Abstract

This study was designed to determine the compliance of restaurants to the wheelchair accessibility standards set forth in the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards. The standards that were operationalized in this study are also found in Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The data were collected at 120 sites in three midwestern states. For one who uses a wheelchair, parking the car is often an obstacle to eating out. Only 53% of the restaurants surveyed provide handicapped parking. Entering the building may also be a problem. Of the restaurants that required a ramp, only 66% provided them. Inside the restaurant, the key problems were accessible restrooms and the height of tables. The study provided comparisons between restaurants in rural and urban settings, as well as comparisons between conventional restaurants and fast food restaurants. No notable differences emerged for these comparisons.

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