What is nominal cost?

Service providers do not have to provide reasonable accommodations if that would cost more than a nominal cost.

This is not a fixed sum of money.  It depends on the size of a business and its budget.

Example It could be reasonable for a large department store to provide ramps and lifts to enable wheelchair users, and other people with mobility impairments, to shop there. However, a small local newsagent’s shop might not be able to afford to do the same thing.

The decision about what is reasonable is based on:

  • how much the shop earns
  • if there is a cheaper way of making the shop’s services available to people with mobility impairments.

Service providers must provide reasonable accommodations. If a service provider does not provide a reasonable accommodation, it is up to them to prove that providing the reasonable accommodation would cost more than a nominal cost.  A service provider can provide reasonable accommodation even if it gives rise to a more than nominal cost.

In fact, many forms of reasonable accommodations are just part of good customer service and cost nothing, for example, guiding a visually impaired person through a complex hospital building.  Others cost very little, for example, providing information in large print.

Do you think that you been refused, or are being refused access to goods or services because the service provider did not or is not providing you with reasonable accommodation?