For nearly a quarter century, millions of Americans have enjoyed the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act or the ADA, which was signed by President George H. Bush in 1991.

Since the enactment of the monumental civil rights legislation, it has changed the way customers and businesses interact – for the better. Customers and employees now have certain protections that they didn't have a generation ago.

So, how does the ADA impact the way we buy or sell coffee?

Certainly, the ADA has impacted everything from the design of coffee shops to the hiring of employees to how we think about service. As a part of a continuing series on the coffee business, I wanted to delve a little deeper – and provide a little support to new and veteran coffee shop owners who may still have more questions than answers.

There is no question that the ADA impacts everything from accessing coffee shops and restaurants to hiring employees. Such discussions I find are important for all people who care about the health of our civil rights and access for everyone to play a part in the coffee scene.

In this latest interview, I speak to two very dedicated individuals who work at the Northwest ADA center and who work hard educate and help people with disabilities and business owners and organizations.

MichaelRichardsonMichael Richardson, is the Project Co-Director. “He provides technical assistance, continuing education and technical consultation services related to compliance of facility and public rights-of-way with accessibility provisions of the ADA and other related federal and state requirements for professionals, businesses, state and local government agencies and consumers.” (from



MirandaWeb_2013Miranda Levy, is a training and informational specialist. “As a training and information specialist, Miranda provides answers to questions about service animals; employment and reasonable accommodation; accessible medical equipment; and disability language and etiquette; and presents trainings on similar topics.” (from




Listen to the interview here:

More About the Northwest ADA Center:

NWADA CenterThe Northwest ADA Center is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), and is part of the ADA National Network. The ADA National Network Centers are a national platform of ten centers comprised of ADA professionals and experts charged with assisting businesses, state and local governments, and people with disabilities as they manage the process of changing our culture to be user friendly to disability and the effect the variety of health conditions can have on society.

As the ADA Information Center in Region 10, the Northwest ADA Center has aggressively staffed its project with professionals familiar with disability, rehabilitation, rehab engineering, special education, the built environment, accessibility to buildings and electronic accessibility, civil rights law, and business. The regional advisory committee and our state affiliates are premier leaders in ADA compliance in each of the states served–Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. (Source: