The regulations in California were developed by the Division of the State Architect, Access Compliance, eight years before the United States Congress passed the ADA. The current California Building Standards Code was written to provide a single code which would meet all of the most stringent requirements of the original California Building Standards Code, as well as the 1991 Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines.
"Universal design" is a broader, more comprehensive "design-for-all" approach to the development of architecture around human diversity. It recognizes the changing diversity of needs important to all types of people regardless of their varying age, ability, or condition, during an entire life. By comparison, "accessibility" has traditionally focused on addressing the needs of a few people with separate circumstances from those of the public at large, when in fact almost everyone is, over the course of their lifetime, quite able to benefit from barrier-free design, user-friendly architecture, and comfortable environments.

In 2014, the DOJ filed a Complaint in Intervention on a pending case between the National Federation of the Blind and H & R Block. According to that Complaint, “the inaccessibility of H&R Block’s website prevents people with disabilities from independently preparing and filing taxes online, downloading tax preparation software, etc.” The settlement was broken down into two phases: Phase I- (to be completed by 01/2015) H&R Block shall ensure that www.hrblock.com and the Online Tax Preparation Product conform to, at minimum, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level A and AA Success Criteria (“WCAG 2.0 AA”). And Phase II- (to be completed by 01/2016) H&R Block shall ensure that its mobile applications conform to, at minimum, the WCAG 2.0 AA.
If a building or facility has been inspected by a Certified Access Specialist, and is subsequently the subject of an ADA lawsuit, the owner of the property can request a “stay” of proceedings for 90 days, which stops the legal process and provides an opportunity for the plaintiff and defendant to resolve whatever issues may need to be addressed.   An inspection by a Certified Access Specialist won’t guarantee that a property will not be subject to an ADA lawsuit, but it will  significantly reduce the likelihood that an ADA attorney will go after the property looking for $4,000 in statutory damages.

Title IV of the ADA amended the landmark Communications Act of 1934 primarily by adding section 47 U.S.C. § 225. This section requires that all telecommunications companies in the U.S. take steps to ensure functionally equivalent services for consumers with disabilities, notably those who are deaf or hard of hearing and those with speech impairments. When Title IV took effect in the early 1990s, it led to the installation of public teletypewriter (TTY) machines and other TDD (telecommunications devices for the deaf). Title IV also led to the creation, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, of what was then called dual-party relay services and now are known as Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), such as STS relay. Today, many TRS-mediated calls are made over the Internet by consumers who use broadband connections. Some are Video Relay Service (VRS) calls, while others are text calls. In either variation, communication assistants translate between the signed or typed words of a consumer and the spoken words of others. In 2006, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), VRS calls averaged two million minutes a month.
Title III also has applications to existing facilities. One of the definitions of "discrimination" under Title III of the ADA is a "failure to remove" architectural barriers in existing facilities. See 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(iv). This means that even facilities that have not been modified or altered in any way after the ADA was passed still have obligations. The standard is whether "removing barriers" (typically defined as bringing a condition into compliance with the ADAAG) is "readily achievable", defined as "...easily accomplished without much difficulty or expense".

