One of the most important issues for commercial property owners to be aware of is ADA compliance. The Americans with Disabilities Act was established to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities. It includes a variety of regulations that seek to ensure public facilities are accessible to everyone. These are five of the most common ADA compliance violations.
1. Inaccessible Entrances
Being unable to enter or exit a facility is one of the most serious ADA violations. To comply with this regulation, property owners must provide accommodations, such as ramps, accessible curbs, doors that are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and automatic door features, such as buttons that can be pressed by hand. Part of your automated door safety compliance efforts should include ensuring your automated doors are ADA compliant.
2. Inaccessible Bathrooms
The doors for restroom facilities generally must meet the same requirements as those for entryways. Additionally, there must be at least one wheelchair-accessible stall. These stalls should not only be large enough to accommodate a wheelchair user but include a toilet of the correct height and safety rails.
3. Service Dog Refusals
Pet owners who falsely claim that their pets are service dogs can be a source of frustration for business owners. However, the ADA requires all businesses to allow a service animal to accompany its owner and you can not require that person to show proof. While you may ask if an animal is a service dog and what it is trained to do, you may not ask the person what their disability is.
4. Store Aisles Too Narrow or Cluttered
The ADA requires aisles to be at least 36 inches wide so that people in wheelchairs can navigate them. Unfortunately, many stores ignore this requirement or stack displays and other objects in the aisles, making them difficult to pass through.
5. Lack of Van Accessible Parking
All businesses are required to have one or more parking spots for accessible vans. These spots should be clearly marked, including the crosshatched area for the ramp. Failure to include this parking area can lead to users of these vans being unable to access their ramp because of getting blocked in by other cars.
Ensuring that your business stays compliant with the ADA will help you avoid potential fines or lawsuits and make your business more accessible to your guests. For more information about these and other regulations, visit the ADA.gov website.