Social consciousness is on the rise daily, and the safety, welfare, and rights of minority groups are a great priority for a business. Gender and racial equality have recently received exposure in the media. However, individuals with disabilities should not be forgotten and must be given equal rights and protected, especially in public places. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created in 1990 and served to protect disabled persons from being discriminated against based on their inabilities. This act covers disabilities that can limit a person from participating in major life activities. These include an impairment that has to do with seeing, walking, speaking, hearing, and performing manual tasks. People with any of these protected disabilities and protected by the law against discrimination. The law applies not only to employer/employee relationships but also to agents, patrons, contractors, and many more. Due to this, it is essential for business owners or landlords of commercial buildings to ensure their property is ADA compliant.
People often make the mistake of thinking that the ADA law is only required for new or older buildings. However, buildings that were standing before the recent ADA law are not exempted from compliance. If your business isn’t ADA compliant, you are at risk of litigation and may need to renovate your building to fit ADA standards. For instance, you may have to get rid of ledges or steps that could limit people in wheelchairs. Here is a helpful list to ensure your commercial property is accessible.
To ensure accessibility, you must remove barriers that will limit a disabled individual. ADA urges that commercial buildings or business owners provide an easily accessible entrance for disabled persons. It would help if you created an accessibility construction inspection checklist with the help of a CASP who will draw up an accurate CASP inspection report. The building’s exterior and interior must have an ADA-accessible entrance and signage for easy direction.
You must ensure that at least one male and female restroom is accessible for those with disabilities. There should be a simple and clear sign directing those with disabilities to ADA-compliant restrooms. The doors should be automatic and open wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and the like.
This simply means that every area on your property meant for the public must be ADA-approved and open to those with disabilities. For instance, public telephones, public outlets, fire alarms, and charging areas.
This means that all users and members of the public, including the disabled, should be offered equal access to goods and services.