The Americans with Disabilities Act seeks to create equal access for anyone who wants to use a public building, a hotel, a business, or some other type of establishment. Most businesses that serve the public by offering goods or services have to be ADA compliant to provide that level of access, but there can be flexibility in how this is accomplished in some cases.
As you seek to ensure that your business is ADA compliant, you may be worried about facing lawsuits from those who feel that they have been discriminated against or wronged in some way. To avoid this, you want to consider common violations and see if any of them may apply to your company. You may be able to be proactive in your approach and eliminate some of these before they result in a lawsuit.
These are only a few of the more common violations, but there are hundreds of others that need to be considered.
Below are a few of the most common violations, but it’s important to start off by noting that these are not all of the possible violations for your business. This is just a good place to get started by looking at things that are often an issue. But you really do need to understand exactly what is required by law. In any case, here are a few examples:
- The staff does not know about the protocols that are in place under the ADA or what policies they have to follow.
- There is no way to enter or exit the building for someone in a wheelchair.
- There is a wheelchair ramp, but it is the incorrect height, or it doesn’t have the right slope.
- The ADA signage is missing, or the incorrect signs have been hung up.
- The restroom facilities exist, but they don’t have the right fixtures in place or with the correct amount of space at or around the fixtures.
- The building simply does not have enough accessible seating for everyone to use it.
- There are no proper drop-off zones or parking places.
- The parking spaces and the loading area (assess aisle) next to the space are not the right size or is not sufficiently level.
- For businesses that maintain websites, some Courts are not requiring the website to provide modifications to make them accessible to persons who are blind (that use a “screen reader” to read the content of the website) or who have other disabilities.
As you can see, your business may not be ADA compliant even if you’ve attempted to be. Perhaps you bought the building and it didn’t have a wheelchair ramp at all. You knew that was problematic and detrimental to those with disabilities, so you installed one. But the installer put it in at the wrong slope, and you could still be in violation of the law without knowing it.
If you do end up facing a lawsuit, it can be very expensive and there is a lot on the line. It’s absolutely crucial that you understand all of your legal options.