Know Your Role: 10 Ways You Can Help Accessibility By Knowing What To Look For!

We’ve all seen it! Some of us jump to lend a hand, while others try not to acknowledge the existence of public inaccessibility. There are even those of us who have the tax of being at the center of these hardships. Even though public areas have legal obligations to accommodate entrances and other amenities to those in wheelchairs and other disabilities, there are far too many of these violations resulting in commonly occurring public embarrassments for those who have to deal or have dealt with these public inconveniences. If you or someone you love has encountered any of these inaccessible conditions, please do not hesitate, reach out to the legal specialists at Potter Handy LLP and equip yourself with the knowledge of your rights. If you’ve been done wrong, shouldn’t you take action? Put an end to public embarrassments and inconveniences for all wheelchair users and those with other disabilities by taking action against these common barriers to full and equal access:

1. Parking Plaques Do Not Change Parking Conditions

For the perfectly capable, parking alone is already a hassle, right? Now shrink down the number of available parking spaces and then calculate the size of your car. Those who drive disabled accessible vans require way more than the 5ft wide access aisle a standard accessible parking space allots. Honestly, most places are not set up for van accessibility. Even in the event, no special vehicle is required, very few parking places for the persons with disabilities have clear lanes for either the passenger or driver to get out of the car and safely navigate to accessible entrances. Is this something you or a significant other has encountered? Take action and start holding businesses responsible. By taking action you will get the problem fixed for every other person with a disability as well as for yourself.

2. An Obstruction At An Entrance

All businesses open to the public are required to have an accessible entrance. The code spells out in detail the maximum slope of the path of travel. If the path of travel is difficult for you, it is probably not incompliance. Contact Potter Handy to learn your rights to wheelchair accessible entrances.

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3. Hold Your Bladder: Some Public Restrooms Are Accessible

Ever been out in public and really had to go to the bathroom? Like really had to go to the point you rudely bumped into a few bystanders on your Olympic sprint to the restroom! Now imagine you did all that work only not to have the means or access to use the facility. Many business owners still have not made the changes or simply do not comply with this law. The law requires that all public restrooms be accessible to wheelchair users. The law requires that all public restrooms be accessible to wheelchair users. That means that all public restrooms must have a wide enough door and toilet stalls configured to accommodate a wheelchair comfortably. There must be sinks and other fixtures at a height that is accessible to a user who is in a wheelchair. Your bladder may not know your rights, but if you’ve found yourself in an inaccessible restroom? Contact Potter Handy for help! Potter Handy LLP handles more ADA cases than any other firm in California, a free phone consultation with a sympathetic ear is just a call away (+1(415) 534-1911). Or just send an email over to and expect a quick reply.

4. Standing On Top Of Another: Aisle Width Is A Real Concern

Yes, even shopping proves to have its own challenges for those in wheelchairs. It’s a little unsettling rubbing elbows with fellow shoppers due to the aisle restrictions, forcing close proximity shopping. All people should be able to shop in local stores comfortably. Sadly, many stores do not accommodate wheelchair users. Stores must maintain aisles of adequate width to allow customers in wheelchairs to access merchandise and travel through the store safely. Merchandise shelves that are fully stocked must have a minimum of 36 inches between aisles. The state of California has increased that requirement to demand 44 inches between fully stocked aisles. Too often stores locate additional merchandise displays that encroach on the required clear width in violation of the ADA. What can you do to fight this? Contacting Potter Handy LLP is a perfect start to learning what your rights are and what you can do to fight this growing negligence.

5. Stay Clear of Sidewalks: Severe Danger of Curb Ramps

Ever been strolling down the street and came to an intersection and there was not a curb ramp to help cross the street? Without the help of an aide, friend, or nearby patron, crossing the road safely is basically a no go. Sure you can take a right and go down to the next block, and by chance, maybe there will be a ramp there, still doubtful. Streets and sidewalks are often particularly dangerous and difficult for people in wheelchairs. Some sidewalks and roads do not provide curb ramps. Almost three decades since the ADA was passed, there are still cities that have not taken steps to make their sidewalks accessible. Do you know where your sidewalk ramps are?

6. Feel Included During Your Hotel Stays

Who doesn’t love a good vacation? Someone in a wheelchair due to past negative experiences may have a slightly negative opinion when it comes to hotel accommodations. It’s actually pretty tough to make these reservations. Disabled accessible rooms are available in very small numbers, not to mention the level of thoroughness hotels must have to provide these accessible amenities to both disabled and non-disabled guests. Hotels are required to follow all the requirements for other public businesses and more. They must have transaction counters at an accessible height, properly sized doors, adequate parking, appropriate ramps, accessible restrooms and the like. In addition, hotels must maintain a ratio of their rooms as disabled accessible. Accessible guest rooms must include accessible restroom facilities, accessible controls for things like blinds, lights, and heat/AC. All amenities available to guests who are not disabled should also be accessible and available to disabled guests. Was your last hotel stay more challenging than it should have been? Were there any inaccessible conditions? If you’re still not sure, contacting the professionals at Potter Handy LLP to learn more about what types are violations there are, and your protected rights against those violations should be high on your to-do!

