The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) says that people with disabilities have the right to visit the same public places as people without disabilities. This includes amusement parks, zoos, and other places of recreation.
It is against the law for someone to say you cannot visit a public place just because you have a disability. This is discrimination.
Sometimes, there may be rules that help keep all people safe. All of the rules must be applied to everyone in the same way. No one can tell you that you cannot do something (such as go on a ride) unless there are real risks involved. No one should assume things about you because you have a disability.
You have the right to a reasonable accommodation if you need one. For example:
- Service animals. If you have an animal that is trained to help you, you are allowed to have that animal with you. No one can ask you for paperwork. They are only allowed to ask you if you need your animal because of a disability and to ask you what things your animal does for you.
- Personal assistance services. If you need a person to be with you to help you because of your disability, you should ask for a reasonable accommodation. An example of a reasonable accommodation is not making you pay any extra money to have someone with you. Each person is different and has different needs. Staff should listen to what your needs are and work with you to make sure you have the help you need.
If you use a manual or power wheelchair or scooter, you have the right to use it in all areas where others are allowed to go. In many cases, people who use wheelchairs should be able to access areas where people without disabilities can go, like bathrooms, parking lots, stores, and food lines.
New buildings should be built to allow people with disabilities to use them. Old buildings may have to be changed so people with disabilities can use them. If it is easy for an older building to be changed, they must change it to allow people with disabilities to use it. Concerts, plays, sports games and other events should have seats set aside for people who need them and their guests.
You have the right to effective communication. Effective communication means that you have access to the same information as people who do not have disabilities. If you need help talking to people or reading information, you should ask for help. Depending on what you need and how much it costs, they should help you. Examples of things that they may provide include Braille or large print writing, audio recordings or assistive listening devices, and closed captioning. But sometimes information simply needs to be provided in a way that is easier to understand.
If you have a question about your rights, you can call Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) at 800-282-9181 and press 2 for the Intake Department. DRO can give you information about your ights and help answer your questions.