Accessibility of Public Accommodations under the ADA
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) prohibit anyone who owns, leases, or operates a place of public accommodation from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. See 42 U.S.C. § 12182; Minn. Stat. § 363A.11. This means that a place of public accommodation generally may not deny a disabled individual the opportunity to participate in or benefit from the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations that it offers. In addition, places of public accommodation are required to remove architectural barriers and communication barriers that are structural in nature from existing facilities when it is “readily achievable” to do so.
What is a “place of public accommodation”? Under the ADA and the MHRA, the following types of establishments typically qualify as places of public accommodation:
- Most inns, hotels, motels, and other places of lodging;
- Restaurants, bars, and other establishments that serve food or drinks;
- Movie theaters, concert halls, stadiums, or other entertainment venues;
- Shopping centers and retail stores;
- Service establishments (e.g., banks, gas stations, professional offices, and hospitals);
- Schools and educational institutions; and
- Parks, gymnasiums, and other recreational establishments.
What resources are available to help businesses comply with the ADA’s accessibility requirements? The U.S. Department of Justice provides resources on how to comply with the ADA and make places of publication accommodation accessible to individuals with disabilities, including the following: