New York state law requires all buildings to provide access for physically handicapped people, with limited exceptions. Buildings in New York City and elsewhere in the state of New York must provide accessibility routes so people in wheelchairs can enter the building, common areas and parking lots.
Primary Entrance Access
New York State Law 58 says primary entrances to all buildings should be made wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility aids. Handicapped people must be able to access these entrances from the street, driveway or associated parking lots--e.g. the building must have a handicapped-accessible ramp leading from these areas to the entrance. New York only requires these accommodations at primary entrances, not at side or back entrances.
Elevators and Interior Routes
Buildings that contain elevators must have at least one elevator wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs. In addition, interior routes to the laundry room, recreational area, and other common areas must be handicapped-accessible. Restaurants and public buildings must have handicapped-accessible routes to the bathrooms on the main floor. These buildings do not have to have accessibility to upper levels as long as there are accessible bathrooms on the ground floor.
Private single-family or multi-family dwellings do not have to make the dwelling handicapped accessible. Apartment buildings that do not have elevators must make the ground floor handicapped-accessible and must provide handicapped access to parking and the primary entrance, but do not have to make upper floors handicapped accessible.
Jack Ori has been a writer since 2009. He has worked with clients in the legal, financial and nonprofit industries, as well as contributed self-help articles to various publications.