Is you Commercial Property ADA Compliant?
If so – consider hiring a CASp (certified access specialist) to review your property before any potential lawsuit can take place. Often times, business owners are not aware of the potential for lack of handicap compliance requirements and are subjected to potentially $4,000 per lack of access to the property.
Starting with Parking Lot ADA Compliance Requirements
Most property ADA liability begins with a parking lot, as this is the first place customers visit when they are visiting a property. All public parking lots must be reviewed by an ADA Inspector to ensure there is no access issues for disabled people. From the thickness of the stripes, to the bumps in the asphalt, to the signage – each item within the public area must be reviewed to ensure the business owner has the best chances at winning the lawsuit – if ever taken to court.
Public Doorway ADA Compliance Requirements
Similar to any parking lot, all customers eventually enter a doorway. Regardless if they are in a wheelchair or not – the doorway must be accessible to all parties, including the disabled. From the doorway pressure (how tough it is to open the doorway) to the height of the door-handle, to the door-stop – each item must not present an access issue for any disabled person. Typically schools, hotels, restaurants, etc should considering hiring a CASp to review their property for lack of access for the disabled.
Bathroom ADA Consulting Requirements
Bathrooms seem to be the most common item for lawsuits as they are frequently visited by customers when dining out, or visit most other public areas. Smaller buildings often face issues with bathrooms not being big enough for disabled people, specifically those living in wheelchairs as the wheelchair must fit in the space appropriately – and not hinder the disabled person from accessing the public accommodation. Businesses who do not comply with the Americans with Disability Act are subjected to a potential $4,000 per lack of access.
Places an ADA Inspection company looks for when reviewing a property for access issues
- parking lots
- pools / spas
- public seating
- schools and parks
Having a ADA company review your property entirely is an important step in mitigating your risk for a potential lawsuit. CASp often work with architectural designers, ADA construction companies, and other industry affiliates in order to be of service to each customer entirely. Often times it takes a group of specialists to walk a property, review the plans, and construction accessible options for the disabled. Apartment complexes, doctors offices, and mostly any other commercial property in the USA should have had some sort of public accommodation adjustment since 1975 and beyond. Showing proof of hiring a company to review and revise any non-compliant property issues will help out most companies when taken to court. Often times, its the companies who do not understand or know about the ADA requirements, that will suffer and lose potentially $4,000 per lack of access – meaning, if a customer cannot get to a public place because your parking lot blocks them access, that is a potential $4,000 fine, if your handrails are not tall enough to be reached by an disabled person, that is an additional $4,000 per lack of access, if your bathroom is not large enough to accommodate that same customers size wheelchair, this is an additional lack of access fine and subject to scrutiny in a court of law. Showing the company took the best interest of the public and made attempts to fix the lack of access, proves the company is not in fact discriminating, but actually took a proactive role with the issue.