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ADA 2010 Standards

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Existing Facilities

Many business facilities were built without features that accommodate people with disabilities, including people who use wheelchairs. This lack of accessibility makes it impossible for many people with disabilities to take part in everyday activities such as going to work, eating in a restaurant or shopping in a store. The ADA recognizes that, for people with disabilities to participate in the everyday activities in their communities, they need to have access to the goods and services provided by businesses
While it is not possible for many businesses, especially small businesses, to make their facilities fully accessible, there is much that can be done without much difficulty or expense to improve accessibility. Therefore, the ADA requires that accessibility be improved without taking on excessive expenses that could harm the business.
If you own or operate a business that serves the public you must remove physical "barriers" that are "readily achievable," which means easily accomplishable without much difficulty or expense. The "readily achievable" requirement is based on the size and resources of the business. So larger businesses with more resources are expected to take a more active role in removing barriers than small businesses. The ADA also recognizes that economic conditions vary. When a business has resources to remove barriers, it is expected to do so; but when profits are down, barrier removal may be reduced or delayed. Barrier removal is an ongoing obligation -- you are expected to remove barriers in the future as resources become available.