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2010 DOJ Public Access Info Sheet

(clipped from  Note: Regarding the sentence "Generally, title II and title III entities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go" see definitions and links at the bottom of this page for descriptions of those entities.  In simple terms, title II covers state and local government facilities, programs, and activities while title III covers non-government places that are open to the public (like restaurants, stores, museums, etc.).

A public entity covered by title II is defined as --

1) Any State or local government;

2) Any department, agency, special purpose district, or other instrumentality of a State or local government; or

3) Certain commuter authorities as well as AMTRAK.

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III-1.1000 General. Title III of the ADA covers --

1) Places of public accommodation;

2) Commercial facilities; and

3) Examinations and courses related to applications, licensing, certification, or credentialing for secondary or postsecondary education, professional, or trade purposes.

The obligations of title III only extend to private entities. State and local government entities are public entities covered by title II of the ADA, not by title III.

Title III also covers private entities primarily engaged in transporting people. The Department of Transportation has issued regulations implementing that section of title III.

Is the Federal Government covered by title III because it is not a "public entity" under title II? The operations of the executive branch of the Federal Government are not covered by title III of the ADA. They are covered, however, by sections 501 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which prohibit disability discrimination in programs and activities conducted by Federal Executive agencies or the United States Postal Service, and by the Architectural Barriers Act, which requires that the design, construction, and alteration of Federal buildings be done in an accessible manner. The activities of the legislative branch, including Congress, on the other hand, are covered under title V of the ADA.

. . . . 

III-1.2000 Public accommodations. The broad range of title III obligations relating to "places of public accommodation" must be met by entities that the Department of Justice regulation labels as "public accommodations. " In order to be considered a public accommodation with title III obligations, an entity must be private and it must --



Lease to; or


a place of public accommodation.

What is a place of public accommodation? A place of public accommodation is a facility whose operations --

Affect commerce; and

Fall within at least one of the following 12 categories:

1) Places of lodging (e.g. , inns, hotels, motels) (except for owner-occupied establishments renting fewer than six rooms);

2) Establishments serving food or drink (e.g. , restaurants and bars);

3) Places of exhibition or entertainment (e.g. , motion picture houses, theaters, concert halls, stadiums);

4) Places of public gathering (e.g. , auditoriums, convention centers, lecture halls);

5) Sales or rental establishments (e.g. , bakeries, grocery stores, hardware stores, shopping centers);

6) Service establishments (e.g. , laundromats, dry-cleaners, banks, barber shops, beauty shops, travel services, shoe repair services, funeral parlors, gas stations, offices of accountants or lawyers, pharmacies, insurance offices, professional offices of health care providers, hospitals);

7) Public transportation terminals, depots, or stations (not including facilities relating to air transportation);

8) Places of public display or collection (e.g. , museums, libraries, galleries);

9) Places of recreation (e.g. , parks, zoos, amusement parks);

10) Places of education (e.g. , nursery schools, elementary, secondary, undergraduate, or postgraduate private schools);

11) Social service center establishments (e.g. , day care centers, senior citizen centers, homeless shelters, food banks, adoption agencies); and

12) Places of exercise or recreation (e.g. , gymnasiums, health spas, bowling alleys, golf courses).

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