The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) became law on July 26, 1990. Title III of the ADA deals with access to places of public accommodation. A place of public accommodation is somewhere open to the public. Restaurants, medical offices, professional offices, and shopping centers are examples of places of public accommodation.
Title III requires all places of public accommodation open to the public on or after January 26, 1993 to be accessible to people with disabilities. Beginning on January 26, 1992, when a facility or part thereof is altered so that usability of the facility or part thereof is affected or could be affected, the altered portions of the facility must be accessible to the maximum extent feasible.
When an individual has been denied access to a place of public accommodation, they have the right to sue; however, the law doesn’t allow them to recover damages.
The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620) prohibits lawsuits against places of public accommodation until a letter has been sent To the owner or operator of the business. To be legally sufficient, the letter must provide four pieces of information.
- the address of the place of public accommodation
- the specific sections of the ADA allegedly violated
- whether or not an accommodation was requested
- if the barrier to access is permanent or temporary
The business has 60 days to respond to the letter. After that, it has 120 days to make “substantial progress” in rectifying the barrier to access.