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Great resources for ADA Compliance Guidelines

Posted by on March 6, 2013 - 53 Comments

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We often get asked about compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act at our Disability Awareness Trainings for Businesses. So here’s a quick guide around ADA Compliance.

We’ve picked out answers for some of the most commonly asked questions for you here. You can find more information from our friends at Illinois ADA Project and Equip for Equality.

English: American Sign Language interpreter on...

American Sign Language interpreter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Q: Cost of reasonable accommodations – who pays?

A: Employees with disabilities must be provided equal opportunities to participate in training to improve job performance and provide opportunity for advancement. Training opportunities cannot be denied because of the need to make a reasonable accommodation, unless the accommodation would be an undue hardship. Both employers (under Title I), and places of public accommodation, (under Title III), have a duty to provide reasonable accommodations. (Read more)

Q: What are requirements for website accessibility for a public accommodation?

A: In order to be an equivalent service, someone with a disability should have the same degree of access. It is not the responsibility of a public accommodation to provide computers for it’s customers or the software that someone who has a disability needs in order to access the Internet. The obligation of a public accommodation is to ensure that someone visiting the web site is able to navigate the web site and transact business the same as someone with out a disability, whether or not they use assistive technologies. (Read more)

English: ADA Access Ramp

ADA Access Ramp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Q: What are ramp requirements like?

A: The least possible slope shall be used for any ramp. The maximum slope of a ramp in new construction shall be 1:12. The maximum rise for any run shall be 30 in (760 mm). The minimum clear width of a ramp shall be 36 in (915 mm). (Read more)

For more answers to other questions around the ADA, visit the Illinois ADA FAQ page, their resource page, and the Equip for Equality page.


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Tony H. Zahn says:
Mar 17, 2013

I have a step son who has a deteriorated hip joint .He needs to take some time off from work to get a replacement joint . The time is approximately 6 weeks.His employer will give him the time off but will not provide any compensation while he is off.He cannot pay any of his bills or feed his family without some kind of income. My question, is there any type of help he can get and where can he get some help.Without the operation,he will not be able to walk soon.If you have any info it would be deeply appreciated.

G. Ray Simpson says:
Apr 02, 2013

On Friday March 29,2013. My wife and I joined our Pastor and his wife for lunch. The restaurant they chose had approx. a 7″ step outside the rest. It was not marked at all. It was almost the same color as the rest of the foundation. They had a center railing but nothing on either side. It was very sunny, our Pastor met us with the door open to inform us that we were gong to eat inside. My wife tripped on the step and fell. She landed on her knees and struck her face on the right side. It knocked her out for a few seconds. With the help of my Pastor we picked her up.
I took her inside to sit down. She had a big pump knock on the side of her right eye. The waitress brought us ice immediatly. She applied it to her face, knees and top of her hands. I took her to the emergency room of our local hospital. The hospital took a CAT scan and took x-rays of her hands, arms, knees. It showed that she had no broken or fractured bones. She was advised to apply ice and watch for a lot of sweeling. We waited at the hopital for approx. 6 hours to be taken care of.. My question is, Who is responsible to have the step marked that they have to step up or down. We’ve heard that it is not necessary. Our concern is that someone could get seriously hurt. We would like an answer to this, because I’ve seen other Rest. and stores mark the areas. Or warn people with a sign to watch your step.

Sam K says:
Apr 16, 2013

In order to be ADA compliant does a residential street ( 40″ curb to curb) require sidewalk on both sidesand ramps at all 4 corners at intersecting streets? Or is sidewalk and ramps on only one side sufficient for the City or public agency to meet ADA requirements?

yongshuling says:
Jul 08, 2013

Hi Sam,

Thanks for reaching out to us. I recommend contacting Disability Rights California at 916-504-5800 or for information about CA. Hope this helps!