7. Seriously? Doctor Offices I Can’t Get To!

Who would ever think that getting into a Doctor’s office would be hard at all? I mean doctors deal with all sort of patient conditions, so it’d only make sense that their facility is adequately equipped to handle such a wide range of patients, right? Many doctors’ offices fail to meet the needs of patients in wheelchairs. Doctors’ offices must comply with all other requirements for public places, such as ramps, parking, doors, path of access, etc. Additionally, doctors’ offices must provide and utilize exam rooms that are accessible to people in wheelchairs. This includes turning radius and accessible exam tables. Businesses are legally obligated to provide you with proper care; Potter Handy LLP has handled thousands of cases, bringing emotional and financial relief to those who have been wronged. Is your doctor’s office in compliance with handicap accessible amenities, entrances, and other legal rights you’re entitled to? If you have reason to believe or have questions to ask to for clarification, please feel the emerging urgency to do your part and contact Potter Handy LLP to get results that will not only help your life, but will also empower the lives of those affected by the same adversities.

8. Where Can I Park This While I Eat? Seating Concerns Are Problems!

Appreciating a meal at the brand new spot that opened up down the road can be really frustrating to enjoy when the facility is inadequately suited to handle wheelchair users. Maybe they have a great entrance built that is easy to get to, but if there is not proper seating inside the restaurant, what good is an access ramp? Businesses are required to provide seating that accommodates those with disabilities. Many restaurants, for example, have bar height tables and stools. These higher tables clearly do not accommodate patrons who use a wheelchair. Businesses and other public spaces must designate a percentage of their seating for wheelchair users. Does your favorite eating spot have appropriate accommodations for wheelchair users? good

9. Hello? Can Someone Assist Me At The Access-Friendly Transaction Counter?

It may not be evident at first, but lowered transaction counters are not friendly in the least bit. What happens when you find yourself behind the lowered transaction counter at your local shop, the counter meant for your use as a person in a wheelchair, but there is no staff at that window? Alternatively, the window is covered in display items, rendering it unusable? Businesses are required to maintain transaction counters that are lowered to be accessible to wheelchair users. While many businesses build counters that are of the appropriate height, they are often unused, used for other things, or are not staffed. For example, most banks are built to meet this requirement however the position at the accessible lowered counter is often not staffed. Similarly, places like Starbucks often build a lower counter but then put display items on it and put the register at a higher level, forcing people in wheelchairs to attempt transactions over these high obstacles. Did you know this is a violation of the law? Contact Potter Handy to learn more. Businesses are free to conduct themselves as they wish, however, they aren’t free to cause emotional distress by not meeting basic legal standards. An easy and convenient call to Potter Handy LLP, California’s largest Americans with Disability Act firm will provide you with quick insight into whether you can seek damages.

10. Come On! Point Of Sale Devices Think We Sit Six Feet Tall!

Have you seen the Point-of-Sale (POS) devices most business use? Oftentimes, they sit fixed on a high counter. Devices are used to make life more convenient and easier to perform certain actions, but many of these devices are the source of several hardships experienced by wheelchair users. Like transaction counters, devices used to complete transactions are often inaccessible to people in wheelchairs. Such devices are necessary to complete transactions. Things like card readers, used to complete debit and credit card transactions, are often positioned too high and are angled to be used and viewed by standing persons. Have you ever gone to checkout only to need additional assistance due to the positioning of their POS devices? Remain seated, calm, and call Potter Handy LLP to learn what actions can be taken to take back your liberties regardless of disability.

Taking A Stand For Those Who Can’t

It’s not easy being in a wheelchair, nor is it easy going without common amenities because businesses violate accessibility laws and continue to not provide publically accessible areas for those in wheelchairs. If you or someone you love is experiencing any of these difficulties, hardships, or common accessibility issues, please stop wasting time and start taking action. If you’re going through this, just imagine how many others are too. Stand up for what’s right and understand what you can do to improve the situation now by contacting Potter Handy LLP, and start making a difference today!

Contact Potter Handy LLP

+1(415) 534-1911

Potter Handy, LLP has served thousands of clients, litigating matters throughout California. Potter Handy attorneys have a proven record in both Federal and State courts. The firm is committed to protecting the rights of the disabled.