You talked to the manager and the owner. You explained that the ramp to enter their front door is too narrow and you have difficulty navigating it. You showed them that it is very awkward to approach the ramp, because of the bike rack nearby. You understand that it is going to be difficult for them to fix it, because of limited space.
You get it.
What the manager and owner seem to be having problems understanding is that what they are doing impacts their revenue as it is difficult (or, in some cases, impossible!) for you and others to access their business. They may also not understand that it violates your civil rights and the civil rights of a majority of Americans with disabilities.
Since 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, has laid out clear rules that govern how public buildings must allow access to all people, regardless of their disabilities. This is a law that is really at the core of who we are as Americans – should accidents of birth, or of life, prevent someone from having the opportunity to reach their maximum potential. We, as a people, are richer the more people are able and allowed to participate in our financial, social and cultural lives.
Here at Access Advocates, we want you to partner with us as a disability advocate and lend your voice to the cause. When you reach out to us, we’ll interview you to find out how you believe a public building is not in compliance with ADA requirements. We’ll research the situation and let you know what we find. If the situation warrants it, we’ll file an ADA complaint and work with the building owner to execute a solution to the problem.
If you’ve run into an access problem and want to find out what you can do, please contact us with more information on the location in question and the date you visited the business as well as your ADA-qualifying disability. Together we can affect change and get buildings ADA compliant, one building at a time. To date, we have not lost a case!