Most products, services and programs must be available to the entire population. Individuals with a disability may rely on a company’s accommodations. However, not all business owners are familiar with legal compliance. It is important to note this is a hot area of litigation and failure to comply can subject a business to a lawsuit.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifies organizational standards for existing facilities and new construction. Familiarize yourself with regulations to understand what changes you need to make for compliance purposes.
Accommodations for public facilities
Physical adaptations can apply to numerous structures and various types of businesses. The company’s design may not provide adequate space.
As such, barrier removal could factor into equal access to:
- Educational institutions
- Social service providers
- Sales and service establishments
- Lodging facilities
- Foodservice locations
- Gathering halls
Updating a business location inevitably requires time and money. Meanwhile, the failure to allow access for individuals with a disability can limit your customer base and hold potential financial ramifications.
Consider what your experience with your facility might be like for someone with a physical disability. If you used a wheelchair, for example, would you be able to:
- Park in a designated flat surface with adequate space for the full function of a platform lift?
- Access the building without navigating stairs or barrier curbs?
- Use the restroom safely and with privacy?
- Maneuver around and between merchandise displays and sales desks?
Local government agencies can help you evaluate any modifications necessary. Meanwhile, remain open to updates that promote the inclusivity of your entire target market and embrace the changes you’ll need to make.