Re: Americans with Disabilities Act - Title III
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2012 07:41:04 -0700 (PDT)
Rules do vary from one jurisdiction to the next, but I will stick with what I 

In Massachusetts, State law requires that multi-family housing developments of 
any size provide a small percentage of units which are accessible to 
wheelchairs.  If one of those units is in fact sold to a mobility-impaired 
person, and that person discovers that some of the key condo or HOA amenities 
are not available to him/her even though s/he paid "market rate" ... what 
happens next?  Not being an attorney, I do not know.  Being an architect, I do 
know that the best policy is to make everything as accessible as reasonably 
possible.  Some pools are designed with ramps such that people can actually 
ride rolling chairs, or ambulate with walkers, into the pool.

The key phrase in all of ADA is "place of public accommodation".  Trying to 
establish what *that* means has long been a bone of contention in ADA 
interpretation, but in general, over time, the phrase has grown more and more 


On Jul 25, 2012, at 10:29 AM, Norman Gauss wrote:

> Phil:
> The ADA Title III applies to private organizations that engage in commerce.
> If the HOA does not rent out facilities, it is not a commercial
> organization.  Therefore, according to Title III, it is exempt.  Since the
> car dealership is commercial, it is subject to this requirement.
> Most of our residential units and our common house are accessible to people
> in wheelchairs.  Our common house restrooms have extra wide stalls for
> wheelchair people.  We have an outdoor spa and pool that have no steps to
> climb or descend.  Thus, except for the ADA specified lift, these facilities
> are accessible.
> Thanks for your response,
> Norm Gauss
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