ADA compliance is a must for all businesses that serve the public. However, there are so many different areas that businesses must be compliant in that it can get confusing. To make things easier, this article discusses compliance with regards to wheelchair ramps, bathrooms, warning mats, and handicapped parking spaces. Achieving total compliance can provide your business with numerous benefits. Read on to learn more about keeping your property ADA compliant.
Warning mats are essential for ADA compliance, though they are often overlooked. If your business has a staircase, wheelchair ramp, or escalator, you need to put warning mats at both the top and bottom. These warning mats will make your property much safer for visually impaired people. Not putting warning mats in these places could lead to a fall with serious injuries, which is likely to result in a lawsuit. If your property includes an intersection or a crosswalk, you should also put warning mats there to keep visually impaired people out of traffic.
Handicapped Parking Spaces
Most business owners are familiar with handicapped parking spaces, but some still aren’t. All businesses that have visitors from the general public are required to have at least one handicapped parking space. Depending on the size of the lot, there may need to be multiple handicapped parking spaces. These spaces must be as close to the entrance as possible.
While many businesses are compliant with regulations regarding handicapped parking spaces, non-compliance with wheelchair ramp regulations is more common. Many types of external staircases must have wheelchair ramps that lead to the same place. Older properties built before the ADA became law may be grandfathered in.
One of the most-overlooked places for compliance with the ADA is the bathroom. Everyone knows that a public bathroom must have at least one handicapped stall. However, there are other ADA bathroom regulations. For example, a person in a wheelchair must be able to reach the sink, soap dispenser, and paper towel dispenser or hand dryer. Failure to put all of these items within reach for a person in a wheelchair is one of the most commonly cited violations in ADA lawsuits.
The Benefits of Compliance
There are several benefits that your business can see from compliance. First and foremost, you will not have to worry about getting sued or fined for ADA violations. Secondly, your disabled customers will have a more positive opinion of your business and will be more likely to return. While modifying your property to ensure compliance can be expensive, it will actually provide a financial benefit in the long run.