If you own an entertainment facility, such as a mini-golf course, a movie theater or an amusement park, then you know you must adhere to your obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide reasonable opportunities for disabled patrons to have “equal enjoyment” of facilities, advantages, services, goods and public accommodation.
Understanding what that means is essential if you want to avoid legal complications for your business.
What accommodations must amusement park owners make to comply with ADA?
Many ADA assessments look at accessibility on a ride-by-ride basis.
There is a “safe-operation exception” that applies to theme park owners. This portion of the law allows amusement park owners to restrict disabled individuals from accessing the full breadth of its services, activities, and facilities if their reasons for doing so are in the interest of the disabled individual or will protect everyone else’s safety or health.
How does ADA compliance work for mini-golf facilities?
The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board regulates the handling of miniature golf courses and how well they maximize opportunities for disabled individuals’ participation. For example, they require at least half of all holes to be accessible.
What constitutes ADA compliance for movie theaters?
This issue can be tricky. For example, an Oregon court previously ruled that relegating disabled individuals to front row seats in movies often resulted in neck strain and, thus, didn’t meet the ADA’s terms.
In another case, however, the court ruled it didn’t violate the ADA when a movie theater provided wheelchair-accessible seating for a guest but no adjacent seating for their spouse or companion. Working with an experienced advocate in your local area is wisest.
How to handle ADA compliance issues
Understanding your obligations under the ADA isn’t always an easy task. Getting some help can make your job a lot easier and keep your business away from legal trouble.