I had an appointment this afternoon with my dermatologist. During the course of my visit, I needed to use the restroom. This was a newer building (around 3 years old) and the only restroom was placed outside the dermatologist’s suite of offices (whose doors were not power operated). I had to move my power wheelchair up to the counter and ask for assistance getting out into the hall to go outside the office to the restroom in the hallway of the building. I of course, had to repeat the process on the return. My question is, isn’t someone who manages or owns the building in violation of handicap laws recently enacted? If so, what can be done to inform them they are not in compliance?

— Lynne S. – Hickory, NC ANSWER: Since there is not a public toilet room within the office an accessible toilet would not be required within the office. There are no requirements for an automatic or powered door at office entry. There is a requirement that interior doors be operable with 5lbs of force or less. Based upon the information provided, the … READ MORE

Hello, I went to a facility on 6/25/2014 at around 6pm for my job. When I arrived in the parking lot there was a sign that directed the residents of the facility to the right of the parking lot and residents are mostly handicap. It is an independent living home. I was told that they did not have to provide parking close to the building for visitors who are handicap. This is in Columbus, OH. I spoke with their transportation manager on the phone and he was very rude and stated that the residents pay to live there and that they deserve the handicap spots. Are they allowed to do this? If you have any questions please let me know otherwise I appreciate your time and to look forward to your answer.

— Amber S. – Rockbridge, OH ANSWER: While there is no prohibition of separating parking areas for employees/visitors/residences and accessible parking spaces must be determined by the total number of spaces within each lot, the standards still require that the accessible parking spaces be on the shortest accessible route. While there are other factors that could come into play in this situation … READ MORE

Do service dogs need to be harnessed? If so, does it need to say “service dog” on it?

— Tom F. – USA ANSWER: Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In this case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, … READ MORE