–by Clara Rose
ADA compliance changes are coming; most businesses are already aware of this fact and have at least started talking about how it will affect them. The question is – how painful and complicated will this process be?
Step 1 – Get educated about the basics
A good way to start down the road to ADA compliance is with good educational resources. The U.S. Department of Justice, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) website (www.ada.gov) and the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website (www.eeoc.gov), both have vast amounts of educational information.
There are almost 1,000 new technical regulations to read and understand which can be somewhat overwhelming. Thankfully, the Department of Justice (DOJ) offers a technical assistance program that provides free information and technical assistance.
The DOJ offers a full range of publications to explain the laws, including a series of question and answer publications. Be aware that unless noted, the publications currently available on these web sites have not yet been updated to reflect the newest changes.
Step 2 – Consult with a professional for the details
In addition to the DOJ technical assistance there are a number of professionals that specialize in ADA compliance issues and remediation, who also offer an ADA compliance survey which will help you identify any deficiencies.
The official 257 page document; The 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, can be found on the Department of Justice ADA website, along with the 170 page document entitled “Guidance on 2010 Standards”. While these guides are great resources, a consultation with a technical assistance specialist or an ADA compliance specialist and an ADA Survey might be the best course of action for some peace of mind. When in doubt, bring in the professionals to assist with this process.
Step 3 – Create a plan to become compliant
As with most endeavors, a solid plan of action makes any daunting task seem much more achievable. Having an understanding of any deficiencies is a reasonable place to start when creating a compliance plan. The amount of remediation necessary and the associated costs, will of course determine if there is a need for a phased plan.
The good news is – properties and businesses are not expected to become ADA compliant overnight; rather, they are encouraged to evaluate their facilities and create long-term plans for barrier removal and compliance. The goal of the DOJ is to ensure that everyone – regardless of their different abilities – has an equal opportunity to enjoy services and facilities… not to cause distress or hardship to businesses.
Easy as 1-2-3
With nearly a quarter of the U.S. population looking for accessible places to stay or vacation – the hospitality industry can greatly benefit from being ADA compliant.
ADA compliance benefits both the business and the consumer – and it need not be painful or complicated to achieve – it’s as easy as 1-2-3.
- Get educated about the basics
- Consult with a professional for the details
- Create a plan to become compliant
Compliance changes are inevitable, they can be complicated and overwhelming or with a few simple steps and some professional advice –– ADA compliance can be made easy.
Clara Rose is the Executive Director of Communications for FARROW Commercial Construction and the Executive Director of Operations for ADAF --– the first company to offer an ADA Friendly rating system for the hospitality industry. Clara is also The Resort Industry Examiner for Examiner.com, editor of The FARROW Report, editor of The FARROW Connection, an Expert Author for EzineArticles.com, a contributor for the Yahoo Contributors Network and a contributing editor for Hotel Business Review.
Phone: (727) 329-8463
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