Saturday, June 30, 2012

Businesses and the ADA

In my experience, it's either ignorance or stupidity that causes a business to choose discrimination against an individual with a disability.

Ignorance may be couched in the "I don't have to do that... " after which I explain and share resources (like those below), and after oftentimes long discussion and back and forth, the entity finally says "Oh, I get it. Sorry. I guess I do have to do that." And then, they do it (and gain a customer and also an ally).

Stupidity may actually begin with the same "I don't have to do that.." stance. But, even after being provided with information, directed to one of the free ADA Technical Assistance Centers ( , and engaging in a long and typically well-documented (I love email!) dialogue, the entity STILL says "No, we are not going to do that."

Here are some excellent resources I use:

ADA Guide for Small Businesses
A Primer for Small Business (HTML) | (PDF) 
Title III Regulations
Title III Technical Assistance Manual
ADA Standards for Accessible Design
ADA Business Briefs

For me, personally, at this juncture, I recommend that the entity be sure they have adequately involved their own legal counsel, since refusal to provide reasonable accommodations is cause for escalating the concern to a complaint. My next posting will share how to do that.

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