If you own an existing commercial development, you may know that you must adhere to requirements set out in the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, you may not know where to start in order to bring your building into compliance.
You need to know that, if you fail to comply with the Act’s requirements, you could face steep fines and litigation. Therefore, you may want to familiarize yourself with what you need to do in order to avoid these eventualities.
Let’s look at some of what’s needed
Of course, you want to make sure that everyone can access your building and its facilities. In order to make that happen for people with disabilities, you will need to consider the following:
- Upgrade company and public bathrooms
- Rearrange furnishings, furniture and other items for more accessibility
- Install accessible hardware on the building’s doors
- Upgrade entrances and exits with curb cuts and ADA compliant ramps on at least 60% of them
- Establish accessible parking
- Install grab bars and railings where applicable
- Expand door frames to accommodate wheelchairs
- Replace any flooring that impedes movement through the building
- Adjust any water fountains for everyone, including those in wheelchairs
These are just some of the upgrades you will need to undertake in order to ensure your building is compliant with the ADA. Of course, many of these upgrades have specific requirements. In order to better understand what you need in order to comply with the law, it would undoubtedly be in your best interests to work with an attorney experienced in helping clients in your position.
If you don’t make the upgrades in time
It may come to your attention that you are not in compliance with a certain ADA requirement when someone serves you with a lawsuit. Regardless of whether the complaint addresses your parking lot, your bathroom or even your company’s website, you will more than likely need assistance. These cases are often complex, and taking your case to trial could cost you in time and money.
It may be possible to work out a resolution in a much more economical manner. It may be as simple as agreeing to make the required upgrades in order to put the building into compliance with the ADA and/or agreeing to a settlement. In order to know the best way forward, you may want to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.