The California Building Standards Code says that you must get a final determination from the local building official that your project has an unreasonable hardship. This is rarely granted for new construction. Existing buildings undergoing alteration are sometimes allowed to depart from the literal requirements of the building code only when equivalent facilitation is provided.
That would be great for a referral. I am trying to fid one on my own, and am striking out on this. I’m somewhat confused though by the recently passed CA law (smaller businesses with < 25 employees can take advantage of the ADA CASP program to avoid being liable for any type of payment. That's how I'd interpreted this new regulation). The thing is he was in fact told to do this 4 + years ago (I know for a fact). My concern is maybe county zoning would have no record of this (it was in a citation)? Or, my LL would suddenly have amnesia. Thanks too.
People with disabilities should be able to easily access the Internet. (You can find a video about how screen readers work here.) But to accomplish this, the DOJ should have issued regulations. It issued regulations for State and local governments. It issued regulations for Federal agencies. Why not issue regulations that would apply to private business? As a point of reference, in October 2016, the European Parliament approved the directive 2016/2102 that requires websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies to conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AA. New websites must comply from 23 September 2019 on, old websites from September 23, 2020 on and mobile applications from June 23, 2021 on. These regulations provided direction and time for business to become compliant.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was developed in 1990 and is meant to ensure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as anyone else. This means any businesses that serve the public must make sure their building accommodates people with disabilities of various kinds. And now that the internet is so widely used, ADA compliance also applies to websites and even mobile apps. Basically, this means that your website needs to be accessible to people who have disabilities that affect their hearing, vision or physical capacities.
Staples were to use good faith efforts to ensure that all pages of www.Staples.com would substantially comply with the priority one and two checkpoints of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0) by no later than June 30, 2009. This was before the introduction of WCAG 2.0, therefore Staples had the opportunity to choose either version 1.0 or 2.0 of WCAG after supersession. If WCAG 2.0 would be selected, according to the agreement, Staples would have to meet conformance level AA.
"SEC. 12. Section 1938 is added to the Civil Code! In short, a commercial property owner or lessor shall state on every lease form or rental agreement executed on or after July 1, 2013, whether the property being leased or rented has undergone inspection by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp), and, if so, whether the property has or has not been determined to meet all applicable construction related accessibility standards. READ MORE
Additionally, in February 2018, Congress passed the ADA Education and Reform Act, a bill designed to make it harder for disabled Americans to sue businesses for discrimination. Republican lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill argue that the law will help curb “frivolous” lawsuits, while opponents have argued that this law will gut the ADA, essentially giving businesses little reason to follow the ADA guidelines at all.
Your website looks good, is functional and provides a great user experience. But, can a disabled person use it? Can a visually-impaired person understand what your photos and other non-text aspects of your website are and do? If not, you may need to make some changes or you may receive a letter from lawyers threatening Americans with Disability Act, or ADA, claims.
Rite Aid to ensure that all pages of their riteaid.com website substantially complied with Level AA of WCAG 1.0 accessibility standards by December 31, 2007, and that all pages of riteaidhealthsolutions.com, which can be accessed via a link on riteaid.com, also comply with Conformance Level AA of WCAG 1.0 by February 29, 2008. This was before WCAG 1.0 was superseded by version 2.0, therefore in the case when W3C introduces WCAG 2.0 Rite Aid had the opportunity to choose between version 1.0 and 2.0 compliance.

The fact that an ADA compliant website can increase your target audience by millions is just one reason to make your site more accessible. Another benefit is that not only will you get more customers, but those customers will also know how valuable they are to your business. After all, they might have gone to a few other websites that were not ADA compliant, disappointed each time that they couldn’t access the content, until they got to your website.
About our methodology:  Our 2018 numbers are based on searches using keywords of data from the Courthouse News Services.  Thus, it is possible that there are some website accessibility cases that were not captured in the searches if their descriptions did not include the keywords.  We then review the thousands of entries manually to remove lawsuits that may be about websites but are not about a website’s accessibility to a user with a disability.  For example, there were a number of lawsuits in 2018 brought by plaintiffs with mobility disabilities alleging that the reservations websites of hotels did not provide adequate information about the accessibility of hotel facilities.  We also removed a number of lawsuits brought against state and local government entities under Title II of the ADA for having inaccessible websites.

I moved into a HUD complex on April 1, 2014. Jan. 28, 2017 tenants on floors 7-8 were compensated and displaced for a complete makeover of our apartments, I live on 8. I returned on May 1, 2016. The first thing I noticed, my countertops had been lowered. Regardless of what anyone says to the contrary, this is ergonomically unacceptable for me, being I am 6’1.
I am disabled and live in an private community governed buy a strict HOA. They have very restrictive parking rules. Specifically, they do not allow residents to park in their own driveway (other than a brief time for unloading) and residents are not allowed to park in designated guest parking areas. The problem is I have a one car garage and if my wife is in the garage, my only option is to park outside the neighborhood witch requires me to walk across six lanes of Madison Ave. A friend, who lives in a similar kind of community, told me that as an ADA citizen I am exempt from any and all rules restricting parking within the HOA. Is that true?

Three defendants were able to dismiss website access lawsuits early because they had already entered into consent decree or settlement agreements with previous plaintiffs which required them to make their websites conform to the WCAG 2.0 within a specified amount of time. That said, not all courts agree that a prior settlement — as opposed to a binding judgment or court order — can be the basis for a dismissal.
Good afternoon. My son with disabilities attends an elementary school. Most children in his class have ambulatory issues. All have mental development issues. There is not one entrance to the school, school buildings, or classroom that has an automatic door opener. When questioned about this I was told because there is always some one there to help get thought the doors it’s okay. This isn’t true. But even if someone were is that answer/situation acceptable? Is a public school allowed to not be in ADA compliance? Thank you for your response.

