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ADA Requirements for Sales Counters
Updated June 05, 2015
Americans with Disabilities Act
ADA Guide for Small Businesses
U.S. Small Business Administration
Office of Entrepreneurial Development
" ADA Guide for Small Businesses" Sales & Service Counters
"While it is not possible for many businesses, especially small businesses, to make their facilities fully accessible, there is much that can be done without much difficulty or expense to improve accessibility. Therefore, the ADA requires that accessibility be improved without taking on excessive expenses that could harm the business.
When sales or service counters are provided, the counters must be accessible, if doing so is readily achievable. This access is an important part of receiving the goods and services provided by a business.
At counters having a cash register, a section of counter at least 36 inches long and not more than 36 inches above the floor will make the counter accessible. This provides a lowered surface where goods and services and money can be exchanged. An alternative solution is to provide an auxiliary counter nearby.
In addition to having a maximum height of 36 inches, all accessible sales and service counters must have a clear floor space in front of the accessible surface that permits a customer using a wheelchair to pull alongside. This space is at least 30 inches by 48 inches and may be parallel or perpendicular to the counter. It is also connected to the accessible route which connects to the accessible entrance and other areas in the business where merchandise or services are provided.
If you cannot provide an accessible sales or service counter or auxiliary counter nearby, such as a table or desk, you may provide a clip board or lap board for use until a more permanent solution can be implemented.
The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that have rights or responsibilities under the Act. This document provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA and the Department's regulation. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a legal interpretation of the statute.
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