ADA Compliance for Hotel Access Begins at the Entrance


The U.S. Department of Justice has published a checklist for ADA compliance standards for hotels, motels, inns and other places of lodging. Public lodging facilities must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA checklist is detailed and lists standards that “are designed to ensure accessibility for individuals with a wide variety of different disabilities.”

The ADA hotel checklist is quite comprehensive. It covers everything from the parking lot to interior routes and hallways to the actual guest room. For now we’ll focus our attention on what public lodging facilities need to ensure to help people with disabilities can get from the parking lot to the front desk.

Check your knowledge of ADA standards and see how many of the following multiple-choice questions you can answer correctly. (The answer key follows the final question, so no peeking!)

1. Lodging parking lots that have at least 75 “self-parking” spaces must have what minimum number of accessible parking (including “van-accessible”)?

a. 1 standard plus 1 van

b. 2 standard plus 1 van

c. 2 standard plus 2 van

d. 4 standard plus 1 van

2. If there is more than one accessible parking space, where must the spaces be positioned?

a. Closest to the hotel driveway entrance.

b. Closest to first group of parking spaces.

c. Closest to the lobby entrance and accessible guest room entrances

d. All of the above

3. If a hotel or motel has a covered passenger pickup/drop-off area, what are the minimum measurements for the access aisle and the height for the covered passenger pickup/drop-off overhead (if present)?

a. 5 feet aisle, 9 feet 6 inches covered area

b. 4 feet aisle, no minimum for the covered area

c. 5 feet aisle, 7 feet for the covered area

d. 5 feet aisle, 12 feet for the covered area

4. If the hotel or motel does not have a fully automatic door, what design precaution must have been included in the entranceway?

a. The walkway must slope towards the door.

b. All hotel doors must be fully automatic.

c. There are no sloping requirements for hotel entrance ways.

d. The walkway in front of the lobby door level must not be sloped upward any greater than 1:50 so that persons using wheelchairs won’t roll away when reaching for the door activator.

5. What are the ADA standards for the door hardware to open entranceway doors to lodging facilities?

a. Must be usable with one hand.

b. Must be operable without tight grasping,

c. Must be usable without excessive pinching or twisting with the wrist.

d. All of the above


Answer key:

1-b: The number of standard accessible parking places increases by one for every additional 25 parking spaces. (1-25 would just require 1 van.) Van spaces don’t increase until the parking lot accommodates at least 401 regular spaces.

2-c: Not only that, but also each accessible parking space “must have or share an adjacent access aisle to allow persons who use wheelchairs, walkers or other mobility aids to transfer from their car/van.”

3-a: Added to that requirement are standards for sloping the access aisle no greater than 1:50 to allow easy access to the lobby area.

4-d: Also, at least one lobby entrance door must allow a minimum of 32 inches clear width for clear passage for persons using wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, etc.

5-d: These ADA standards are in place since many persons with disabilities may lack high manual dexterity or use of both hands.

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Image courtesy of Flickr, lonely radio