Trying to meet all the requirements in the 2010 ADA Standards can be convoluted and confusing. Because of the vagueness in some of the wording, business owners are often left guessing at the interpretation. Add in the cost to remove barriers and it can seem insurmountable.
Although it can be overwhelming, accessibility can be reached. The key is being proactive with scheduling and planning.
Barriers do not all have to be removed tomorrow. But, you have to know what your barriers are, and have a plan for how to remove them on your own schedule.
That way, you’ll get to spend your money the way YOU want to spend it – not they way the Department of Justice will require if you are hit with a lawsuit.
For example, one of our clients received a complaint about two parking spaces at just one of their 500+ locations across the nation. When the Department of Justice came knocking at their door, they were forced to bring all of their facilities into 100% compliance within a 3-year period. They spent a lot of money bringing all buildings into compliance in the short timeframe the government required, rather than getting to plan and budget for themselves.
We strongly recommend that businesses be proactive about ADA compliance. It’s really pretty simple if you follow these 4 steps with your licensed architect / ADA consultant:
If you just take one step at a time, and make consistent efforts to follow your plan, you will achieve compliance. Having a plan and getting certification that you are executing your plan will greatly decrease your chance of litigation, and support you in any ADA lawsuit, but you will also find that your customer base will grow. Accessible design serves all customers better. Friends and families of individuals with disabilities will be loyal to your business. Others will notice it feels more open and comfortable to be in your store. This program takes time, but it is well worth the effort.