The FAQs on this Website are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. You may wish to contact an attorney to obtain legal advice with respect to the matters discussed herein. Use of and access to this Website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the ACRD and the user or browser.
Why did I receive a letter/complaint?
Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities Foundation filed a complaint with the Arizona Civil Rights Division (ACRD) alleging that your parking lot violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA) and the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA).
What do I do now?
Review the complaint and provide the ACRD with a position statement. The position statement is due to the ACRD within ten days of your receipt of the complaint. The position statement can be a written response or the filled out “Request for Position Statement” form. If you need another copy of the form, it can be found here.
What is a position statement?
A position statement is in writing and usually includes all the facts and circumstances concerning the complaint. Basically, it is your side of the story.
What happens if I decide not to respond to the complaint?
Your input is important to determine whether the complaint is valid. If you do not respond, the case will proceed to investigation.
Am I being sued by the Attorney General?
No. Arizona law requires the Office of the Attorney General to investigate complaints alleging failure to comply with AzDA. The ACRD conducts these investigations. If you have been sued by a private party related to this complaint, you will have been served with a document filed with a court. The Attorney General’s procedure and duties can be found below at the question “What is the procedure for my case.
Should I hire an attorney?
You may hire an attorney if you wish. For information on attorneys in Arizona, please visit azbar.org.
What is the procedure for my case?
The procedure for these cases is set by law at A.R.S. § 41-1492.09 and in the Arizona Administrative Code at R10-3-401 through R10-3-412. Under Arizona law, the ACRD must investigate AzDA complaints. The ACRD considers the information in the complaint and the response (the position statement described above), visits the site for a compliance review, and conducts interviews. The ACRD may issue subpoenas to gather information if it is not voluntarily provided. If the ACRD finds reasonable cause exists to believe AzDA is being violated, it will make that finding in writing and provide it to the parties. After that finding, the law requires that the ACRD attempt to conciliate the case for not more than 30 days. Conciliation is an attempt to resolve the case through terms accepted by the complaining party, the respondent (the party responsible for the entity where the violation occurred), and the ACRD. If the conciliation attempt fails, the ACRD must file a law suit. If the ACRD does not find reasonable cause exists to believe a violation of AzDA has occurred or is about to occur, the ACRD must dismiss the complaint and inform the parties of the dismissal. A private party may file a lawsuit whether or not the ACRD finds a violation. The private lawsuit may be filed not later than two years after the occurrence or the termination of the alleged discriminatory act or practice.
What is the Office of the Attorney General’s role in my case?
The Arizona Civil Rights Act requires the Office of the Attorney General, through the ACRD, to investigate AzDA complaints. The Attorney General’s procedure and duties are outlined above in the question “What is the procedure for my case.
What if there are errors in the letter/complaint that I received?
If the documents you received contain substantive errors please contact the ACRD at (602) 542-5263, toll free (877) 491-5742, or TDD (602) 542-5002.
I received a notice of dismissal – what does this mean?
A notice of dismissal means the ACRD has completed its investigation of the complaint and will take no further action on the complaint. The complaining party may still seek to pursue legal remedies in court, but the ACRD will not be a party to that lawsuit.
What are the laws related to this case?
Relevant laws include, but are not limited to: the Arizonans With Disabilities Act (AzDA), (A.R.S. § 41-1492, et seq.); the Arizona Administrative Code, Title 10, Chapter 3, Articles 1 & 4, (AAC R10-3-100 to 109; AAC R10-3-401 to 412); the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Title III, Public Accommodations (42 U.S.C. §§ 12181–12189); and the Code of Federal Regulation (28 CFR 36, et seq. and appendices A-F).
What is a public accommodation?
Public accommodations are generally defined as facilities, both public and private, used by the public. Examples include retail stores, rental establishments and service establishments, places of lodging, restaurants and bars, as well as educational institutions, recreational facilities, and service centers. For a full list of public accommodations see A.R.S. § 41-1492 (11). A public accommodation may be referred to as a “covered entity” because the relevant laws “cover” (or apply to) these locations or sites. The public accommodation is the “respondent” in a case where a complaint of a violation of AzDA has been filed with the ACRD.
What is the difference between AzDA and ADA?
The AzDA is an Arizona law enforced by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. The ADA is a federal law. The public accommodations provisions found in Title III of the federal law are enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice. The two laws are substantially similar.
Compliance Dates for New Construction and Alterations
On or after January 26, 1993 and before September 15, 2010
On or after September 15, 2010, and before March 15, 2012
1991 Standards or 2010 Standards
On or after March 15, 2012
If neither construction nor alterations have been undertaken since before January 26, 1993, compliance with 2010 Standards to the extent readily achievable is required.
What are the requirements under AzDA?
The AzDA requirements for parking facilities and elements are the same as the ADA requirements. They depend on whether the 1991 Standards or the 2010 Standards apply. For example:
Under the 1991 Standards, accessible parking signs must be located so they cannot be obscured by a vehicle parked in the spot.
Under the 2010 Standards, accessible parking signs must be at least 60” above the finished floor or ground surface measured to the bottom of the lowest portion of the sign.
