HOW TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS ADA-COMPLIANT
Understanding the obligations you must meet under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) is essential for you as a business owner. It may be challenging to interpret ADA obligations by yourself since there is no list of all the covered disabilities, and the Act doesn’t specifically detail all the accommodations organizations need to make to avoid legal consequences.
What is ADA compliance for companies?
The ADA compliance is the obligation that a business must meet regarding disabled workers and consumers. It requires that all companies do not discriminate against disabled workers or consumers. The Act comes in three titles. The first and the third are within the scope of business which we discuss below.
This section of the ADA is governed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It states that businesses with 15 or more staff should not discriminate against disabled workers and must provide reasonable accommodations for them. So to ensure the business workplace is satisfactory, you need to come up with creative solutions to accommodate disabled workers. For instance, captioning and audio descriptions in video training.
ADA mandates accessibility in virtual environments such as websites. Initially, ADA concerns were mostly related to accommodations like ramps and elevators in physical shops to enable disabled workers and consumers to access the business. But over time, the need for web access has increased. Therefore companies must have in mind the needs of the deaf and blind communities when designing their websites.
Is your business eligible for ADA compliance?
Not all companies are required to comply with ADA regulations. your business must adhere to ADA compliance if:
- Has 15 or more full-time employees.
- Open for business in 20weeks or more a year.
- It is a business entity open to the public, such as restaurants, retail stores, medical offices, entertainment joints, cafes, etc.
- It services the public, for instance, a stadium, public park, school, or rest area.
- It is not in an exempt category such as private membership, religious institutions, or a native American group recognized by the government.
Areas you must address in your workplace
If you have a parking lot on your business premises, it should be accessible to the disabled. That means there should be handicapped parking close enough to your business entrance and wide enough for a wheelchair.
You should also ensure that a wheelchair can navigate through your premises, including the aisles and doorways. The floor plan should have enough wide-spaced, and there aren’t any obstructions. An ADA-approved access tile or detectable warning signs are necessary.
People in wheelchairs and walking aids must be able to access the entrance to your business premises for you to be ADA compliant. For instance, if the door is not on a ground level, there should be a stairlift, ramp, or elevator.
If your business has more than 15staff or is open to the public, there must be an ADA compliant restroom. The door should be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, and the stall fitted with handrails. There should also be one sink that is wheelchair accessible.
It is best to consult with a competent ADA lawyer or expert to ensure your business is ADA compliant.