You have done your best to make sure that your business is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, (ADA). You want to make sure that everyone has the ability to access your company and you don’t want anyone to feel like they’re being discriminated against or marginalized. Plus, you understand that it is often the law and you want to be in compliance with it.
One thing you need to remember is that something you thought was compliant or accessible may actually be not to the extent required by the law. You must be sure to get everything right or you could find yourself facing lawsuits.
The slope of a ramp
Take, for example, the slope that is required when you install a ramp. It is important to have these access ramps so that those who use wheelchairs are still able to reach the doors to your building.
Some ramps need to have a slope that does not exceed 8.33 percent. This is known as a 1:12 ratio. Handrails on both sides of the ramp may also be required in some cases. Other ramps may be allowed a greater slope.
So, it’s not just installing the ramp that matters. If you put the ramp in and it has a 10 percent slope, you may think that you’ve done everything you need to do and your business may appear upon first visual inspection to have all of the components that it needs. But the fact of the matter is that that ramp may be too steep (depending on the type of ramp), and that could prove hazardous. It may even be impossible to use as intended. Ramps to allow access to a walkway from a parking lot, for example, may not need handrails, but a ramp that has too great a slope servicing the entrance to a building may be required to have the handrails. That’s why you should always obtain the best legal counsel on these matters, otherwise, you may find that technically, your business is in violation of the ADA.
Are you facing a lawsuit?
If you are facing a lawsuit based on an ADA claim, make sure you are well aware of all of your legal options. This is especially true if you believe your business is compliant and that the lawsuit has no basis.