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About your rights in public places

If you are a person with a disability, you have certain rights in accessing public places.

Public accommodations such as:

  • Restaurants
  • Retail stores
  • Parks
  • Day care centers 
  • Homeless shelters

May not discriminate based on disability. Public accommodations must make reasonable changes to its policies, practices and procedures, to enable a person with a disability full and equal access to all of the activities, programs and services they offer, unless the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods or services, or cause an “undue burden.”

Physical barriers in existing facilities must be removed if readily possible. 

People using service animals must be allowed equal access. 

Effective communication must be ensured with persons who are deaf, hard of hearing and blind or who have cognitive disabilities through provision of auxiliary aids and services.

If you have any complaints about discriminatory acts, you must file them:

  • Within 180 of the alleged discriminatory act with the U.S. Department of Justice, or 
  • Within 300 days with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.