Braille.   So Braille signage must be present for stairs, elevators and rooms.
  • Braille signage must be accompanied by raised lettering.  This means that if it says “Room 32” then the lettering for “Room 32” must be raised.
  • The Braille for signage must not be located where there is danger.  If someone is reading the braille but the sign is in the door swing, that’s a problem.  Someone reading the sign could be hit by the door.  The ADA 2010 has the added requirements for the placement of the signs to clarify the unclear 1990 requirements.  Placement of the signs include 48-60 inches on center above the finished floor measured from the highest tactile character and centered a minimum of 9 inches from the door swing.  In California, there are requirements for restroom signs to be placed additionally on the door.  These signs must not have Braille on the swing-side of the door.  (ADA Accommodation for Restroom Signs in California)
  • The contrasting color requirements for the signs apply not only to the differences between the background of the sign and the lettering of the sign but also between the sign and the wall color.  Blending the sign into the wall does not make for accessible signage.  Likewise, reflective or semi-reflective signs are non-compliant.  We mention that also here:  ADA Accommodations #2:  Restrooms
  • There are added requirements for the proportions and spacing of each of the elements in the sign so be sure to check for these specific requirements.  For instance, elevator signage must be a minimumm of 2″ high for the jambs.


Discussion of ADA Accommodations

Sign Picture #1: Visibility

This picture is of a parking sign.  While required at parking spaces, this sign is both too low for the ADA requirements (which want a minimum height of 60 inches for all head parking signs), and this sign is not easily visible, as the plants around it partially cover the sign.  Where plants and signs are concerned, all signage should be easily visible.  This means that it is visible from the general circulation path, either of vehicles (if the sign is for drivers) or for pedestrians (if the sign is for pedestrians).  The ADA has the additional requirement that the parking head signs be visible to on-coming drivers seated on the driver’s seat.  (This means that the sign can’t be too high).

While there is no requirement for the maximum height of signage, the California Building Code (CBC) has the additional requirement that if in the circulation path, the head parking sign must be a minimum of 80 inches high as measured to the bottom of the sign.  So this California code requirement does not apply if the sign is wall mounted.  What this means is that if the parking warning sign (under CBC 1129B.4) is post mounted in the circulation path, it must have the lowest edge at 80 inches high from the path.  If this sign is on the wall, it may be less than the 60 inches required by the ADA, as it is not required by Federal law to be there.


Sign Picture #2 & #3: Latch side Signage and attending clear floor space

The latch side of a door is the side of the door where the handle is.  On that side, there must be a sign to designate that space if it is a permanent room or space.  So for an office, as the offices are numbered, there should be a sign present with raised letters and braille.  That sign must be of contrasting color.  Restrooms also must have a six by six area for a pictogram on this sign with an icon for mens, womens, unisex or family.  There is an additional requirement for clear floor space of 18 inches centered under this latch side sign.

This second picture does not have that latch side sign, it only has the California door sign required by the CBC.  By the looks of the drinking fountain, this door also would not have the clear floor space of 18 inches unless they removed the drinking fountain.

Likewise, this third picture violates the latch side sign height requirement and the floor clearance requirement.  There is a stool in the clear floor space.  The stool could be easily removed, and should be, as it is a barrier.

Additionally, the placement of the latch side sign as being so close to the door creates a hazard as someone who is reading the sign could be hit by the door swing. The 1990 ADA standards were unclear as to how far the sign should be from the door — the verbiage stated that the sign should be placed so that the door swing would be at least 3 inches from someone reading the door. At its current location, this would not be the case. This sign should be re-mounted so as to be a minimum of 9 inches centered from the door.






Sign Picture #4 & #5: Parking Warning Sign Visibility

In California, this sign is required either at the head of each accessible parking space or at every entrance to the parking lot. We had a client recently ask us if it was okay to mix and match. Mixing and matching isn’t addressed by the code but the principle behind this sign should be that a driver should have to encounter this sign on her way to park — and be warned that if she parked in the parking space reserved for the disabled she better have the proper disabled placard.

So placing the sign on a pole that isn’t even remotely close to the parking lot entrance, or placing the sign in such a way that it faces the wrong way defeats the purpose of presenting the sign to drivers. Likewise, in this photo allowing graffiti to be plastered all over the sign, or allowing the graffiti and stickers to persist on the sign makes a business liable for a lawsuit. (This sign must also be filled out with the telephone number to retrieve the car, or the tow-lot/police station to be fully compliant.)

As a stronger statement about signage is that it must be clearly visible. If the sign is damaged, turned the wrong way as in sign #5 (it’s not facing on-coming drivers, as it’s facing away from the street) then that facility is liable for not being in compliance.


ADA Compliance Takeaway

So you understand, the point of all these articles is to educate you readers about what ADA compliance entails.  Both what to do, how to approach it, how to best comply and what the common pitfalls for complete ADA compliance are.

