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MONTPELIER, Vt. — A group of Vermont government agencies are teaming up with the Vermont Petroleum Association, Champlain Oil Co., American Petroleum Institute and the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association in an effort to raise awareness about the specific requirements that gas stations have toward individuals with mobility impairments as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The effort, spearheaded by the Vermont Human Rights Commission, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Agency of Agriculture, the Agency of Natural Resources and Department of Aging and Independent Living is going on now in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the ADA.
Title III of the ADA prohibits a public accommodation from denying an individual or class of individuals, on the basis of disability, the opportunity to participate in or benefit from the goods, services, facilities of accommodations of an entity.
In order to comply with the ADA and Vermont law, entities that sell gasoline must, among other things:
- Pump gas for the individual with a plate or parking card, provided more than one staff person is on duty at the time;
- Charge that individual the same self-service price available to patrons who pump their own gas;
- Prominently display the international symbol of accessibility and provide a means for individuals with disabilities to communicate the need for assistance either through a call button on the fuel dispenser, signage with a telephone number to call and/or signage indicating that individuals with disabilities may honk their horn for assistance. Signage must comply with ADA font size requirements.
“This is really about equal rights and ensuring that all Vermonters have access to an essential service,” said Jim Harrison, executive director of the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association. “This is not a matter of hostility or indifference. Gas stations simply need information about their responsibilities.”
In order to assist gas stations in complying, the Vermont Petroleum Association and Vermont Retail & Grocers Association have printed decals that can be placed on gas station pumps, as well as a Frequently Asked Questions flyer and information about how to obtain the decals.