Space and access aisle width
Under the 1991 Standards, accessible parking spaces must be at least 96” wide and must have an adjacent access aisle as an accessible route to the building or facility entrance. Access aisles for accessible parking spaces must be at least 60” wide, except for van accessible spaces which require an access aisle of at least 96” wide.
Under the 2010 Standards, accessible parking spaces must be at least 96” wide and have a 60” wide access aisle. Van accessible parking spaces may be either at least 132” wide with a 60” wide minimum access aisle, or the van accessible parking space may be 96” wide with a 96” wide access aisle.
Under the 1991 Standards and the 2010 Standards, two accessible parking spaces may share a common access aisle.
Number of accessible parking spaces
The required minimum number of accessible parking spaces is the same under both the 1991 Standards and the 2010 Standards, and depends on the total number of parking spaces provided. The 2010 Standards clarify that the parking may be provided in lots or structures or both. The minimum required number of accessible spaces under both standards is illustrated by the following chart:
1 to 25
Number of van accessible parking spaces
Under the 1991 Standards, one in eight of the accessible spaces, but not less than one, must be served by an access aisle at least 96” wide and must be designated “van accessible.”
Under the 2010 Standards, for every six accessible spaces or fraction of six parking spaces required by the chart, one space must be a van accessible space.
Under the 1991 Standards, accessible parking spaces must be designated as reserved by a sign showing the symbol of accessibility. Van accessible parking spaces must have an additional “van accessible” sign mounted below the accessibility symbol.
Under the 2010 Standards, accessible car and van parking spaces must be marked and access aisles must be clearly marked. In addition, accessible parking space identification signs must include the International Symbol of Accessibility (shown below), and signs identifying van parking spaces must contain the designation “van accessible.” However, if there are four or fewer total parking spaces on a site, a sign identifying the accessible parking space(s) is not required.
What if I do not own the property?
If you are not the owner, please provide the name and contact information for the owner to the ACRD at (602) 542-5263, toll free (877) 491-5742, or TDD (602) 542-5002. Note that owners, lessees, and operators of places of public accommodation have responsibility under AzDA.
What if I have not made any changes to my parking lot since before March 15, 2012?
If you have not made any changes to your parking lot since before March 15, 2012 and you satisfied either the 1991 Standards or the 2010 Standards (but not just portions of each), you would be in compliance. However, if the parking lot did not comply with the applicable standards when first built and did not come into compliance before March 15, 2012, it needs to be modified to comply with the 2010 Standards to the extent readily achievable.
What if I made changes to my parking lot on or after March 15, 2012?
If you made alterations to your parking lot on or after March 15, 2012, it must comply with the 2010 Standards.
What is the ACRD?
The ACRD is a section within the Civil Litigation Division of the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Arizona. The ACRD enforces Arizona’s Civil Rights statutes, including the Arizona Civil Rights Act, the Arizona Fair Housing Act, the Arizona Voting Rights Act, and the Arizonans with Disabilities Act. Specifically, the ACRD takes complaints from individuals claiming to have been harmed by a violation of any of these statutes, investigates the alleged violation, endeavors to resolve any violations through conciliation and, when necessary, commences litigation to seek remedies for aggrieved individuals and to ensure compliance with the law.
What is a Compliance Officer?
Compliance Officers take complaints from individuals who believe a violation of Arizona’s Civil Rights statutes has occurred. They investigate all facially valid complaints to determine whether reasonable cause exists to believe a violation has occurred. This is a necessary step before the ACRD files a lawsuit against the alleged violator in Arizona state court.
Who can I call with questions?
After a complaint has been filed and processed, and notice of such has been sent to all parties, you may call the Compliance Officer whose phone number is listed on the Notice of Complaint with any questions. Otherwise, you may call the ACRD at (602) 542-5263, toll free (877) 491-5742, or TDD (602) 542-5002.
I do not have disabled customers or my disabled customers have not complained – do I need to comply with AzDA?
Yes. All public accommodations (see definition discussed in FAQs above) must comply with AzDA regardless of whether it has disabled customers or has received any complaints.
What is the purpose and history of AzDA?
The Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA) of 1992 is the state companion legislation to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Historically, AzDA was enacted to address issues of isolation and segregation of Arizonans who have disabilities.
Where can I find supplies to update my lot to comply with AzDA?
You may find ADA technical assistance materials specifically for businesses and non-profits here. Assess whether your business is in compliance, or what other readily achievable actions you can take, by using the ADA Checklist.
Where can I find additional information on AzDA?
The AzDA’s accessibility code was created to be consistent with the ADA guidelines and standards. The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design may be found here.
Why should I comply with AzDA?
Making your business compliant with AzDA ensures that Arizonans with disabilities can fully participate in our communities – including your business. Moreover, compliance increases your customer base and can bring in a new stream of revenue from individuals with disabilities, their families and friends. Tax credits for small businesses and tax deductions for all businesses are also available for businesses that become more accessible. Failure to comply with AzDA may result in litigation, monetary damages, and civil penalties ranging from $5,000 for a first violation to $10,000 for subsequent violations.