When a public accommodation can demonstrate that the removal of barriers is not readily achievable, the public accommodation must make its goods and services available through alternative methods, if such methods are readily achievable.
ILLUSTRATION 1: A retail store determines that it is not readily achievable to rearrange display racks to make every aisle accessible. However, the store is still required to make the goods and services that are located along inaccessible aisles available to individuals with disabilities through alternative methods. For example, the store could instruct a clerk to retrieve inaccessible merchandise, if it is readily achievable to do so.
ILLUSTRATION 2: A pharmacy that is located in a building that can be entered only by means of a long flight of stairs determines that it is not readily achievable to provide a ramp to that entrance; therefore, it is not required to provide access to its facility. However, the pharmacy is still required to provide access to its services, if any readily achievable alternative method of delivery is available. Therefore, the pharmacy must consider options, such as delivering goods to customers at curbside or at their homes.
ILLUSTRATION 3: A self-service gas station determines that it is not readily achievable to redesign gas pumps to enable people with disabilities to use them; therefore, the gas station is not required to make physical modifications to the gas pumps. However, the gas station is required to provide its services to individuals with disabilities through any readily achievable alternative method, such as providing refueling service upon request to an individual with a disability.
How can a public accommodation determine if an alternative to barrier removal is readily achievable? The factors to consider in determining if an alternative is readily achievable are the same as those that are considered in determining if barrier removal is readily achievable (see III-4.4200).
If a public accommodation provides its services through alternative measures, such as home delivery, may it charge its customers for this special service? No. When goods or services are provided to an individual with a disability through alternative methods because the public accommodation's facility is inaccessible, the public accommodation may not place a surcharge on the individual with a disability for the costs associated with the alternative method.
ILLUSTRATION 1: A gas station that chooses to provide refueling service to individuals with disabilities at a self-service island, rather than removing the barriers that preclude that individual from refueling his or her own vehicle, must provide the refueling service at the self-service price.
ILLUSTRATION 2: An inaccessible pharmacy that provides home delivery to individuals with disabilities, rather than removing the barriers that prevent those individuals from being served in the pharmacy, must provide the home delivery at no charge to the customer. However, a pharmacy that normally offers home delivery as an option to its customers and charges a fee for that service, may continue to charge a delivery fee to customers with disabilities, if the pharmacy provides at least one "no-cost" alternative, such as delivering its products to a customer at curbside.
May a public accommodation consider security issues when it is determining if an alternative is readily achievable? Yes. Security is a factor that may be considered when a public accommodation is determining if an alternative method of delivering its goods or services is readily achievable.
ILLUSTRATION 1: A service station is not required to provide refueling service to individuals with disabilities at any time when it is operating exclusively on a remote control basis with a single cashier.
ILLUSTRATION 2: A cashier working in a security booth in a convenience store when there are no other employees on duty is not required to leave his or her post to retrieve items for individuals with disabilities.
The Department's regulation expressly recognizes that it may not be readily achievable to remove enough barriers to provide access to all of the theaters in a multiscreen cinema. In this situation, a cinema must make its services available by establishing a film rotation schedule that provides reasonable access for individuals who use wheelchairs to films being presented by the cinema. Public notice must be provided as to the location and time of accessible showings. Methods for providing notice include appropriate use of the international accessibility symbol in a cinema's print advertising and the addition of accessibility information to a cinema's recorded telephone information line.Top