The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The ADA is civil rights legislation prohibiting discrimination and guaranteeing people with disabilities the same opportunities as everyone else. The guidelines help ensure that anyone with a disability can enjoy the same employment opportunities, shop hassle-free, and freely participate in any state or local government programs and services. Essentially, the ADA is an equal opportunity law put in place for people with disabilities.
If you are opening a new business that caters to the public and has over 15 employees, you will need to follow ADA guidelines when designing your floor plan. It is against the law to ignore these guidelines. The ADA website has a list of the exact measurements and the standards, when installing accessible equipment. To help you get your business ADA compliant, we have compiled a helpful checklist to get you started.
ADA Checklist (Not to be Confused with Your ADA Compliant Booklet)
How Large is your Entrance?
Ensure your doorways are wide enough that wheelchairs or other mobility devices can enter comfortably. Also, make sure that there are access doors in place.
Are Your Aisles Obstacle Free?
Ask yourself if it will be challenging for anyone with a mobility device to navigate the aisles or reach the shelves? Is it easy for them to get around? Will they feel embarrassed trying to maneuver around tables or chairs scattered around corridors or hallways?
Are your Bathrooms Easily Accessible?
Even if you only have one stall, make sure the stall is wide enough that a mobility device can maneuver. Additionally, it is essential to have grab bars and an outward swinging door. Grab bars can allow for a safe transfer from a mobility device to the toilet. Other modifications such as a wall-mounted or pedestal sink are ideal for wheelchair accessibility, giving full use of the sink.
Again, make sure to obtain a copy of the current ADA standards and review these in detail to see which ones apply to your business.
At Next Day Access, the accessibility experts can help you get your business ADA compliant. Whether you need wheelchair ramps or need to make sure your doorways are up to code, we can help you out. We also specialize in home modification products and have an assortment of mobility devices. Contact us today to schedule an in-home consultation.