S. Green says:
Apr 28, 2013

My daughter, aged 23, uses Access Transportation Services on a regular basis. She suffers with Autism, Bi-Polar, and Epilepsy. I am one of her court-appointed conservators. Therefore, I can legally speak for her. I just had the most unpleasant experience with the man making travel arrangements. He was short and curt with me. He played mind games with me and made me hang up and call back with information that he obviously already had. He started treating me with a LITTLE MORE respect, when it became obvious to him that I wasn’t disabled. I did ask for his full name. He gave me his first name, only. Access records all of their calls, without the caller’s permission. I hope when his supervisor hears the way he handled this call, he’ll receive some “re-training”. Also, I hope that he realizes that his job is not secure, given that way he treats the public. (Even IF he works for ADA, DMH, and/or the Dept. of Transportation).

nadege adrien says:
Apr 29, 2013

I own a co-op apartment, my son is wheelchair bound, it is the board’s responsibility to widen the entrance to the bathroom door or mine? I pay 1120.00 in maintenance fee monthly. I think the property management and the board are responsible to widen the entrance to the bathroom so he may use it in lieu of me picking him up to enter it, my back cannot take it anymore. Please respond

yongshuling says:
Jul 08, 2013

Hi nadege,

Thanks for reaching out to us. I do recommend visiting and looking up your state in their list. You’ll be able to find a local organization well versed in the law and resources there.


Robert Slack says:
May 03, 2013

I was on the public transit with my new service animal who is still young but is in training to be my service dog. I carry my letter from my DR everywhere I go. I did show them this letter and also called the Lane Transit office number to file a complaint as well. If I am not mistaken they are not allowed to ask what my disabiility is but they did. When I infromed her his main prupose was for getting me out of the house to exercise more due to chronic pain she responded you can do that alone. I responded actually I cant because of my anxiety. I have anxiety after being attacked and beaten there for wont harly leave my house to do anything because I have to do this alone. Are they allowed to ask those questions ? Can they deny him just cause he is still young (4 months). When I sat on the bus he layed right at my feet just as a Service animal is supposed to do. They are telling me I can not ride the bus with him yet that is my only means of transportation

yongshuling says:
Jul 08, 2013

Hi Robert,

Thanks for reaching out to We’ve recently reached out to a Chicago Dog expert to write more about service dogs and businesses, and you can see the post at: Hopefully that helps clarify a few things. If you need further information, I do recommend looking up your state at and reaching out to a local organization listed.


Ericka says:
May 24, 2013

I went to the movies today and there was ppl seated in the handicap seating i advised the mangers and corporate that i was handicap and they end up telling me that they cannot accommodate me in moving the people because the movie started well i told them of course it started because you told me to go check and come and tell you even though you knew of my knee injury you still made me go,,Make a long story short corporate told me the something and in order to get a seat i have to be in a wheelchair for my companion to sit with me i thought HANDICAP WAS HANDICAP

Susan Stanton says:
Jun 18, 2013

There are numerous elderly occupants at:

Shores Colonial Condominiums
Martin Rd. @ I 94
St. Clair Shores, MI 48081

There are a front and back entrance that require ramps so people with wheelchairs have access to get in and out.

Thank you.

yongshuling says:
Jul 08, 2013

Hi Susan,

Thanks for reaching out to us. We recommend contacting the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc. at 517-487-1755 VOICE/TDD \ 800-288-5923 (IN STATE) or ECERANO@MPAS.ORG.

Hope this helps!


Kally says:
Jun 23, 2013

My daughter is in a self contained special education classroom at her school. There are handicapped children in the classroom that have mobility issues. They have NO handicapped bathroom for these students. As for as I know there is no handicap bathroom at the whole school. Who can I contact about this? The school administrators do not care.

yongshuling says:
Jul 08, 2013

Hi Kally,

Thanks for reaching out to us. If you visit and look up your state (right navigation bar), you’ll find a list of local organizations you can reach out to. They’ll be more familiar with the laws and resources in your area.

Hope this helps!


Diane Fenstermaker says:
Jul 01, 2013

As a cancer survivor do I qualify under the americans with disabilities act against hostile coworkers.

yongshuling says:
Jul 08, 2013

Hi Diane,

Thanks for reaching out to us. Please visit and look up your state on the right navigation bar. The organizations listed there will have a greater understanding of the laws and resources available in your area.

Thank you, we hope this helps.


tim says:
Aug 07, 2013

I live in a small town and there are very few businesses I can get into the ones I can don’t have wheelchair accable restrooms which is very embarrassing is there a law that can help me thank you

yongshuling says:
Aug 07, 2013

Hi tim,

Thanks for reaching out to us. What state do you live in? You could try visiting and looking up your state in their list. You’ll be able to find a local organization well versed in the law and resources there.


