Restaurant patrons with disabilities in California may be unable to dine in the facility if measures aren’t taken to ensure that the restaurants are accessible. The United States Department of Justice is responsible for enforcing the guidelines and rules set in the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. These rules include guidelines that must be adhered to by restaurants.
In the parking lot of a restaurant, business owners must ensure that spaces are at least 8 feet wide and that there is at least one handicap-designated space per every 25 parking spaces in the lot. These spaces must be flat with a slope that is less than 2% to ensure the safety of patrons with disabilities. When an eatery has steps, there must be a ramp that is wheelchair accessible. This means it must be at least 36 inches wide, and ramps that are longer than 6 feet long must have an arm rail.
Eateries that are crowded with chairs are a safety hazard and can make it difficult to maneuver through with a wheelchair or walker. The ADA compliance laws state that aisles in restaurants must be at least 36 inches wide, and wheelchair-accessible seats must be spaced throughout the dining area. Tabletops and countertops must sit 28 to 34 inches high to allow for those with disabilities to dine with ease.
Business owners might try to save money by placing chairs closer together or not including a ramp to access their restaurant. When this occurs, it may be difficult for everyone to have an equal opportunity to access the eatery. A lawyer who specializes in ADA compliance law may be able to help a disabled individual file a claim against a restaurant or business that doesn’t follow ADA guidelines. The restaurant may need to make changes to their eatery as a result of this claim, and monetary damages might be awarded.