ADA accessibility can seem like a vague and confusing term. In its most general form, it means ensuring that those with disabilities have free and full access to the same programs, services, and areas as those without disabilities do, and without discrimination. Today, we’ll look more deeply into the definition, requirements, and benefits of accessibility and compliance.
What Does Accessibility Mean?
When a business or organization is ADA accessible, it means that their building, grounds, or area of operation has certain features in place that allow individuals with disabilities to safely use and navigate them.
What Is ADA Compliance?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), published in 2010 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) contains the requirements for new and existing buildings, public transit, and certain public entities to make specific accommodations for disabled individuals. All of the entities covered by the ADA must comply with the accessibility guidelines provided under the following titles:
Title I – Employment in all aspects, including interviewing and work site modifications
Title II – Public Services provided by state and local governments, such as public transportation
Title III – Public Accommodations, such as retail stores, restaurants, and hotels
The act also includes requirements for telecommunications services and miscellaneous provisions.
Who Has to Be Compliant, and to What Extent?
The ADA requires several entities to make accommodations for people with disabilities. These entities include:
- Small private business owners that employ 15 full-time workers or more for a minimum of 20 weeks each year
- Public businesses that fall under federal law, including banks, schools, and recreation venues
- New construction
- Existing buildings
The act requires businesses and new and existing buildings to make what’s called “reasonable accommodations” to make their locations accessible to those with disabilities. “Reasonable” refers to the financial costs to make a location accessible. The act states that as long as the cost of an accommodation doesn’t result in undue financial hardship, it is considered to be reasonable.
How ADA Accessibility Benefits People with Disabilities
Under its five titles, the act prohibits discrimination against anyone with a disability. It also provides anyone who believes they’ve been discriminated against on the basis of their disability guidance on filing a complaint with those enforcing the act under its respective titles.
The accessibility standards outlined in the act preserve the rights of disabled people to access and enjoy all areas of public life while providing consequences for those who do not meet these accessibility requirements.
The act also includes standards for accessible design, which provide specific measurements in terms of doorway widths, degrees of incline for ramps, and similar accommodations. These standards both serve to educate businesses and other entities on items that can prevent access by disabled persons and eliminate guesswork by providing clear and concise direction for how they should be implemented.
This direction makes it easier for business and other owners to achieve compliance. Because the 2010 ADA standards for accessible design are more easily implemented, those with disabilities are able to enjoy safe access to a higher number of locations in a timely manner.
Helping Businesses Achieve ADA Compliance
As a leading detectable warning surface system manufacturer, ADA Solutions is committed to assisting its clients with making their locations accessible to people with disabilities.
We manufacture all of our tiles and warning panels in our own ISO 9002 facility, allowing us to oversee each stage of testing and quality control. Whether you’re a contractor or business owner, tactile system products from ADA Solutions can meet all of your needs. Discover more by exploring our website.