ADA Frequently Asked Questions Knowledge Base - Hospitality

There are two types of accessible guest rooms, one type having “mobility features” and the other “communication features.”   The minimum number of accessible guest rooms in newly constructed facilities is provided in Tables 224.2 (mobility features) and 224.4 (communication features) of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design - http://www.ada.gov/2010ADAstandards_index.htm.  Note that for rooms with mobility features, roll-in showers will be required where the total number of guest rooms provided exceeds 50. 

In alterations and additions, the minimum required number of accessible guest rooms required is based on the total number of guest rooms being altered or added instead of the total number of guest rooms provided in a facility. Note, that where guest rooms are altered, or added, the technical requirements stated in the 2010 ADA Standards apply only to those guest rooms being altered or added until the total number of accessible guest rooms in the entire hotel complies with the minimum number required for new construction as stated in the tables referred to above.

Accessible guest rooms must be dispersed among the various classes of guest rooms, and provide choices of types of guest rooms, number of beds, and other amenities comparable to the choices provided to other guests. Typically, each alteration of a facility is limited to a particular portion of the facility. As accessible guest rooms are added as a result of subsequent alterations, the required degree of dispersion is more likely to be achieved if all of the accessible guest rooms are not provided in the same portion of the facility. 

Source: Section 224.1.1, and accompanying Advisory, of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design - http://www.ada.gov/2010ADAstandards_index.htm.


For additional information, take a look at the following resources:

FAQ: What are public accommodations?

Fact Sheet: Accessible Lodging

Yes.  Any service animal and their owner must be allowed to access those areas of a restaurant where customers are allowed to go.  Whenever a public health ordinance, or other local law, is different from the ADA, the law which is least restrictive for the person with a disability takes priority.  


For additional information, take a look at the following resources:

FAQ: What if a service animal barks or growls at other people, or otherwise acts out of control?

Service Animal Resource Hub

Service Animal Misconceptions

Yes.  A business has the right to deny access to a service animal that disrupts their business.   For example, a service dog that barks and disrupts another patron’s enjoyment of a movie could be asked to leave.   Also, businesses, airlines, public programs and transportation providers may exclude a service animal when the animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.  However, some animals may be trained to whine or bark as part of doing their job.

A decision to exclude a service animal cannot be based on the notion that an animal might threaten the safety of others. It also cannot be based on a business person’s assumptions or bad experiences with other animals.  Each service animal must be considered individually.


For additional information, take a look at the following resource:

Fact Sheet: Service Animals

Yes. Even if the business or a public program has a “no pets” policy, it may not deny entry to a person with a service animal.  Service animals are working animals, not pets. So, although a “no pets” policy is perfectly legal, it does not allow a business to exclude service animals.


For additional information, take a look at the following resources:

FAQ: What if a service animal barks or growls at other people, or otherwise acts out of control?

FAQ: How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal and not just a pet?

Service Animal Resource HUB

In general, the revised regulations published by the U.S. Department of Justice on September 15, 2010 covering places of public accommodation and commercial facilities, became effective on March 15, 2011.  The section of the revised regulations covering hotel reservation systems became effective on March 15, 2012.


For additional information, take a look at the following resources:

FAQ: What are public accommodations? 

Timeline of the Americans with Disabilities Act

FAQ: What are public accommodations?