The new ADA rules for public accommodations went into effect on Tuesday (March 15, 2011). This means businesses now must comply with the ADA's general nondiscrimination requirements, including provisions related to policies and procedures and effective communication. The deadline for complying with the 2010 standards, which detail the technical rules for building accessibility, is next year (March 15, 2012).
The U.S. Department of Justice recently published a free guide, ADA Update: A Primer for Small Business, to assist in navigating the recently updated rules for public accommodations. The title suggests the guide is only for small businesses, but after reading through it, I think the information presented can be useful to any business.
The primer addresses (in relatively plain English) both the requirements that are effective now, such as service animals and mobility devices, and the 2010 standard, but it does not address rules unique to the attractions industry such as those on miniature golf courses, amusement rides, and pools. In order to provide our members with more information on the regulations for those facilities, we are preparing a series of white papers that will assist members in developing their compliance strategies. In the next few weeks, look for more information from IAAPA on the new ADA rules. And, if you are in New England and have questions about the ADA, I'll be giving a presentation with IAAPA FEC Committee Chairman Tim Sorge at the NEAAPA Annual Meeting, March 29-30, in Providence, Rhode Island.