Disability Access Regulations

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California businesses must be careful to provide access to their businesses for individuals with disabilities. Both federal and state regulations apply, and there are resources to assist businesses with getting in compliance.

Federal Regulations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is under the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. ADA regulations cover employment (Title I), state and local government activities and public transportation (Title II), public (including private and non-profit business) accommodations (Title III), and telecommunication relay services (Title IV).

The ADA Standards for Accessible Design dictate requirements for newly designed and constructed or altered government facilities (state or local), public accommodations, and commercial facilities to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

Federal Resources for ADA Compliance

Small businesses that remove access barriers from their facilities, provide accessible services, or improve accessibility for customers with disabilities may receive tax credits. All businesses that remove access barriers in their facilities or vehicles can receive tax deductions or credits. Tax incentives may be used every year if the business incurs annual expenses to bring itself in compliance with the ADA. Tax incentives may not be applied to the cost of new construction and barrier removal must comply with ADA standards.

State Regulations

The mission of the California Commission on Disability Access (CCDA) is to promote disability access in California through dialogue and collaboration with stakeholders including, but not limited to, the disability and business communities as well as all levels of government.

The CCDA has helpful information and tools for businesses:

In addition, California businesses should be familiar with these state laws, regulations, and programs:

State Resources for ADA Compliance

The California State Treasurer offers incentives to small businesses through The California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) Americans with Disabilities Act (CalCAP/ADA) Financing Program. This program assists small businesses with financing the costs to alter or retrofit existing small business facilities to comply with the requirements of the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

For more information, visit the CalCAP/ADA Financing Program Summary.

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