About ADA Compliance
ADA Compliance for Businesses
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools and transportation. The ADA also requires businesses to comply with specific accessibility standards when making physical changes to their facilities or providing goods and services.
What does the ADA require me to do?
The ADA requires you to take "readily achievable" steps to remove any barriers in your business that would prevent people with disabilities from having full access to your goods or services. You are not required to make any changes that are not necessary to provide needed access. You are also not required to take any measures that would result in undue financial or administrative burdens. Under the ADA, "readily achievable" means easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense. If you can demonstrate that your business has taken commercially feasible steps to comply with the ADA's requirements, you cannot be found non-compliant.
What if I don't make changes to my business?
If you do not take steps to remove barriers or provide goods and services in an accessible manner, people with disabilities may file a complaint with the Justice Department for discrimination under the ADA. If the Justice Department investigates and finds that you discriminated against people with disabilities, it can require you to make changes or it can get a court order requiring you to make the necessary changes.
What is "readily achievable"?
"Readily achievable" means that taking steps to remove barriers and provide goods and services in an accessible manner would require minimal difficulty or expense on your part. The term readily achievable does not require that any steps be taken that would result in undue financial and administrative burdens. What is readily achievable is determined on a case-by-case basis, with the assessment of several factors including:
- The nature and cost of the action;
- The nature and cost of the action;
- The type of operation you have;
- The numbers of people employed there;
- The effect on expenses and resources;
- The geographic separateness, and the administrative or fiscal relationship of the facility or part of a facility that would need to be modified.
The steps you can take to ensure your compliance with ADA requirements may include:
- Repositioning display racks, shelves, furniture and other equipment;
- Installing ramps or modifying existing ones to provide access to your business and its services for people with mobility disabilities;
- Making changes in the way you provide goods or services so they are accessible to persons with disabilities;
- Providing readers, taped texts, qualified interpreters or other auxiliary aids where necessary to ensure effective communication with customers, clients, patients or participants who are deaf or hard of hearing;
- Restructuring a job position to better accommodate the needs of an employee who is not fully able to participate in the job because of a disability.
To better understand your obligations under Title III, you may wish to consult an attorney.
How do I create accessible parking spaces?
The Federal Highway Administration's "Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Building and Facilities" has the following information on parking spaces:
Note that this is not exhaustive, but it provides an overview of all the steps necessary. The ADAAG does say that parking lot design guidelines are available from some state departments of transportation.
Make sure your employees are fully aware of these guidelines as well, so they can make sure to provide accessible parking spaces. Include the following paragraph in your company policy on disabilities:
Please note that all new buildings should have accessible parking spaces available, as required by ADA requirements. These requirements include appropriate signage designating accessible parking, vertical clearance for vehicle lift or ramp entry, clearly marked spaces that are level, and an adjacent path of travel that connects the accessible parking with the entrance to the establishment.
Why should I make my business accessible?
There are several reasons why your business should be made ADA-compliant:
- Enables you to reach out to a broader market;
- Helps increase sales because people who require special assistance are more likely to frequent your business because it is accessible;
- Makes customers feel welcome, which helps customers promote the accessibility of your establishment.
As an owner or manager of a business, you want the public to know that the services you are offering are open to everyone. Without meeting ADA requirements, people with disabilities may avoid entering your establishment.
How can a paving company help me be compliant?
Updating your parking lot with ADA regulations can help you to stay compliant. Paving companies offer new surfaces that are compliant with ADA regulations. It is important that your employees are aware of the regulations before they pour concrete, so they ensure compliance. Include these regulations in your employee handbook.
Why should I work with a paving company for my ADA-compliant parking lot?
A paving company can help you to meet or exceed ADA regulations for your parking lot. The Department of Transportation has specific guidelines that need to be followed when it comes to slot, aisle, and surface clearances. Every business is required by law to have accessible parking spaces. Contact a paving company today to learn more about the regulations, and how they can help to create an accessible parking lot for your business.
How can I maintain ADA compliance?
Compliance is essential for the success of any establishment. There are a few ways to maintain ADA compliance - through restructure, reallocation of resources, or by creating an environment that is accessible to people with disabilities. Remember, if your business does not comply with ADA regulations, customers might think it means you do not want their business and they will avoid your establishment.