Effective January 1, 2017, an individual employed under a special license in a nonprofit sheltered workshop or rehabilitation facility may bring an action under FEHA for any form of harassment or discrimination (CA Gov. Code Sec. 12926.05). An employer has an affirmative defense by proving that the challenged activity was permitted by statute or regulation and that it was necessary to serve employees with disabilities under a special license.

What’s in store for 2018? If the Ninth Circuit upholds the Domino’s district court’s dismissal on due process grounds, the number of California website accessibility lawsuits in federal court may go down dramatically.  Even if that occurs, we see no end to the website accessibility lawsuit surge elsewhere and expect that new plaintiffs’ firms will continue to enter the scene.  While the current administration’s DOJ is not likely to push the website accessibility agenda, its inaction will not stop the lawsuits.  Only an amendment to the ADA can do that, which we believe is highly unlikely.  Thus, the best risk mitigation effort for covered entities is still to make their websites accessible as soon as possible, with the assistance of ADA Title III legal counsel experienced in website accessibility issues and reputable digital accessibility consultants.


DSA is not aware of any efforts to amend the California Green Code in this manner. While the California Green Code nonresidential mandatory measures require projects to identify an EV space, provide an electrical raceway to the service panel, and provide adequate capacity at the service panel for future EVCS; good design practice would be to incorporate appropriate ground surfaces and routes to facilitate the later installation of usable accessible EVCS. Plans and specifications must accurately describe the full extent of the work to be performed. Some enforcement jurisdictions (primarily city- and county building departments) may have additional requirements.

I live in what is called an ADA compliant apartment complex. All the apartments are compliant but I have only seen the downstairs units. My question is the parking lot. There is only one handicapped space and there is approximately 40 units, is this ADA compliant and legal? If it is declaring to be ADA compliant isn’t there some kind of code requiring multiple handicapped parking stalls.
Now that we have established the risks, where do we go from here? First, companies should run an accessibility scan of their webpages. There are numerous free online tools that can be used, including: http://www.wave.webaim.org and https://achecker.ca/checker/index.php. This will provide an overview of potential issues that need to be resolved. If you have in-house developers or IT, this is best handled by them. Second, look into getting ADA compliant before you receive a demand letter. Be aware however, that compliance is not cheap. Depending on your website, how much hand holding your company needs, and a few other variables, you could be looking at spending $25,000 – $50,000, on average. Third, if you receive a demand letter, make sure you hire counsel that has experience with these cases. Various legal arguments have been raised to dismiss these cases at the outset – some have been successful, but many have not. You have to consider all available options. And finally, since this will not be addressed by the DOJ anytime soon, ask your Congressperson to make sure guidelines are enacted as soon as possible. Those guidelines should take into account a business’ operations and size.
In most cases, private businesses can’t be sued for damages, under the ADA, says Anastasia Protopapadakis, an ADA defense attorney with the Miami firm Gray-Robinson. Businesses are sued for attorney fees and compliance. Businesses who agree to settlements or lose their cases must pay attorney fees and agree to become ADA compliant within a set amount of time, she said. 

I live in an apartment building in Los Angeles called Virgil Square. The address is 411 S Virgil Ave. There are two elevators in the structure, with 4 floors including the parking garage. For the last three months, they have been broken down. I myself have had recent work on my knees, and there is an elderly gentleman who has advanced Parkinson’s disease and has literally been a prisoner in the building. This is not right. The elevators have both had notes on them for what feels like an eternity saying a solution is coming. Please help us.


