Effective March 15, 2011, there are revised regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that will serve as the U.S. Department of Justice’ first major revision on the guidance on accessibility in 20 years. These regulations apply to the more than seven million places of public accommodation, including stores, restaurants, shopping malls, libraries, museums, sporting arenas, movie theaters, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, hotels, jails and prisons, polling places, and emergency preparedness shelters as well as to state and local government.
The new ADA rules adopt the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which have been retooled to be more user-friendly for building code officials, builders, and architects, and have been harmonized with state and local accessibility codes. The 2010 standards also include, for the first time, standards on making swimming pools, parks, golf courses, boating facilities, exercise clubs, and other recreation facilities accessible for individuals with disabilities. Entities covered by the ADA have until March 15, 2012 to comply with the 2010 Standards. In addition to adopting the new ADA 2010 Standards, the amended regulations contain many new or expanded provisions on general nondiscrimination policies, including the use of service animals, the use of wheelchairs and other power-driven mobility devices, selling tickets for wheelchair-accessible seating at sports and performance venues, reserving and guaranteeing accessible rooms at hotels, providing interpreter services through video conferencing, and the effect of the new regulations on existing facilities. The compliance date for the all the new nondiscrimination provisions, except for those on hotel reservations, is March 15, 2011. Compliance with the hotel reservation provisions is not required until March 15, 2012.
For more information about the ADA, call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY), or access the department’s ADA website at www.ada.gov.
This information should not be construed as "legal advice" for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.