6. ADA Title III - Businesses and Non-Profits

Hello, I’m Kathy Gips with today’s ADA Update on title III - it’s the part of the ADA that applies to businesses and non-profit organizations. such as restaurants, homeless shelters and doctors offices (to name of few).

One of the key aspect of title III is that people who are blind or have low vision, people who are deaf or hard of hearing and people with speech disabilities have a right to what the ADA calls “auxiliary aids and services”. For example: A hospital needs to provide a sign language interpreter for a patient who is deaf, a private college must provide material in large print for a student who has low vision, a non-profit may need to provide an assistive listening device so that someone who is hard of hearing can attend a program. Title III entities do not have to provide an auxiliary aid or service if it would cause an undue burden. 

Another title III requirement is that facilities built since the ADA went into effect must be fully accessible with features such as  braille signage at exit doors and  toilet rooms, wheelchair accessible entrances and alarms with both audible and visual signals.

Older facilities are a bit more problematic – they must be made accessible to the extent that it’s readily achievable. Readily achievable means easily accomplishable without much difficulty or expense.  

Under title III policies must be modified for people with disabilities. One of the most common modifications is permitting service animals into places where animals aren’t generally allowed. Service animals are used by many people who are blind, but they are also used by people with psychiatric illness, people with diabetes and others.

Title III entities are not required to have an ADA coordinator as state and local governments are. If you’re having difficulty accessing a business or non-profit go right to the top and communicate the problem to the business owner or organization director.