The best way to create and maintain ADA compliance is to educate all employees on what needs to be done and how to go about it. This includes training on how certain tools can help improve accessibility such as ramps and elevators. Not only will this help you stay compliant with ADA regulations but it will also increase customer traffic by making them feel more comfortable visiting your establishment.
If you are unable to make your establishment ADA compliant, there other options you should consider. You may want to prioritize certain areas of your business, or make it ADA compliant in phases. For example, if the entrance is not compliant but the back of the store is, customers can still access what they need without entering through non-ADA compliant areas.
If you are not able to afford the costs associated with making your business ADA compliant, there are other options available. You might consider finding a partner or another company that can help you offset costs. For example, if an accessible bathroom is too costly for your business to install, you might consider asking a local restaurant if they would let you use theirs if your customers make a purchase.
The ADA is a law that requires businesses to be accessible for people with disabilities. A paving company can help you make your parking lot ADA compliant, but there are other ways to maintain compliance as well. If you do not meet the requirements of the ADA, some options might include prioritizing certain areas of your business or making things accessible in phases by creating an environment that is accessible to all customers and employees - even if they have special needs.
About South Los Angeles, CA
In 1880, the University of Southern California, and in 1920, the Doheny Campus of Mount St. Mary's University, were founded in South Los Angeles. The 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games took place near the USC campus at neighboring Exposition Park, where the Los Angeles Coliseum is located.
Until the 1920s, the South Los Angeles neighborhood of West Adams was one of the most desirable areas of the City. As the wealthy were building stately mansions in West Adams and Jefferson Park, the White working class was establishing itself in Crenshaw and Hyde Park. Affluent blacks gradually moved into West Adams and Jefferson Park. As construction along the Wilshire Boulevard corridor gradually increased in the 1920s, the development of the city was drawn west of downtown and away from South Los Angeles.
In the eastern side of South Los Angeles (which the city calls the "Southeastern CPA") roughly east of the Harbor Freeway, the area grew southward in the late 1800s along the ever longer streetcar routes. Areas north of Slauson Boulevard were mostly built out by the late 1910s, while south of Slauson land was mostly undeveloped, much used by Chinese and Japanese Americans growing produce. In 1903, the farmers were bought out and Ascot Park racetrack was built, which turned into a "den of gambling and drinking". In the late 1910s the park was razed and freed up land for quick build-up of residential and industrial buildings in the 1920s.
"By 1940, approximately 70 percent of the black population of Los Angeles was confined to the Central Avenue corridor"; the area of modest bungalows and low-rise commercial buildings along Central Avenue emerged as the heart of the black community in southern California. Originally, the city's black community was concentrated around what is now Little Tokyo, but began moving south after 1900. It had one of the first jazz scenes in the western U.S., with trombonist Kid Ory a prominent resident. Under racially restrictive covenants, blacks were allowed to own property only within the "Slauson Box" (the area bounded by Main, Slauson, Alameda, and Washington) and in Watts, as well as in small enclaves elsewhere in the city. The working- and middle-class blacks who poured into Los Angeles during the Great Depression and in search of jobs during World War II found themselves penned into what was becoming a severely overcrowded neighborhood. During the war, blacks faced such dire housing shortages that the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles built the virtually all-black and Latino Pueblo Del Rio project, designed by Richard Neutra.
During this time, African Americans remained a minority alongside whites, Asians, and Hispanics; but by the 1930s those groups moved out of the area, African Americans continued to move in, and eastern South LA became majority black. Whites in previously established communities south of Slauson, east of Alameda and west of San Pedro streets persecuted blacks moving beyond established "lines", and thus blacks became effectively restricted to the area in between.
When the Supreme Court banned the legal enforcement of race-oriented restrictive covenants in 1948's Shelley v. Kraemer, blacks began to move into areas outside the increasingly overcrowded Slauson-Alameda-Washington-Main settlement area. For a time in the early 1950s, southern Los Angeles became the site of significant racial violence, with whites bombing, firing into, and burning crosses on the lawns of homes purchased by black families south of Slauson. In an escalation of behavior that began in the 1920s, white gangs in nearby cities such as South Gate and Huntington Park routinely accosted blacks who traveled through white areas. The black mutual protection clubs that formed in response to these assaults became the basis of the region's street gangs.
