Accessibility Upgrades

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits the exclusion of people with disabilities from everyday activities, such as:
  • Buying an item at the store
  • Enjoying a meal at a local restaurant
  • Exercising at the local health club
  • Having the car serviced at a local garage
  • Watching a movie in a theater
Public Accommodations
Private businesses that provide goods or services to the public are called public accommodations in the ADA. The ADA establishes requirements for 12 categories of public accommodations including:
  • Hotels
  • Private museums
  • Recreation facilities
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Schools
  • Service establishments
  • Stores and shops
  • Theaters
Nearly all types of private businesses that serve the public are included in a category regardless of size. If you own, operate, lease, or lease to a business that serves the public, then you must comply with ADA regulations and have an obligation to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

New Buildings & Construction

In addition, all new building features are required to meet current architectural accessibility requirements including:
  • Curb and ramps path of travel
  • Door hardware
  • Loading lanes
  • Parking stalls
  • Restroom layout
  • Sales counter height
Local Standards
The California Building Code accessibility laws require that a minimum of 20% of tenant improvement construction costs, exclusive of accessibility upgrades, be used to upgrade existing building features to make them more accessible.

For More Information
For information on having your business evaluated, consider consulting with a design professional with specific expertise, such as a Certified Access Specialist (CASp), which is regulated by the State of California’s Division of the State Architect. Should you have further questions regarding this subject, please contact us for further information.