Public accommodation

Generally speaking, a public accommodation is a business or nonprofit organization open to the public where commerce takes place. Commerce happens when things are bought or sold, or when services are bought or sold. Examples are restaurants, stadiums, and hospitals. Additional examples include daycare centers, private schools, golf courses, and zoos. Private transportation—such as a touring bus company, taxi service, or cruise line—also falls into this category.

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers public accommodations, and it sets out twelve broad categories for what is a public accommodation. If you’re curious about the details, see the Definitions section of Title III.

[ Read: Public Places Overview ]

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What is a public accommodation?
What is a public accommodation? A place of public accommodation is an establishment open to the public where commerce occurs, like a hotel, store, or café under Title III of the ADA.
ADA Checklist: Places of Public Accommodation
Infographic titled 'ADA Checklist: Places of Public Accommodation' featuring a graphic of a supermarket storefront and a bulleted list.
Are the entrance and approach to the entrance accessible?
Can visitors get to the goods or products offered in an accessible manner?
Are toilet rooms accessible?
Visit to learn more.
If you have any questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact us at 1-800-949-4232
"But I'm Grandfathered in..." "...Not so fast!"
Infographic titled 'But I'm Grandathered in... ...Not so fast!' featuring a graphic of a cafe on a city street.

The ADA requires places of public accommodation to remove barriers to access when it is readily achievable to do so, even if construction predates the passage of the ADA.

Visit to learn more
If you have any questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact us at 1-800-949-4232
Snow Removal: For Business Owners
Infographic titled 'Snow Removal for Business Owners' featuring a man walking through the snow with a cane.

'Where a public accommodation must provide an accessible route, the route must remain accessible and not blocked by obstacles'
- Department of Justice ADA Title III Technical Assistance Manual

After snow, businesses should AVOID:
Plowing snow into accessible parking, access isles, or curb cuts.
Having snow or ice on the accessible route to the entrance.

Removing snow is a readily achievable barrier removal

If you have questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact the Northeast ADA Center at 1-800-949-4232