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Public Accommodations

Three women in restaurantThe right to full and active participation in the business, recreation, and social activities of communities is a foundational tenet of the United States.  Yet individuals across the nation – because of their race, religion, disability, national origin, or sexual orientation or gender identity – are denied this right because of outdated attitudes and physical barriers in restaurants, hotels, shops, medical care facilities, day care centers, movie theaters, fitness clubs, and more.

The ERC remains committed to promoting access of public accommodations to all residents of the U.S.  In recent years, the ERC has achieved great success in removing physical barriers in public accommodations, which act to discriminate against people with disabilities.  The ERC has caused nearly 50,000 public places to eliminate physical barriers and modify their policies to be more accessible to people with disabilities.

ERC Work & Publications Bar

Assistance Animal Users' Public Accommodations and Fair HousDownload the Assistance Animal Users’ Public Accommodations and Fair Housing Toolkit

From guide dogs that help blind individuals navigate their surroundings, to cats that provide emotional support to people suffering from depression, there are numerous types of assistance animals available to people with disabilities. However, federal laws governing the right to be accompanied by these animals in various settings can be confusing. This toolkit is designed to help define and categorize the different types of assistance animals, and to inform those who use an assistance animal of their rights and what they can do if they experience discrimination.

Read an accessible version of the Assistance Animal Users’ Public Accommodations and Fair Housing Toolkit >>


Public Accommodations Self-Advocacy ToolkitDownload the ERC Public Accommodations Self-Advocacy Toolkit

Learn how people with disabilities can advocate for themselves and create positive change in public accommodations.

Read an accessible version of the ERC Public Accommodations Self-Advocacy Toolkit >>



Equal Rights Center Announces National Initiative with TJX to Promote Accessibility

The Equal Rights Center announced an initiative with The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX) to promote accessibility at TJX’s stores throughout the United States. TJX and the ERC will work collaboratively to review accessibility at TJX’s U.S. locations, including TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods stores. The ERC will also work closely with TJX on the training of its associates on accessibility standards and customer service for people with disabilities.

"This collaboration between the Equal Rights Center and TJX shows that TJX truly values all of its customers, including the millions of shoppers with disabilities.” said Don Kahl, Executive Director of the ERC, “As an industry leader and a Fortune 500 company, TJX, along with other ERC partners understand that promoting equal opportunity is not only the right thing to do, it’s good business.”

Service Denied: Responding to Taxicab Discrimination in the District of Columbia, 2003

A 1993 and 1999 investigation by the ERC and one of its predecessor organizations found African-Americans were discriminated against 36 percent of the time when hailing a taxicab and that requests for pick-ups received service 14 times more often in white neighborhoods than in black neighborhoods.  This report discussing these investigations and details seven steps for remediation.
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For Civil Minds- the ERC's blog

Read the ERC's blog to learn more about a variety of civil rights issues. The blog is updated frequently so remember to keep checking back for new stories and topics!

“Two Decades of Protecting Disability Rights—The ADA Turns 20 ”

Read the ERC report card and timeline covering our victories in protecting access to government services and public accommodations.

Read an accessible version of "The ADA Turns 20" >>

Download our Public Accommodations Brochure

Learn more about your rights and what the ERC can do to help.  

Read an accessible version of the Public Accommodations Brochure >>

Public Accommodations Project

Learn about pioneering cases in public accommodations civil rights law.

Referral Guide

Learn more about service providers and organizations which offer you support.

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