\u201cTasting rooms or other public facilities must naturally meet current ADA requirements,\u201d says Rob Kowal, a longtime winemaker.\r\n\r\nADA, which stands for the Americans with Disability Act, provides regulations to ensure public spaces are accessible to those with disabilities. Unfortunately, ADA standards not always enforced.\r\n\r\n\u201cTours through the cellar, barrel room or vineyard will often present impassable accessibility obstacles,\u201d Kowal says.\r\n\r\nHere\u2019s how some wineries are changing that.\r\n\r\n\r\nThinking Ahead\r\n\u201c[Accessibility] is part of our local culture, and it is also consistent with the values of the King family\u2014 values of respect for others and inclusivity,\u201d says Jenny Ulum, senior director of communications at King Estate Winery in Oregon.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe are in the hospitality business and we want everyone to feel welcome at King Estate. After all, most of us are\u2026 temporarily able-bodied.\u201d\r\n\r\nKing Estate Winery has accessible bathrooms and a lower counter at their tasting bar. Ulum is quick to note that they\u2019ve worked hard to make the entire estate accessible, incorporating ramps, improved single-function locks, grab bars, curb markings and additional accessible parking at their visitors center.\r\n\r\nShe says the business has also identified areas where they may evolve in the future, like adding automatic door openers and a lowered host stand.\r\nImproving Digital Access\r\nOf course, sometimes wineries may not even know they are inaccessible to disabled guests until it\u2019s brought to their attention.\r\n\r\nFox Run Vineyards in the Finger Lakes is owned and run by Scott Osborn and his wife, Ruth. They worked with a disability organization to get their tasting room up to standards with wheelchair ramps, a low bar and high tables that wheelchairs can fit beneath.\r\n\r\nThey\u2019ve since added an elevator and created a variety of channels for guests to contact the winery. They see to disabled employees\u2019 needs in a number of ways, too, from making accommodations in their duties to working with a job coach.\r\n\r\nHowever, a lawsuit focused specifically on their website was brought against them in early 2019.\r\n\r\n\u201cThat experience made us realize that our interaction with people had a much greater reach than just the building where people visited us,\u201d says Scott. \u201cNow consumers interact with our business in different ways, such as online and through social media, and we have to make sure that we continue to think about accessibility as our business evolves.\u201d\r\n\r\nKelli Shaffner, the vineyard\u2019s marketing and communications manager, and Jessica Worden, the office manager, put in more than 200 hours making the website compatible with screen readers.\u00a0The team now stays in touch with the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester, NY, and encourages other business owners to work with their local disability organizations, too.