Barrier Reduction

The ADA requires companies providing goods and services to the public to take certain limited steps to improve access to existing places of business.If your business provides goods and services to the public, you are required to remove barriers if doing so is readily achievable. Such a business is called a public accommodation because it
serves the public.

If your business is not open to the public but is only a place of employment like a warehouse, manufacturing facility or office building, then there is no requirement to remove barriers. Such a facility is called a commercial facility. While the operator of a commercial facility is not required to remove barriers, you must comply with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design when you alter, renovate or expand your facility.

Some Common Barriers

  • Narrow Doors
  • Steps with No Ramp
  • Round Door Knob at an Entrance Door
  • Crowded Check-Out
  • Narrow Store Aisles
  • Round Faucet Handles in Bathrooms
  • No Visual Alarms

Tax Credits & Deductions

As amended in 1990, the Internal Revenue Code allows a deduction of up to $15,000 per year for expenses associated with the removal of qualified architectural and transportation barriers (Section 190). The 1990 amendment also permits eligible small businesses to receive a tax credit (Section 44) for certain costs of compliance with the ADA. An eligible small business is one whose gross receipts do not exceed $1,000,000 or whose workforce does not consist of more than 30 full-time workers. Qualifying businesses may claim a credit of up to 50 percent of eligible access expenditures that exceed $250 but do not exceed $10,250. Examples of eligible access expenditures include the necessary and reasonable costs of removing architectural, physical, communications, and transportation barriers; providing readers, interpreters, and other auxiliary aids; and acquiring or modifying equipment or devices.