Education is mostly free.  I have to spent a few hours, maybe a day and a half each week, working on articles, and you have to take time to read it, to shift through the multitude of available information.

Ultimately, though, we make a living doing ADA inspections and ADA consultation.

We  do know the laws and ADA regulations, but we don’t know your facility.

I can write about the most common and glaring problems, but I can’t advise you on your particular site.  Even if you submitted pictures, I can’t measure slope or spot issues you may not know about.  If you find this information helpful, feel free to drop an email or a comment.  Submit a picture too, if you like.  I can email you back with an opinion.  (Money is even more appreciated!)

But seriously, give me some genuine feedback and let me know if this was helpful or if you would like me to cover a specific topic.  If I get enough requests, I’ll take the time to write an article on it.  If you’re interested in having us apply our knowledge to your place of business/place of public accommodation in the form of an ADA consultation, by all means call us at 866 982 3212 or email us at

*Note: The California Building Code may have changed its requirements since the writing of this article.

Chipotle’s Attempt to Appeal ADA Lawsuit Fails

| Monday, April 18th, 2011 | 1 Comment »

Following an on-going Chipotle case as covered previously:

Chipotle Deprived Disabled of Food View [From San Francisco Chronicle: Chipotle and Disabled Rights Lawsuit]

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court won’t stop a disabled man’s lawsuit against Chipotle Mexican Grill for having counters too high for a person in a wheelchair.

The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from the Denver-based chain.

Maurizio Antoninetti sued when he found that he could not see the Chipotle food preparers because of the height of the counters. A federal judge ruled against him, saying Antoninetti had sued dozens of other places for access violations and dropped the suit after received cash settlements.

The judge said Antoninetti was insincere about wanting to return and eat at Chipotle.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the judge’s ruling, saying Antoninetti’s litigation history cannot be used against him.

The case is Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. v. Maurizio Antoninetti, 10-1051.

[From Huffington Post: Supreme Court Permits Maurizio Antoninetti’s Lawsuit Against Chipotle]


If you are aware of this past lawsuit back in 2006, and you’ve been to a new Chipotle you will notice that even some of the new ones are not built to the standards required by that lawsuit (of having a continuous lowered counter).

The lesson here is simply that a business’s responsibility to follow the law cannot be waived for external reasons.


I’m sure more information will come forth soon.

Comment below and share your thoughts on this!

If you want more tips on accessibility you can go here: Accommodation Compliance Rules and Regulations

DOJ Settles with Virginia Health System on ADA Compliance

| Thursday, March 31st, 2011 | Comments Off on DOJ Settles with Virginia Health System on ADA Compliance

This just in. The Virginal Health Care system has agreed to pay 25k to two individuals for their lack of assisted listening device compliance. Under the ADA all goods ands services need to be accessible. So if you offer a good or service, make sure it is available to everyone! The number of assisted listening devices is dependent on the size of the occupancy.

I have quoted the entire text below.

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department has reached a settlement with Inova Health System to ensure effective communication with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in the provision of medical services. The agreement, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, resolves a complaint that Inova failed to provide sign language interpreters to an expectant mother and others who are deaf and need interpreters to communicate effectively with health care providers.

The department’s lawsuit, filed yesterday with a consent decree in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleged that Inova Health System violated the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act by failing to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including sign language interpreter services, to deaf individuals at Inova Fairfax Hospital. Because of the hospital’s failure to provide sign language interpreter services, deaf individuals were denied the benefit of effective communication with hospital staff, the opportunity to effectively participate in medical treatment decisions, and the full benefit of health care services provided by Inova Fairfax Hospital, according to the complaint.

“The ADA protects the right of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to be able to access medical services, and this settlement is the latest example of the Justice Department’s unwavering commitment to enforcing the ADA,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “This settlement also demonstrates Inova Health System’s commitment to provide effective communication to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

“This settlement shows that Inova and the government share the same goal – making sure that deaf and hard of hearing patients can communicate with their doctors, especially at critical moments in their medical care,” said Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The consent decree, which must be approved by the district court, requires Inova Health System to pay $95,000 to aggrieved individuals and a $25,000 civil penalty; provide training to hospital staff on the requirements of the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act; and adopt specific policies and procedures to ensure that auxiliary aids and services are promptly provided to patients or companions who are deaf or hard of hearing. Inova Health System has also separately agreed to pay a total of $25,000 to two other aggrieved individuals.

The ADA and Rehabilitation Act prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities by hospitals. Among other things, the ADA requires doctors, hospitals and other health care providers to provide equal access to patients and companions who are deaf or hard of hearing. When medical services involve important, lengthy or complex oral communications with patients or companions, hospitals are generally required to provide qualified sign language interpreters and other auxiliary aids, free of charge, to individuals who are deaf, are hard of hearing or have speech disabilities. The appropriate auxiliary aid to be provided depends on a variety of factors, including the nature, length and importance of the communication; the communication skills and knowledge of the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing; and the individual’s stated need for a particular type of auxiliary aid.