Rita says:
Aug 19, 2013

If a building is 27 years old and nothing has been touched in all those years if it the law to become ADA compliance?

Sheri McArdle says:
Sep 24, 2013

I am handicapped & work in an office with 4 other secretaries. Our office hours are 8-4:30 & we are required to take a 1/2 hour lunch. Because I am handicapped & on the 2nd floor, even though is an elevator, it is not easier for me to get around much. So, I take my lunch hour from 3:575 to 4:27 and then punch out at 4:30 so I do not have to make my way back upstairs. This morning I was advised I could not take my lunch later than 3:30 so I had to come back upstairs. Also I was told I have to make sure I take a half hour, which I have been doing. Other 3 secretaries were not talked to and take their lunch from 3:45 to 4:15, which is after 4:00. And one punches out but works through her lunch break and then punches back in without taking her lunch break and nothing was said to her. Is this a sort of discrimination?

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P. Staples says:
Oct 12, 2013

What is the legal ADA definition of service animal? Can a cat or cats be considered a service animal as an accommodation for a disability under ADA?

Philister Sidigu says:
Oct 14, 2013

Hi P.Staples,

According to “Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.”
More information is available at

Ivy says:
Jan 09, 2014

need to know what or how compliance a apartment complex have to be for a new ampute person living on there property. or where to look for accommadating apartment

Kimberly Solomon says:
Jan 09, 2014

I have Sleep Apnea, Sarcoidosis,(lung disease which is in remission), had Total Knee Replacement Surgery, Diverticulitis, High Blood Pressure, and I am in constant pain every day to varying degrees because of dislocated disc’s and I am pending Back Fusion surgery. My question is, what can I do to insure that my management company adheres to my lease contract when it comes to snow removal of all of the common areas around the property, (including the driveways)? Our mailboxes are a walk up a slight hill in the driveway, and the boxes sit on a step up rounded area of concrete, which is always completely covered with snow and ice when we get snow. You can’t tell where the step up begins or ends. What ate my rights as a disabled person? I am on Social Security/Disability.

Robert D. Gallagher says:
Feb 26, 2014

In order to comply with ADA should a large company with millions of customers provide an email address so customers who have speech disabilities, like “stuttering”, can get basic information without having to “TALK” to an Agent?
I just spent half an hour (w/3 agents) trying to get some basic income tax information from Fidelity Investments!
The Agents were nice but it was a big strain on my emotional system and my blood pressure is now off the wall!

Alicia says:
Mar 01, 2014

I live in a coop in Queens NY. There is a side entrance that can accommodate a wheel chair, but not the front. We were mandated to put a ramp in and during the construction so far it takes up half of the lobby, looks like a senior home and will devalue the building. This building is filled with young, middle aged and elderly people. Only one person complained. Is there anything we can do to fight this. If we didn’t have one entrance to accommodate the handicap I wouldn’t even be writing this. We will not be able to sell our apts and many people here will not be able to sell their apt. Please advise.

jaime gutierrez says:
Mar 02, 2014

I am dealing with cps due to my pain medications. Now I’m required to attend several classes to get my daughters back. However, the classes are 10 miles away. There is no help with transportation. Bus, fuel, or transportation itself. I have 13 screws and 3 plates in my lumbar. i cannot walk to these classes either. They cannot provide a closer location either. WHat can I do? I was promised at the beginning of the investigation that transportation would be provided . But that promise has now disappeared.

boxer dog rehoming says:
Mar 06, 2014

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Philister Sidigu says:
Mar 12, 2014

Thank you, we’re glad you enjoyed our blog. Please feel free to share and/or comment.

McKay Hamblen says:
Apr 24, 2014

I have a question regarding my dog becoming a service dog. He is a AKC/OFA’D registered pure bred white German Shepard and I would like to get him into training to become my service dog as soon as I possible can. I suffer from seizures as well as I can randomly pass out and be unconscious for minutes to hours and would like to have security knowing that my dog can alert or get me my meds. I have documentation and see a neurologist for my check ups regularly every four months as state law requires is there any advice on what I need to do to obtain this or if I am even eligible.
Thank you

rita says:
May 14, 2014

Hi everybody I need some help. Does anybody know the requirements for a handicap shower? If the shower is a walk in shower is it required to ha e water stoppers to stop water getting all over the bathroom floor?? I really need some help my dad is having problems with the managers to some apartments fix this problem he has fallen a few times due to this problem.

