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With An Eye to the Future

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2010: Awareness, Attitudes & Perceived Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act in Minnesota

On the 20th Anniversary of the ADA, the Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities commissioned a survey of 500 Minnesota businesses, including retail stores, restaurants, hotels, banks, grocery stores, and vehicle dealerships; and interviewed architects, engineers, and commercial building contractors, to determine their awareness about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the impact of the ADA on design and building projects, enforcement of accessibility provisions, and accommodations made and accommodations anticipated to meet accessibility requirements and improve access for people with disabilities.

Key findings included:

  • On average, approximately 75% of Minnesota business managers believe their businesses' buildings and property are accommodating to people with disabilities.
  • Businesses' virtual spaces (websites) lag far behind physical spaces, when it comes to adoption of accessibility features for people with disabilities.
  • A majority of respondents believe it is important for them to continually look for new ways to make their business more accessible to more people with disabilities;

However, some resistance to making accommodations was also expressed. Three out of 10 said it would not make sense to make alterations to their business or property to accommodate people with disabilities, and 1 in 4 said it would be too expensive and not practical to try and make their business completely accessible to people with disabilities.