True, False or It Depends?

Submitted by Maggie Sims on Tue, 06/21/2022
Do you know the answers to these statements? Read carefully…
  1. The ADA requires that public buildings, such as retail stores, install automatic doors. 

FALSE – Although automatic doors can provide greater accessibility, they are not required by the ADA Standards. Opening Doors To Everyone | ADA National Network (

  1. The ADA allows a tenant in an apartment to have a companion animal, such as a cat, to help alleviate the effects of a health impairment. 

IT DEPENDS – The ADA does not cover private housing, but in some limited situations it may apply.  The primary law that does provide rights in housing is the Fair Housing Act (FHA), and possibly Section 504 of the Rehab Act.  Assistance Animals Under the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Air Carriers Access Act | ADA National Network (

  1. If someone is having problems entering their local Post Office because of a disability, the ADA can help resolve the issues.

FALSE – Post Offices, along with other federal agencies, are not covered by the ADA, but by the ABA – the Architectural Barriers Act.  File an Architectural Barriers Act Complaint (

  1. The ADA has a special provision that allows a trained miniature horse to serve as a service animal and it must be allowed into public facilities with its handler.

TRUE - In addition to the provisions about service dogs, the ADA regulations have a separate provision about miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. ADA 2010 Revised Requirements: Service Animals

  1. Under the ADA, public businesses may ask someone with an invisible disability who is using a service animal two questions - is this needed because of a disability; and what task has the animal been trained to perform.  The same procedure is appropriate when an employee requests to bring a service animal into the workplace as an accommodation for a disability.

FALSE - Because title I does not specifically address service animals, a request from an employee to bring a service animal to work should be processed like any other request for reasonable accommodation. This means that employers must have an interactive process and consider the request, but do not have to automatically allow employees to bring their service animals to work. Service Animals (

  1. The ADA oversees the process of developing an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for students with disabilities. 

FALSE – The IEP is a key part of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), a separate law from the ADA.  Disability Rights Laws in Public Primary and Secondary Education: How Do They Relate? | ADA National Network (

  1. The ADA prohibits airlines from charging a passenger for bringing a service animal onboard a flight. 

FALSE – The ADA does not apply to air travel.  There is another law called the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) that does apply. Flying With a Service Animal | ADA National Network (

  1. There is no “grandfather” clause under the ADA. 

TRUE – The ADA does not have a provision to "grandfather" a facility, but it does have a provision called “safe harbor” in the 2010 ADA regulations for businesses and state and local governments. A "safe harbor" means that you do not have to make modifications to elements in a building that comply with the 1991 ADA Standards, even if the 2010 ADA Standards have different requirements for them. Is my building "grandfathered in" under the older 1991 ADA Standards for Accessible Design or do I need to comply with the 2010 ADA Standards? | ADA National Network (

  1. An employee does not have to disclose that they have a disability to their employer.  

IT DEPENDS - Under the ADA a person can request an accommodation at any time during the application process or while employed, even if it was not asked for when applying for a job or after receiving a job offer. In general, disclosure of a disability is required when there is a need for reasonable accommodation - when there is a workplace barrier that prevents someone, due to a disability, from competing for a job, performing a job, or gaining equal access to a benefit of employment like an employee lunch room or employee parking. Disability Disclosure (

  1. There are tax incentives available for businesses and employers that provide accessibility for their customers and employees.

TRUE – Businesses that improve accessibility are eligible for federal tax incentives. This includes physical accessibility as well as providing sign language interpreters or Braille materials.  Are businesses entitled to any tax benefit to help pay for the cost of compliance? | ADA National Network (

Surprised at some of these answers?  Find out more on the Rocky Mountain ADA Center website and the ADA National Network website!

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