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Generally, to improve access, address these four priorities:

FIRST PRIORITY: Provide handicapped parking. The following factsheet provides a brief overview: https://adata.org/factsheet/parking; click here for a detailed video about accessible parking. 


SECOND PRIORITY: Provide an "accessible route" to your entrance and into your business from parking and sidewalks, here's an overview that includes a link to the 2010 ADA standards for an accessible route: What is an accessible route.pdf. In the ADA, an accessible route is also called "path of travel."


THIRD PRIORITY: Provide access to goods and services you offer. Here's a short checklist with helpful guidance: Expanding Your Market -- Maintaining Accessible Features in Retail Establishments. (Print the checklist 2-sided and flipped on short edge to be able to fold it in half for easy use.) Click here for an animation with information about providing wheelchair access to goods and services, but remember to think about needs of individuals with other types of disabilities, like vision or hearing impairments.


FOURTH PRIORITY: Provide an accessible public toilet. Click here for a short video that makes public toilet design issues really clear; here's a handicapped bathroom layout with helpful measurements.

    The ADA Checklist for Existing Facilities is an excellent and comprehensive step-by-step guide for identifying actions you can take to improve the accessibility of your business; the url is https://www.adachecklist.org/doc/fullchecklist/ada-checklist.pdf.  If you run a lodging, look at Accessible Lodging, found at this url https://adata.org/factsheet/accessible-lodging


    Remember, your business or activity is almost certainly a "public accommodationunder the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Public accommodations are "businesses, including private entities, that are open to the public or that provide goods or services to the public."  (Lodgings that rent five rooms or less and with the owner living onsite are not public accommodations under ADA.)  ADA regulations list 12 categories of public accommodations, and these include places like lodgings, restaurants, movie theaters, schools, day care centers, recreation facilities, museums, galleries, and public gathering places.  ADA rules for public accommodations are covered in Title III of the ADA; here's a handy checklist of those regulations: https://adachecklist.org/about.html#what.  By March 15, 2012, public accommodations should have removed architectural barriers if doing so was "readily achievable." Both a landlord owning a place of public accommodation and his or her tenants who operate businesses there are subject to Title III requirements. 


    ADA 2010 Standards for accessible design can be found at: https://www.ada.gov/2010ADAstandards_index.htm.

    The following Guide to the ADA Standards makes it easy to find information about particular standards, such as "Entrances, Doors, and Gates" or  "Parking Spaces" and also includes animations like the one linked to above for public toilets. The url for the Guide is: https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/buildings-and-sites/about-the-ada-standards/guide-to-the-ada-standards.

    To look up terms as used in the ADA, go to: https://adata.org/glossary-terms. A useful term to know that's not in the glossary is "safe harbor."

    For examples of some ways Homer businesses have improved accessibility, click here.

    Links to resources related to improving accessibility


    Accessibility checklists from the Northwest ADA Center: http://nwadacenter.org/toolkit/accessibility-checklists#

    Accessibility checklist for hotels (from Washington state): http://nwadacenter.org/sites/adanw/files/files/AccessibilityChecklist_Hotels%202012(1).pdf

    ADA tax incentives: https://adata.org/factsheet/quicktips-tax

    Hospitality and restaurant industry fact sheets and quick tips (from https://www.adahospitality.org/content/Publications):

    Northwest ADA Center: http://nwadacenter.org/  The Northwest ADA Center provides information, training, and guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act to Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

    Reasonable Accommodations: http://nwadacenter.org/topics/reasonable-accommodations

    tax incentives -- see ADA tax incentives


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