Justice Department Releases Small Business Compliance Guide on ADA Rules

Article excerpt

The Department of Justice's revised Americans with Act (ADA) regulations took effect on March 15. These new regulations apply to businesses of all sizes that serve the public, and they contain many new or revamped provisions on general nondiscrimination policies.

The Department of Justice has developed a guide to help small businesses understand their obligations under the revised rules. ADA Update: A Primer for Small Business is an illustrated guide easy-to-understand language that provides an overview for complying with the revised regulations.

The new nondiscrimination provisions take effect immediately; the only exception is hotel reservations, for which compliance is not required until March 15, 2012. The revised rules also include the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, which provide new and revised technical requirements for building accessibility. Newly constructed and altered facilities must be built in compliance with the 2010 standards beginning March 15, 2012. Existing facilities are required to remove barriers when "readily achievable." Those facilities that have already updated building elements to comply with the 1991 ADA standards will not be required to come into compliance with the 2010 standards until the elements are modified or altered for any reason. This "safe harbor" provision prevents the law from imposing a double burden on entities that have already expended effort to comply with ADA standards.

The guide is available at www. ada.gov/regs2010/smallbusiness/ smallbusprimer2010.htm . Businesses are encouraged to call the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TTY) with questions about the revised rules. The new ADA Title III regulations and the 2010 ADA Standards can also be found at www.ada.gov . Also feel free to contact Assistant Chief Counsel Janis Reyes at (202) 2056533 or janis. …