The Americans with Disability Act provides regulations for businesses to provide reasonable accommodations for workers and consumers with disabilities. The last thing you would want is a lawsuit from an employee or customer citing discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Other than that, being ADA compliant is also advantageous for your business because it makes customers and workers with disabilities feel welcome and accommodated in your company.
As such, you should take your time to read and understand the ADA requirements or consult with professionals such as ADA experts and lawyers to ensure your business is ADA compliant. That said, here are some of the things you can do to ensure your business is ADA-friendly.
Rectify your business’s architectural barriers
Title three of the ADA mandates that all buildings in your business should be accessible to people with disabilities. You have to ensure that the entrances and doorways are accessible to wheelchair users and other walking aids. If there are steps leading to your business premises, they should be accessible to disabled individuals through a ramp or elevator.
Your business premises should have ADA-compliant surface tiles for supporting the safety of disabled workers and customers. You should also have a wheelchair-accessible parking lot of you provide parking for your customers. Therefore you need to look at your building and see where there are issues to make modifications. If you are unsure about anything, you should consult with an ADA expert.
Check if the are other alternative ways to provide business access to the disabled.
In some cases, it might be hard and costly to make architectural modifications to your business premises. In that case, you should examine other ways disabled individuals can access your business. For instance, if a cafe cannot modify the building, it can provide delivery services to disabled customers. However, you should advertise these alternative ways to ensure the disabled community is aware.
Train your employees on how to serve disabled customers
Employee awareness is also another way to ensure your business is ADA-friendly. Train your staff on how to help customers with disabilities. For instance, how to assist blind individuals in accessing the built environment. or recognizing when to help a person in a wheelchair retrieve an out of reach product. That greatly enhances the experience of disabled individuals when interacting with your company.
Ensure your signage is ADA compliant
Signage is one of the essentials of ADA compliance. The fonts should be large and readable from a distance; the terminology should be nondiscriminatory and include braille letterings.
Make it clear you welcome service animals.
ADA recognizes dogs as service animals, so you should make it clear you welcome service animals. Under the ADA, one is not allowed to ask what the disability is. But if your employees are unsure if the dog is a service animal or not, they can legally ask two questions: what has the animal been trained to do, or is it required because of a disability?
A key takeaway
You can consult with ADA professionals to ensure your business is ADA friendly.