As a business owner, it is important that you accommodate all your employees and customers – especially those who are disabled. And the best way to achieve this is to ensure that your business is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law is meant to ensure that businesses serving the general public do not intentionally or otherwise discriminate against individuals who are mentally or physically impaired.
Compliance with the ADA can seem overwhelming at first. However, when broken down, this law is not as complex as it seems. To help ensure that your business is started on the right foot, there are three things you need to know about ADA.
ADA compliance goes beyond delivering physical and technical accommodations
There is no doubt that adding transcripts to your website and having wheelchair-access ramps to your premises are important. However, alongside these, businesses should also work on putting in place policies and procedures for proper communication for disabled individuals. For instance, if you are running a clothing store that only allows one person in the dressing room at any given time, you will need to modify these rules to take into account customers who might require additional assistance due to their disabilities.
ADA compliance is usually business-specific
Depending on the nature of your business and industry, you will be required to meet specific requirements to be ADA compliant. Businesses that serve the public in any way are required to be ADA compliant.
Failure to comply with ADA can attract a hefty penalty
You can be sued for damages and fined if your lack of ADA compliance causes difficulty for a disabled customer or employee. For instance, if an individual with mobility challenges gets hurt because your business does not have ADA-compliant walkways or surfaces, they could potentially file a premises suit against your business. This is on top of any ADA lawsuit that might be pursued.
Establishing and running a business of any size can be stressful, especially when you are required to keep track of various local, state and federal laws and regulations. The ADA has requirements for businesses of all sizes to ensure that individuals living with disabilities never face discrimination. If you run a small business, it’s wise to find out more.