As in most urban areas, 1950s freeway construction radically altered the geography of southern Los Angeles. Freeway routes tended to reinforce traditional segregation lines.
Beginning in the 1970s, the rapid decline of the area's manufacturing base resulted in a loss of the jobs that had allowed skilled union workers to enjoy a middle-class lifestyle. Downtown Los Angeles' service sector, which had long been dominated by unionized African Americans earning relatively fair wages, replaced most black workers with newly arrived Mexican and Central American immigrants.
Widespread unemployment, poverty and street crime contributed to the rise of street gangs in South Central, such as the Crips and the Bloods. The gangs became even more powerful with money coming in from drugs, especially the crack cocaine trade that was dominated by gangs in the 1980s.
Paul Feldman of the Los Angeles Times wrote in 1989:
He added that they believed such "distinctive neighborhoods" as Leimert Park, Lafayette Square and the Crenshaw District were "well-removed" from South Central.
By the early 2010s, the crime rate of South Los Angeles had declined significantly. Redevelopment, improved police patrol, community-based peace programs, gang intervention work, and youth development organizations lowered the murder and crime rates to levels that had not been seen since the 1940s and '50s. Nevertheless, South Los Angeles was still known for its gangs at the time. After leading the nation in homicides again in 2002, the City Council of Los Angeles voted to change the name South Central Los Angeles to South Los Angeles on all city documents in 2003, a move supporters said would "help erase a stigma that has dogged the southern part of the city."
On August 11, 2014, just two days after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a resident of South L.A., Ezell Ford, described as "a mentally ill 25-year-old man," was fatally shot by two Los Angeles police officers (see Shooting of Ezell Ford). Since then, a number of protests focused on events in Ferguson have taken place in South Los Angeles.
After the 2008 economic recession, housing prices in South Los Angeles recovered significantly, and by 2018, many had come to see South Los Angeles as a prime target for gentrification amid rising real estate values. Residents and activists are against market-rate housing as they have concerns that these projects will encourage landlords to sell, redevelop their properties or jack up rents. Under California law, cities can't reject residential projects based on these criticisms if the project complies with applicable planning and zoning rules. The construction of the K Line light rail through the neighborhood has stimulated the building of denser multistory projects, especially around the new stations. The NFL Stadium in Inglewood also encourages gentrification according to activists.
Real estate values in South Los Angeles were further bolstered by news that Los Angeles will host the 2028 Olympics, with many of the games to be hosted on or near the USC campus.
The City of Los Angeles delineates the South Los Angeles Community Plan area as an area of 15.5 square miles. Adjacent communities include West Adams, Baldwin Hills, and Leimert Park to the west, and Southeast Los Angeles (the 26-neighborhood area east of the Harbor Freeway) on the east.
According to the Los Angeles Times Mapping Project, the South Los Angeles region comprises 51 square miles, consisting of 25 neighborhoods within the City of Los Angeles as well as three unincorporated neighborhoods in the County of Los Angeles.
Google Maps delineates a similar area to the Los Angeles Times Mapping Project with notable differences on the western border. On the northwest, it omits a section of Los Angeles west of La Brea Avenue. On the southwest, it includes a section of the City of Inglewood north of Century Boulevard.
According to the Mapping L.A. survey of the Los Angeles Times, the South Los Angeles region consists of the following neighborhoods:
By the end of the 1980s, South Los Angeles had an increasing number of Hispanics and Latinos, mostly in the northeastern section of the region.
According to scholars, "Between 1970 and 1990 the South LA area went from 80% African American and 9% Latino to 50.3% African American and 44% Latino." This massive and rapid residential demographic change occurred as resources in the area were shrinking due to global economic restructuring described above and due to the federal government's decrease in funding of urban anti-poverty and jobs programs, and other vital social services like healthcare. The socio-economic context described here increased the perception and the reality of competition amongst Asians, African Americans, and Latinos in South LA. The results from the 2000 census which show continuing demographic change coupled with recent economic trends indicating a deterioration of conditions in South LA suggest that such competition will not soon ease."
In the 2014 census, the area of South Los Angeles had a population of 271,040. 50.0% of the residents were Hispanic or Latino, 39.7% were African American.
Many African Americans from South Los Angeles have moved to Palmdale and Lancaster in the Antelope Valley.
South Los Angeles has received immigrants from Mexico and Central America.