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Are model homes places of public accommodation? Generally, no.

A model
home does not fall under one of the 12 categories of places of public
accommodation. If however, the sales office for a residential housing
development were located in a model home, the are used for the sales office
would be considered a place of public accommodation. Although model homes are
not covered, the Department encourages developers to voluntarily provide at
least a minimal level of access to model homes for potential homebuyers with
disabilities. For example, a developer could provide physical access (via
ramp or lift) to the primary level of one of several model homes and make
photographs of other levels within the home as well as of other models
available to the customer.

III-1.3000 Commercial facilities. The requirements of title III for new


construction and alterations cover commercial facilities, which include
nonresidential facilities, such as office buildings, factories, and
warehouses, whose operations affect commerce. This category sweeps under ADA
coverage a large number of potential places of employment that are not covered
as place of public accommodation. A building may contain both commercial
facilities and places of public accommodation.

III-1.3100 Exceptions. Commercial facilities do not include rail vehicles or


any facility covered by the fair Housing Act. Residential dwelling units,
therefore, are not commercial facilities. In addition, facilities that are
expressly exempted from coverage under the Fair Housing Act are also not
considered to be commercial facilities. For example, owner-occupied rooming
house providing living quarters for four or fewer families, which are exempt
from the Fair Housing Act, would not be commercial facilities.

Even though private air terminals are not considered to be places of public
accommodation, are airports covered as commercial facilities? Yes, private
air terminals are commercial facilities and, therefore, would be subject to
the new construction and alterations requirements of title III. Moreover,
while a private air terminal, itself , may not be a place of public
accommodation (because the ADA statutory language exempts air transportation),
the retail stores and service establishments located within a private airport
would be places of public accommodation. (In addition, private airports that
receive Federal financial assistance are subject to the requirements of
section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination
on the basis of disability in programs and activities of recipients of Federal
funds. Airline operations at private airports may also be subject to the
nondiscrimination requirements of the Air Carrier Access Act.) Air terminals
operated by public entities would be covered by title II of the ADA, not title
III; but any private any private retail stores operated within the terminal
would be places of public accommodation covered by title III.
III-1.4000 Examinations and courses. Private entities offering examinations
or courses covered by title III are subject to the requirements discussed in
III-4.6000 of this manual. If the private entity is also a public
accommodation or has responsibility for a commercial facility, it would be
subject to other applicable title III requirements as well.

III-1.5000 Religious entities. Religious entities are exempt from the


requirements of the title III of the ADA. A religious entity, however, would
be subject to the employment obligations of title I if it has enough employees
to meet the requirements for coverage.

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