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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 25, 2021.
ADA Compliance for Customer Entry to Stores and Services Act or the ACCESS Act
This bill addresses access to public accommodations for persons with a disability.
The bill requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to develop a program to educate state and local governments and property owners on strategies for promoting access to public accommodations for persons with a disability.
The bill authorizes an aggrieved person, after taking specified actions, to commence a civil action based on the failure to remove an architectural barrier to access an existing public accommodation. Specifically, the aggrieved person must have provided the owners or operators a written notice specific enough to identify the barrier and specify the circumstances under which public accommodation access was denied. The owners or operators must have (1) failed to provide the person a written description outlining improvements that will be made to improve the barrier, or (2) failed to remove the barrier or make substantial progress after providing such a description.
The Judicial Conference of the United States must develop a model program to promote alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve claims involving architectural barriers to access for public accommodations.
Finally, the bill requires DOJ to complete a study of whether certain web content standards or information services for individuals with disabilities provided telephonically provide the same accommodations as would be available on a website.