Cealle X. Zimmerman says:
May 22, 2014

I have spasmodic dysphonia which makes it hard for someone to understand me on the phone. I was demoted due to this & wrote a letter of resignation due to being constantly berated by the HR person. The letter was dated May 19, 2014 but I did not give a date of my resignation & worked through lunch yesterday at the law firm. I am being paid through next week but they told me they will not accept my FMLA papers because the resignation was dated May 19, 2014. I am very hurt & have worked there 12 years with no complaints about my work. Could you please advise if you think I CAN turn in FMLA papers. My neurologist’s nurse thinks I can but want to check with you before I pursue this.

Any help & advice you can give me will be much appreciated.

Thank you very much.

Cealle X. Zimmerman

Steve Cannon says:
Jun 07, 2014

Here in Tucson our police are over-taxed and we don’t have enough of them so the police department and city council have decided that enforcement of disabled parking laws won’t be enforced at all. The result is that those of us who are disabled can’t find parking spaces because people who are not disabled park in them. There is also a problem with people giving their expired permits to relatives who continue to use them to park in disabled parking even though they are no longer good because they know the police NEVER check them. People “borrow” grandma’s placard and use it. I was at the mall and a car load of teens parked and used a placard (they cut me off to get into the disabled space). The kid bragged about it being an old placard and that he’s used it since grandma gave it to him a year before. People park cars and motorcycles in the van access (for wheelchairs to get out of vans) as well. The result is that those of us who need disabled parking can’t get the spaces and wind up not going out or having to sit in the car and wait for people who go in for us (the temperatures have been as high as 109 this week alone). Isn’t refusing to enforce disabled parking laws a violation of the ADA? What can I do to ;make change happen in Tucson?

Ruth Schaffer says:
Jul 11, 2014

I had worked for a healthcare facility for 3 years. I developed a problem with my right leg causing me to be out of work I was under the Family leave act for 3 months. I had a doctors note to return but was denied by the facility because I was limping. The excuse was “you have to be 100% to work here” amd “you have to be able to get down on the floor (neither one of which was in the job description) There are people who work there who limp far worse than I do. I was then told I needed to be seen by occupational health to be cleared (again) they suggested I have a functional assessment done to determine if I was capable of returning to work. I was able to complete this required assessment with no problem and no 4 months later I am told I can not return to work and am terminated because “we spoke at length with your physician and we are told it’s a permanent problem” I did not give any permission outside of the assessment form to be given to them and none was. I am able to walk steadily without a cane with a minor limp. I have no pain and was cleared by my physician to work The excuse then was “I don’t think the doctor knows what we do here” I have undergone testing and no permanent condition exists or any injury. I do not understand why I am not allowed to return to work. No effort was made for any “accommodation” as they do not offer light duty. I am fully capable of returning to work successfully I have asked others who work at that facility if they can get on the floor and 5 people over 60 said no.. one person said they would not for any reason. There is one other person who limps a lot work than I do.. I feel I am being discriminated against. I am a nurse and know the needs of my job…

Terry Cormier says:
Aug 11, 2014

Are there any regulations definining where a service dog can go in a hospital with the patient they are servicing. Please advise.

Philister Sidigu says:
Aug 20, 2014

Hi Terry,

I suggest contacting the specific hospital you are going to with the service dog. They should be able to give you that information.

wanda pitts says:
Sep 12, 2014

i have a lot of trouble walking thru the grocery and bagging my groceries. i’m thankful for the motorized carts.but bagging my groceries and getting them in my car is troublesome for me.does ada law require some accommodations in these instances?

richard hilbert says:
Sep 14, 2014

I live in an apt complex and I am handicapped I have requested that a handicapped parking space be provided in front of my apartment. th management refuses stating that they are in complince with the law because so many handicapped spaces are already marked but they will not provide extra to those who actually are handicapped . the apartmenty complex across the street does this for its tendents, now why cant this one do it also I feel that they are not in compliance with the ADA regulations.

