Reaching Out to Customers With Disabilities: Lesson 4 Removing Barriers in Buildings that Are Not Being Remodeled, Renovated, or AlteredA workman is installing a grab bar beside a toilet. 

More about
removing barriers

ADA Guide for Small Businesses (PDF)

ADA Guide for Small Businesses (HTML)

More about the rules for removing barriers

Definition of readily achievable

More extensive discussion of barrier removal

Regulatory provisions

Frequently asked questions about removing barriers

Summary of Lesson Four

Businesses that serve the public must remove barriers to improve accessibility in existing facilities where it is "readily achievable" to do so. 

Barrier removal is an ongoing obligation.

Businesses should give first priority to measures that enable people with disabilities to get in the door, followed by measures that enable them to get to the areas where the business provides its goods and services to the public.  The next priority is access to the rest room facilities that are provided for customers' use.  Lastly, businesses should eliminate any other barriers they have. 

Businesses are not expected to reduce the amount of furniture or display racks to the extent that it would result in a significant loss of selling or serving space. 

In identifying and removing barriers, businesses should use the ADA Standards for Accessible Design as a guide.

If compliance with these standards is not readily achievable, businesses should take other readily achievable measures, as long as they are safe.


1. Have you removed any barriers to accessibility at your place of business since 1992?

2. Has this lesson helped you identify any features at your place of business that you previously did not realize were barriers for people with disabilities?

3. How do you plan to change these barriers to improve accessibility?

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