ADA Compliance Issues: Whether you’re a business owner, manager, architect, building owner, or tenant, there are some key ADA compliance issues that all businesses should avoid.
As the ADA is constantly evolving and expanding to more states across the country over time, it’s become increasingly important for business owners to be aware of these issues so they can avoid legal troubles down the road. Here are five of the most common ADA compliance mistakes to avoid.
Importantly, you are required to have accessible ground transportation on-site for nearly all your employees. If your employees must travel off-site to the job site, the ADA requires that you provide them with accessible ground transportation.
You should also have an accessible means of getting back on-site for employees who must leave at the end of the day. In most cases, the most direct route between the sites is not necessarily the best.
Employers must instead ensure that they have a variety of accessible transportation options available. Employers should train their managers and supervisors to understand when accessible transportation is required.
The ADA requires that businesses post symbols or signs at all entrances, including loading docks, to indicate which entrances are accessible. Typically a brown “wheelchair” symbol will be visible at the accessible entrances.
You may also need to post symbols at the bottoms of steps to indicate that the step is not accessible. If you are unsure whether an entrance is wheelchair accessible, you should err on caution and err on the side of caution.
Parking garages are required to be accessible, though it depends on the size. Typically, you will need to provide accessible parking at least as large as the number of employees that would normally be using it.
If you are unsure, call your state’s ADA office for more information. According to AudioEye, ADA requires that parking must be accessible as well as passenger loading zones. ADA defines a passenger loading zone as “a public way used for the customary loading and unloading of people, their baggage, and property.”
It is important to note that you can satisfy this requirement by providing a lift truck service where all employees can load and unload without physically climbing the curb.
Restrooms are required to be “readily accessible” to people using mobility devices. If you have multiple restrooms in a semi-public or public area, you need to have one accessible restroom for every three public restrooms.
You need to also have at least one accessible restroom in every other space where employees might use the restroom, including conference rooms, break rooms and other common areas. You should consider this a “one-in, one-out” rule.
If you have more employees using the restroom than usual, you must make one of those restrooms accessible.
If you are unsure whether your business is ADA compliant, it’s a good idea to conduct a web accessibility checker to ensure that people with disabilities can navigate your business just as easily as everyone else.
You can hire a professional to do this for you, or you can take the DIY approach and use your smartphone or a tape measure to assess your space. Just because you have several employees who use wheelchairs doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check your accessible features.
Remember that it’s not just about the walkway because sometimes, people with mobility disabilities cannot enter the building due to missing or broken safety rails. You must ensure that any safety concerns have been dealt with before moving forward.
As a business owner, it’s important to understand your legal obligations regarding the ADA. In addition to ensuring that your business is accessible, you should also make sure you don’t violate any other provisions in the law when it comes to hiring or firing employees.
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