The following are a few of the frequently asked questions about ADA compliance. Click through to read our extended Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about the below topics and more.
General ADA Compliance
What does “regarded as having a disability” mean?
“Regarded as having a disability” means that the person either:
Has an impairment that does not substantially limit a major life activity;
Has an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity only as a result of the attitudes of others toward them; or
Does not have any impairment, but is treated by an entity as having an impairment.
Restrooms & Break Rooms
Are employee restrooms and break rooms required to be accessible?
Yes, spaces used by employees for purposes other than work, including restrooms, break rooms, locker rooms, lounges, and parking must be fully accessible. Areas used only by employees for work are not required to be fully accessible but must be connected by accessible routes and means of egress for approach, entry, and exit and have wiring to support visual alarms if served by audible alarms. Also, circulation paths must be accessible in work areas at least 1,000 square feet in size.
Must the minimum number of spaces be determined separately for each parking facility on a site or can it be based on the collective total of spaces provided on a site?
The minimum number of accessible parking spaces, including van accessible spaces, must be calculated separately for each parking facility on a site. Spaces required for one parking facility can be provided in another where doing so results in equal or greater access and convenience for users, but the required number must still be calculated separately for each parking facility.
Are service or freight elevators required to comply with the 2010 Standards?
When an elevator is used to provide a required accessible route between stories, it must meet requirements for passenger elevators. Elevators that serve passengers but can also be used to move freight, sometimes referred to as “service elevators,” must meet the ASME requirements for passenger elevators. Examples include elevators in residential or retail facilities that are regularly used by tenants or customers but that are also used to move furniture, merchandise, or other freight. Where provided, they must comply with the Standards.
Area of Refuge
What is an Area of Refuge?
The IBC provides requirements for areas of refuge, which are fire-rated spaces on levels above or below the exit discharge levels for elevators where people unable to use stairs can go to register a call for assistance and wait for evacuation. In other words, there is no evacuation elevator.
Is it OK to examine a patient who uses a wheelchair in the wheelchair, because the patient cannot get onto the exam table independently?
Generally no. Examining a patient in their wheelchair usually is less thorough than on the exam table, and does not provide the patient equal medical services. There are several ways to make the exam table accessible to a person using a wheelchair. A good option is to have a table that adjusts down to the level of a wheelchair, approximately 17-19 inches from the floor. (See Part 4 of this publication for a more in-depth discussion of accessible exam tables.) What is important is that a person with a disability receives equal medical services to those received by a person without a disability. If the examination does not require that a person lie down (for example, an examination of the face), then the exam table is not important to the medical care and the patient may remain seated.
Communication with the US Department of Justice
How can I file an ADA complaint with the US Department of Justice? If you feel that you or another person has been discriminated against by an entity covered by either Title II or III of the ADA, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, Disability Rights Section. Title II covers state and local government entities and Title III public accommodations and commercial facilities. Public accommodations are businesses that provide goods or services for the public.
Complaints concerning discrimination in employment, often referred to as Title I complaints, should be addressed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and/or the agency responsible for enforcing state laws against employment discrimination. The EEOC process for filing a charge of employment discrimination may be found at: http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm.