Requirements on a Small Business Regarding Public Accommodations for Disabled Persons

A Small Business must understand the Federal and the State requirements regarding the accommodation of persons with disabilities.

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and later amended in 2008, is broad reaching. The act prohibits unjustified discrimination based on disability, similar to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics.

reserved_parking_handicap_nys_r7-8nyHowever, the ADA goes beyond prohibiting discrimination and includes reasonable accommodations and accessibility for employees, and the public, with disabilities.

Under the ADA’s “Public Accommodations” provision, the business  is required to develop and make available physical space to make sure that people with physical and sensory disabilities have the same access to its facilities and services as people without disabilities.

The US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, provides an ADA Update: A Primer For Small Business which

…clarifies issues that have arisen over the past 20 years, and contains new requirements, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards). This document provides guidance to assist small business owners in understanding how this new regulation applies to them.

In addition to the Federal Law, there may also be requirements placed on a Small Business from the State. For example, the New York State Office of the Attorney General states:

The New York State Human Rights Law and local laws, such as the New York City Human Rights Law, likewise prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in the provision of public accommodations.

The law requires commercial parking lots and pedestrian paths be accessible to everyone. That includes providing the disabled with parking spaces that offer ample access for special needs persons, vehicles, and other mobility aids such as wheelchairs and power chairs. It is important that these spaces be reserved for those who truly need them, so they must be clearly marked.

Traffic Safety Direct handicap parking signs help your business maintain ADA compliance and easily alert drivers where they may and may not park. While most states use the federal handicap parking sign, other states, such as New York and New Jersey, require unique state compliant parking and/or penalty signs.

As a Small Business. it is critical to understand the State requirements, in addition to the Federal requirements, regarding accommodations for persons with disabilities. Contact the Attorney General Office of your State to understand your obligations regarding serving persons with disabilities.

At Traffic Safety Direct, we offer a variety of handicapped signs, such as Federal R7-8, Federal R7-8VA, New Jersey R7-8P and R7-8NY, for parking lots.