Petrogram - Summer 2016 - (Page 17)

Legal BRIEF Strategies in ADA Public Accessibility By lourdes Espino Wydler, Esq. T itle III of the American Disabilities Act sets forth the prohibition against discrimination by stating: "No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to) or operated a place of public accommodation." 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a). Gasoline retail facilities and c-stores are within the ADA's definition of public accommodation. the Department of Justice updated its ADA Standards for Accessible Design in 2010. these replaced the original ADA Standards issued in 1991 and became mandatory for newly constructed and altered facilities as of March 15, 2012. A common misconception is thinking there are exceptions to existing properties. there is no "grandfather clause" exempting older facilities. Older facilities are obligated to make renovations that are "readily achievable," which means that removing the barriers obstructing access is easily accomplished without much difficulty or expense. these renovations can include changing signage, door handles, grab bars, and providing access aisles in the parking lot. "Drive-by" lawsuits are brought by individuals with the express purpose of finding a violation. Under any scenario, compliance is the best defense to a title III claim whether it occurs in the design and construction phase or later upon being notified. Violations of disability access laws are usually discovered when a disabled person's lawyer sends a demand letter or files a federal court action. An attorney should be contacted immediately to determine the accuracy of the allegations made and any defenses possible. Every evaluation of a property subject to suit under the ADA is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If, in fact, there are legitimate disability violations identified by an architect or other expert depending on the technical and scope requirements alleged, it is best to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. OLDEr FaCiLiTiEs arE OBLiGaTED TO MakE rEnOVaTiOns ThaT arE "rEaDiLY aChiEVaBLE," whiCh MEans ThaT rEMOVinG ThE BarriErs OBsTrUCTinG aCCEss is EasiLY aCCOMPLishED wiThOUT MUCh DiFFiCULTY Or EXPEnsE. Petrogram | Summer 2016 | 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Petrogram - Summer 2016

Chair’s Perspective
2016 Sunshine EXPO Preview
Industry Grapples with Concerns to Accommodate EMV at Fuel Islands
The Buzz on Beverages
Strategies in ADA Public Accessibility
9 Marketing Missing Links Costing You Revenue You Deserve
Calendar of Events
Index of Advertisers/

Petrogram - Summer 2016