Those interested in finding out more about this settlement or hospitals’ effective communication obligations under the ADA may call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD), or access its ADA website . ADA complaints may be filed by email to .

Contact: Department of Justice Main Switchboard – 202-514-2000

You can find a link on this below: 7th Space

Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? or 866 982 3212. Thanks!

ADA Lawsuits prompt a Grace Period Bill in Congress

| Friday, March 25th, 2011 | Comments Off on ADA Lawsuits prompt a Grace Period Bill in Congress

The majority of lawsuits arising from ADA violations are aimed at smaller businesses.  Many of those lawsuits hurt businesses as the steep cost of defending those lawsuits for violations (which most likely are, strictly speaking, in fact violations) prompt potentially large settlements.  These settlements are usually at least $4,000.00 + attorneys fees.

Well, now there’s a new bill aimed at helping those small businesses.  This bills hopes to deter serial litigants from threatening small businesses for items which are readily achievable.  Will this bill pass? It’s labled H.R. 881.

March 7, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) — Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) recently introduced legislation aimed at curtailing what he views as frivolous lawsuits against small businesses that are allegedly in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The bill, entitled the ADA Notification Act, would provide businesses accused of an ADA violation with a 90-day grace period to make necessary modifications.

“It’s bad enough that small businesses are facing enormous challenges due to the current economic downturn,” Rep. Hunter said in a press release. “What they don’t need to contend with are any other unnecessary obstacles that impede growth and competitiveness. But that’s exactly what’s happening in San Diego with predatory ADA lawsuits.”

Our thoughts on this proposed legislation is that yes, businesses should become compliant, they should at least fix the items which are readily achievable (which is a classification of items relatively inexpensive to fix — and also the class of ADA violations which are in fact the most sued over) and yes, businesses should absolutely understand what laws effect their bottom line.

But rather than introducing more government oversight and legislation, the key to compliance should be EDUCATION not legislation.

Will this 90 day grace period prompt a business to fix the items in question properly?

Will a 90 day grace period be long enough for a business to find, qualify and hire a contractor to properly install items like grab bars, signage, restroom amenities and parking striping?

The area of law surrounding the ADA have multiple requirements. It’s possible that hiring any contractor will not only the business MORE LIABLE but also leave the contractor liable as well.

That would be a disastrous waste of resources and funds!

Yes, it’s as I’ve been writing all along. Education and then proper action towards ADA COMPLIANCE is the only way to avoid lawsuits.

If you have any questions about the particulars of YOUR ADA COMPLIANCE best email us at or call 866 982 3212.

You can read more about this by clicking the link below.
Read from East County via Overlawyered.Com and CJAC.

ADA Guidelines for Small Businesses

| Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 | 2 Comments »

As promised, the Department of Justice has posted an ADA Primer for Small Businesses.

This document explains many of the confusing requirements that the ADA has in addition to building code like requirements.  Basically, the safe harbor for older ADA compliance with 1990 standards is an option for businesses wanting to comply with the ADA up until March 15, 2012.  The safe harbor applies to elements on a case by case basis.

After March 15, 2012 businesses WILL NO LONGER HAVE THE OPTION as to which standard they want to comply to.  So if an older standard is easier to achieve, that option will no longer be available after March 15, 2012.  You will have to comply with the 2010 ADA standards.

If you’ve been following us on this blog or if you have been to one of our ADA Seminars on ADA Compliance then you understand that the majority of places of public accommodation are in fact not compliant with even the older ADA 1990 standards.


In  many cases, older standards can be more stringent.  For example, the ADA of 2010 allows some tolerances for the centerline position of toilets.  If you are in California, this might make a difference, or it might not as the California Building Code still applies.

Many of the issues in the PDF affect issues of policy, for instance

  • Braille Menus or readers must be required
  • Service Animals are now defined solely as Dogs (except in one particular case, miniature horses)
  • Communication with Customers must be readily available in NON-Verbal Exchanges

These are the main requirements.  As always, readily achievable barrier removal must be performed whenever possible.  A few examples of these include

  • Lowered Counters
  • Clear floor space underneath controls
  • Steps at the Main Entrance
  • Installing Amenities and Grab bars in the Restrooms
  • Many Parking Accessibility Issues

We will example some of these in details in later articles.  For now, though you should look at the PDF.  Also be aware that the safe harbor does not apply in cases like

  • Accessible Showers
  • Saunas
  • Residential Facilities
  • Play Areas
  • Swimming Pools

There are many more requirements, but if you are an average business owner than you are probably not effected by these.

For now though, this ends the summation of this guide.  The link again, is here:


As always if you have any comments, questions or concerns feel free to call us at 866 982 3212 x1 or email us at