Running a business comes with a multitude of responsibilities, one of which is ensuring accessibility for all customers. The Americans with Disabilities Act sets the standard for this, but many businesses unknowingly violate these regulations despite their importance.
Understanding common ADA violations can help you proactively address them and make your business more accessible.
1. Improper parking facilities
One of the first things a customer notices is the parking area. ADA requires specific numbers of accessible parking spots based on the total size of the lot. These spots should be closest to the entrance and marked. They also need to be wide enough to accommodate wheelchair vans. Failing to meet these standards is a common violation and can deter customers from entering your establishment.
2. Inaccessible entrances and paths
Getting from the parking lot to the inside of the business should be a seamless experience for everyone, including those with disabilities. Yet, steps without handrails, steep ramps or narrow pathways can make this difficult. Making sure your entryways are wide enough and free of obstacles is crucial. Providing an alternative, like a ramp or lift, is necessary if you have stairs.
3. Restroom inadequacies
An accessible restroom is more than just a wider stall. Grab bars, accessible faucet handles and lowered sinks are also requirements. Many businesses overlook these details, making it difficult for those with disabilities to use the facilities comfortably.
4. Lack of staff training
Often, ADA violations occur not out of neglect but out of ignorance. Staff may not be aware of accessibility features or how to use them. For example, if you have an adjustable sales counter, employees should know how to operate it. Training staff about ADA compliance and how to assist customers with disabilities is a must.
Fixing these common violations doesn’t just make your business more accessible, it can expand your customer base. Plus, the more accessible you are, the less likely you are to have to worry about ADA lawsuits.