The ADA provides explicit coverage for service animals.[22][23] Guidelines have been developed not only to protect persons with disabilities but also to indemnify businesses from damages related to granting access to service animals on their premises. Businesses are allowed to ask if the animal is a service animal and ask what tasks it is trained to perform, but they are not allowed to ask the service animal to perform the task nor ask for a special ID of the animal. They cannot ask what the person's disabilities are. A person with a disability cannot be removed from the premises unless either of two things happen: the animal is out of control and its owner cannot get it under control (e.g. a dog barking uncontrollably in a restaurant), or the animal is a direct threat to people's health and safety. Allergies and fear of animals would not be considered a threat to people's health and safety, so it would not be a valid reason to deny access to people with service animals. Businesses that prepare or serve food must allow service animals and their owners on the premises even if state or local health laws otherwise prohibit animals on the premises. In this case, businesses that prepare or serve food are not required to provide care or food for service animals, nor do they have to provide a designated area for the service animal to relieve itself. Lastly, people that require service dogs cannot be charged an extra fee for their service dog or be treated unfairly, for example, being isolated from people at a restaurant. People with disabilities cannot be treated as "less than" other customers. However, if a business normally charges for damages caused by the person to property, the customer with a disability will be charged for his/her service animal's damages to the property.
About our methodology:  Our 2018 numbers are based on searches using keywords of data from the Courthouse News Services.  Thus, it is possible that there are some website accessibility cases that were not captured in the searches if their descriptions did not include the keywords.  We then review the thousands of entries manually to remove lawsuits that may be about websites but are not about a website’s accessibility to a user with a disability.  For example, there were a number of lawsuits in 2018 brought by plaintiffs with mobility disabilities alleging that the reservations websites of hotels did not provide adequate information about the accessibility of hotel facilities.  We also removed a number of lawsuits brought against state and local government entities under Title II of the ADA for having inaccessible websites.

The debate over the Americans with Disabilities Act led some religious groups to take opposite positions.[32] The Association of Christian Schools International, opposed the ADA in its original form.[33] primarily because the ADA labeled religious institutions "public accommodations", and thus would have required churches to make costly structural changes to ensure access for all.[34] The cost argument advanced by ACSI and others prevailed in keeping religious institutions from being labeled as "public accommodations".[24]
I am finishing construction of an 18 unit apartment building in the City of Los Angeles. I have an ADA compliant lift going up/down the handrail for the entrance to the building. When down, all of the mechanical equipment is on may property but the lift platform encroaches the City sidewalk during ingress/egress. The lift is stored at the top when not in use, so the only time of encroachment is in the down position.

Decided by the US Supreme Court in 2002, this case [74][75] held that even requests for accommodation that might seem reasonable on their face, e.g., a transfer to a different position, can be rendered unreasonable because it would require a violation of the company's seniority system. While the court held that, in general, a violation of a seniority system renders an otherwise reasonable accommodation unreasonable, a plaintiff can present evidence that, despite the seniority system, the accommodation is reasonable in the specific case at hand, e.g., the plaintiff could offer evidence that the seniority system is so often disregarded that another exception wouldn't make a difference.
Where EVCS are installed at facilities where vehicle fueling, recharging, parking or storage is NOT a primary function, compliance with Section 11B-202.4 is NOT required (see Section 11B-202.4 Exception 10). These types of facilities include shopping centers, individual stores and office buildings. While parking is frequently provided at these types of facilities, parking is not the primary function – shopping or conducting business is the primary function at these facilities.
Three defendants were able to dismiss website access lawsuits early because they had already entered into consent decree or settlement agreements with previous plaintiffs which required them to make their websites conform to the WCAG 2.0 within a specified amount of time. That said, not all courts agree that a prior settlement — as opposed to a binding judgment or court order — can be the basis for a dismissal.
This particular lawsuit amounted to nothing more than a shakedown for cash, as the current laws would make it difficult to win the suit in court (more about this later) but it prompted me to dive deeper into the issue of ADA compliance. Through my research, I discovered there are some new laws on the horizon that could make ADA compliance mandatory, which means web designers and digital marketers need to know how to prepare.

