Ask About the ADA

Service Dogs at My B&B

Q: I live in and own a bed and breakfast that has four rooms. Do I have to allow service animals or emotional support animals to stay?

A: No. The definition in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of a public accommodation does not include a lodging with five rooms or less that is occupied by the owner as a primary residence. Your bed and breakfast would be excluded from coverage under Title III of the ADA. However, if you no longer lived in the bed and breakfast or if you added two additional bedrooms so that you offered six rooms to guests, then you would need to allow service animals to stay.

To learn more about service animals in businesses, see the Service Animals in Public Spaces website.

Traveling Carnivals and County Fairs

Q: How do the ADA Standards apply to amusement rides at traveling carnivals?

A: Mobile or portable amusement rides typical to traveling carnivals, county fairs, and festivals are not required to comply with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. However, accessible features still need to be provided at other areas of the event used by attendees—such as parking, toilet rooms, and concession areas—even if the carnival is temporary in nature.

Employment and Medication

Q: I am currently taking Suboxone for my opioid use disorder. This is prescribed as part of my treatment program. Can a potential employer refuse to hire me because of my current medication?

A: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recognizes addiction as a disability as it has the potential to significantly impair one or more major life functions. If a person is not currently using illegal drugs or abusing prescribed medication, then prescribed Suboxone for treatment cannot be considered as a reason to refuse to hire a person.

Finding a Lawyer

Q: Do the ADA Centers make referrals to attorneys?

A: The ADA Centers, such as the Northeast ADA Center, cannot recommend individual attorneys as we do not have the capacity to compile lists of and vet individual attorneys. We also cannot endorse any single attorney. Instead, we often refer people to a local legal aid society or protection and advocacy agency.

Collective Bargaining

Q: Does our collective bargaining agreement allow us to deny reasonable accommodations if they violate the agreement?

A: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits collective bargaining agreements from discriminating against people with disabilities. What the ADA does not do is give employers the right to violate a union contract to the detriment of another employee. The union and the employer must work together to think of accommodations that best meet the needs of all.

My College Club Is Inaccessible

Q: A club at my college is on a second floor with no elevator. We offered the club a space that was accessible. They stated that it was not required as they are not a public entity. Is this true?

A: Typically, clubs are registered student organizations that must follow rules set by the college. Therefore, if the college is a public entitiy (most are), the college is responsible for ensuring that clubs be accessible. An exception is if the college is a religious college that accepts no Federal funding.

Can the ADA Pay?

Q: Will the ADA pay for things like wheelchair vans or a service animal?

A: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law and not a federal agency. There is no funding for providing things like wheelchair vans or service animals under the law.

My Service Animal Was Attacked

Q: My service animal was attacked by a neighbor’s dog. What can the ADA do to help me?

A: This is not something that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) addresses. It should be reported to local law enforcement and the local animal control officer.

Contacting My Bank

Q: My bank just eliminated its call center and now does everything through an app or on a chat box on their website. Does this violate the ADA?

A: Many emerging businesses strictly use technology to interface with their customers. Not having or eliminating a call center does not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Businesses are responsible for assuring that their technology is accessible and their communication with people with disabilities is effective, such as with a person who uses a screen reader.

Building a Single Family Home

Q: I am a contractor and am building a new home for a single family. Where can I find the ADA guidance for designing the bathrooms and kitchens?

A: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not cover single family homes. You should check with your local code officials regarding state and local requirements.

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