Bill Stevens says:
Sep 27, 2014

I went to a Tribal (Native American) show venue and asked for hearing assistance and wheel chair accessibility and was told that the ADA doesn’t apply to tribal property as it is considered part of sovereign nation status..can this be accurate?

Jenna Prewitt says:
Oct 04, 2014

Is it mandatory for ADA wheelchair accessible hotel rooms for be on the ground level?

Apr 29, 2015


Allen Olsen says:
Jul 07, 2015

We need help to find someone/agency that can help us. We have & city council publicity making fun of a disabled man that is running for city council, calling him one of the 3 stooges and refusing to interview him as a candidate. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I would be grateful. Allen Olsen

Jul 22, 2015

What are the requirements for hotels’ bathrooms ? And , I would think so but need to ask, are these ADA requirements the same for all
States ?????

robert coney says:
Aug 19, 2015

Oakland ca. laney college has a program called [dsps] that told me I had to provide my medical records to qualify for the program ……..are my right’s to privacy being violated? …..under the A.D.A. rules

Lisa Bormann says:
Aug 31, 2015

My husband recently had foot surgery requiring him to use a cane for assistance. His employer has told him he cannot return to work with a cane. They say also say that ADA does not apply in this case because he works part time. Is this true? He can walk unassisted but the cane helps in some case to give him more stability.

Lee says:
Sep 14, 2015

The city I live in has very few ramps on their sidewalk corners and also many of the sidewalks are in very poor condition and not usable if one is in a wheelchair or etc. I have contacted the city and they say they do have the money to fix anything. What can be done about this if anything? Thanks for any and all help.

Joyce says:
Sep 27, 2015

After one month of employment, my son in law went to a doctor for back pain. After having an MRI, he was told they are not so worried about his back as they are the mass that is growing on one kidney. The mass was 3 times the size of the kidney. The kidney was removed the end of April. During surgery, cancer was found on his spleen and lungs. The doctor handled the spleen while he was inside already but could not touch the lungs. He worked every day up to the day of his surgery. With exceptions for doctor visits and many tests, MRI’s and CT scans. Lots of those. His first cancer treatment was Sept 1, 2015. He worked when he was able just before the treatments began in order to pay for his medical insurance. He was in the hospital for a week, getting treatments every 8 hours. These treatments caused rigor-mortis after each one. His blood pressure dropped to 60/30. He was to wait 10 days and go back to the hospital for another week and begin the every 8 hour treatment again. During this 10 day period of waaiting, he was notified by his employer thqt they wanted to talk to him. He had been very diligent in keeping them informed as to what was going on with him, this was a requirement of the employer. He complied. On the day he went in to meet with the owner, the controller and the shop foreman, they had papers ready for him to sign stating he was quitting his job. When he refused to sign that paper, they had another one ready, just in case, stating he was leaving because of company policy and excessive absences. During his cancer treatments, he was fired. COBRA was offered to him. Its been 14 days since they fired him, right now he is still in the hospital unable to talk or move. He has had multiple strokes, a heart attack and can not respone to anyone. He is getting a g-tube tomorrow. As of October 1, 2015 he will not have insurance. The company’s insurance policy re-news on November 1, 2015. The company was not giving him any kind of compensation for any time he missed going to the doctor, tests or hospital stays. The company is billed $1100 a month for his insurance, in which, he pays $800 a month. The company was covering only $300. Isn’t there a law that a person can not be fired while being ill? Especially with cancer?

Ken & Linda Neilson says:
Feb 22, 2016

My wife is disabled. She has a terrible time climbing stairs. We are low income, both retired. We need a ramp put in so badly. How do we go about doing this? Will we have to pay for the ramp? Linda is 74 and I will be 62 in March. We don’t know who to turn to. Can you help us. Thank you very kindly, Ken & Linda Neilson

Todd says:
Mar 22, 2016

Hi, I’m a 53 yr old man and I have COPD, Diabetes, POD, and Neuropathy. i can,t walk from one side of my shop floor to the other without stopping because of the pain in my legs., I can’t make my bed without having to stop to catch my breath. i have lots of problems but my doctor says he doesn’t do disability requests. He says if I had no arms or legs he might. I would change Dr. s but right now I was laid off and have no insurance or money. What should I do?

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