The regulations in California were developed by the Division of the State Architect, Access Compliance, eight years before the United States Congress passed the ADA. The current California Building Standards Code was written to provide a single code which would meet all of the most stringent requirements of the original California Building Standards Code, as well as the 1991 Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines.
CBC Chapter 11B accessibility provisions for EVCS apply when a project consists of one or more electric vehicle charging spaces served by an electric vehicle charger or other charging equipment. Where the project does not provide charging equipment the code does not require the provision of accessible routes or other vehicle space accessibility requirements. However, it is good practice to notify the owner or owner’s representative of any additional code requirements that will be triggered by the later installation of charging equipment. The owner can use this information to determine the sequence and extent of work to be included in each phase of the project.
Did you know that many of the fire extinguishers as installed within big box retail stores violate the ADA and ANSI A117.1 on multiple counts? They are both too high (higher than 48 inches to the handle) and they protrude too far (more than 4 inches) into the adjacent path of travel. This violates the civil rights of wheelchair users, people of small stature, and the blind.
Certification of a state accessibility code also allows business owners, builders, developers, and architects to rely on their state or local plan approval and building inspection processes for assistance with ADA compliance through the implementation of certified accessibility requirements. Should a mistake occur in the design or initial construction phase of a project, the mistake can be identified early through the plan approval and inspection processes and corrected at a time when adjustments can easily be made and the costs for doing so remain low. In this manner, state and local building code officials in jurisdictions with an ADA-certified code can play an important role in checking to determine whether accessibility requirements have been met. Also, jurisdictions that provide accessibility "check points" such as those described above through the implementation of a certified code provide a significant benefit to private industry and an incentive for growth and development.
Let’s start with a bit of background. The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990 to prohibit discrimination and ensure equal opportunity to people with disabilities. This applies to State and local government services, employment, commercial facilities, transportation, and places of public accommodation.[1] These laws can be enforced by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and through private lawsuits.
Additionally, in February 2018, Congress passed the ADA Education and Reform Act, a bill designed to make it harder for disabled Americans to sue businesses for discrimination. Republican lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill argue that the law will help curb “frivolous” lawsuits, while opponents have argued that this law will gut the ADA, essentially giving businesses little reason to follow the ADA guidelines at all.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. v. Williams,[72] was a case in which the Supreme Court interpreted the meaning of the phrase "substantially impairs" as used in the Americans with Disabilities Act. It reversed a Sixth Court of Appeals decision to grant a partial summary judgment in favor of the respondent, Ella Williams, that qualified her inability to perform manual job-related tasks as a disability. The Court held that the "major life activity" definition in evaluating the performance of manual tasks focuses the inquiry on whether Williams was unable to perform a range of tasks central to most people in carrying out the activities of daily living. The issue is not whether Williams was unable to perform her specific job tasks. Therefore, the determination of whether an impairment rises to the level of a disability is not limited to activities in the workplace solely, but rather to manual tasks in life in general. When the Supreme Court applied this standard, it found that the Court of Appeals had incorrectly determined the presence of a disability because it relied solely on her inability to perform specific manual work tasks, which was insufficient in proving the presence of a disability. The Court of Appeals should have taken into account the evidence presented that Williams retained the ability to do personal tasks and household chores, such activities being the nature of tasks most people do in their daily lives, and placed too much emphasis on her job disability. Since the evidence showed that Williams was performing normal daily tasks, it ruled that the Court of Appeals erred when it found that Williams was disabled.[72][73] This ruling is now, however, no longer good law—it was invalidated by the ADAAA. In fact, Congress explicitly cited Toyota v. Williams in the text of the ADAAA itself as one of its driving influences for passing the ADAAA.
Construction law is quite difficult, and takes experienced professional expertise. The Division of the State Architect functions as a building oversight agency on state-funded construction projects, and can only direct you to general resources at your local building department. If DSA is the jurisdictional authority, our "California Access Compliance Reference Manual" has all of the building code accessibility regulations and policies used on projects under DSA approval authority. The Manual is available as a free download as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file. The Manual is also available in hardcopy at technical bookstores throughout California.
EVCS installed at public buildings, public accommodations, commercial facilities and public housing are required to comply with the accessibility requirements in CBC Chapter 11B. Compliance with these provisions is not required where EVCS are not available to the general public and intended for use by a designated vehicle or driver (see CBC Section 11B-228.3.2 Exception 1).

Claims: The Disney sites  were overloaded with video and audio content which could not be turned off by physically impaired people and drowned out screen-reading technology. Websites contained Flash content that is also inaccessible to blind persons. The claimants stated that Disney simply hadn’t addressed the needs of people who are visually impaired and failed to provide accommodations for those individuals on their web resources.


The Department of Justice may file lawsuits in federal court to enforce the ADA Compliance, and courts may order compensatory damages and back pay to remedy discrimination if the Department prevails. Under title III, the Department of Justice may also obtain civil penalties of up to $55,000 for the first violation and $110,000 for any subsequent violation of ADA Compliance.
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