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The ADA requires places of public accommodation and commercial facilities to be designed, constructed, and altered in compliance with the ADA standards for accessible design. An alteration is something that affects the usability of the building element or space. For example, installing a new display counter, moving walls in a sales area, replacing fixtures, carpet or flooring, and replacing an entry door would be viewed as alterations. Basic maintenance, like repainting a wall is not viewed as an alteration.

The ADA requires places of public accommodation to take steps to improve access by removing barriers in existing buildings. The steps each business is required to take to remove access barriers depends on several factors including the size and financial resources of the business.


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1640 W. Roosevelt Road ·Room 405 Chicago, IL 60608 (312) 413-1407 (V/TTY) or (800) 949-4232 (V/TTY) (312) 413-1856 (Fax)

This site may link to materials developed by federal agencies and/or their grantees. Several of the links provided will take you to external websites. The content and materials available on this website is property of the Great Lakes ADA Center. This tool was developed under NIDILRR grant #90DP0091-01-00.