A PRIVATELY OWNED OR OPERATED PLACE OF BUSINESS THAT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990 (ADA) TITLE III
Covers privately operated businesses, nonprofit service providers, privately operated entities offering courses and examinations, privately operated transportation services, and commercial facilities. Public accommodations must not exclude, segregate and provide unequal treatment to people with disabilities. They must comply with specific architectural standards for new and altered buildings; reasonable modifications to policies, practices and procedures; effectively communicate with people with disabilities (i.e. ASL interpreters, Braille, large print); and other access requirements. They must remove barriers in existing buildings if it is easy to do so without much difficulty or expense – given the public accommodation’s resources. Commercial facilities, such as factories and warehouses, must comply with architectural standards for new construction and alterations.
CALIFORNIA ACCESS LAW
Persons who are disabled are entitled to full and equal access to places of accommodation, transportation carriers, lodging places, recreation and amusement facilities, medical facilities, including hospitals, clinics and physicians’ offices, and other business establishments where the general public is invited. This law does not require an establishment to make structural modifications in order to facilitate access by physically disabled persons.
UNRUH CIVIL RIGHTS ACT
Protects persons with disabilities from discrimination in any business establishment open to the public. Forbids arbitrary discrimination by business establishments on the basis of disability. “Business establishment” has been broadly defined by the courts and includes housing, hotels and motels, theaters, shopping centers, restaurants, and all forms of transportation. This law does not require an establishment to make structural modifications in order to facilitate access by physically disabled persons.
Visit the Public Accomodations section of our Hot Topics forum for up-to-date information about policy developments and calls to action.