5 Ways to Make Your Business ADA Compliant

Making a facility ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant has been a fundamental requirement since 1990 for the protection of rights of people with disabilities. It outlines the necessary protocols that business owners must adhere to for easy accessibility of individuals with disabilities. The need for workplace accessibility has become ever so crucial from ethical and legal standpoints as well.

Whether it’s a new facility that’s under construction or you’re renovating the existing one, you don’t have to spend thousands on making the entire structure ADA compliant. Just work on these five easy and cost-effective area to make your business more accessible:

#1. Eliminate Architectural Barriers

Identify both internal and external architectural barriers that restrict a disabled person from reaching your business. Make space for an accessible ramp, wheelchair-friendly entryways, doors or elevators, and designated parking spots to accommodate visitors with disabilities. Also, assess alternative ways if removing structural barriers doesn’t seem reasonable.

#2. Use Comfortable Furniture

ADA mandates having furniture, especially tables and desks that are at a standard height and allow plenty of space underneath so the person with a wheelchair or crutches does not bump their legs or knees. Having customized and even electronic or touch adjustments enhances flexibility for all kinds of users.

#3. Update The Signage

Displaying ADA signs is one of the most prominent ways of communicating more effectively with the disabled. Remember to keep the fonts large and clear, include braille lettering, and use non-discriminatory language. Ensure that the positioning, location, legitimacy, and the finishing comply with 703 ADA sign standards. These symbols must also be centered at least 5 feet above the ground and 6 inches away on the doors’ strike side. You can consult an ADA expert to discuss what your ADA signs must follow or invest in readily available ADA approved signage. 

#4. Upgrade Restrooms

Take steps to install ADA compliant safety rails, address the height of bathroom accessories, and accommodate more space for a disabled person to use the area comfortably. You can also combine two stalls into one or create a single unisex lavatory with an additional ADA compliant stall.

#5. Install Fixtures Appropriately

Make sure that when a person with a disability visits your facility, they must be able to access the elevator buttons, door handles, water fountains, telephones, and shelving counters, etc. Here again, ADA signs come into use as these can better illustrate the route and symbols of accessibility.

ADA compliance may sound like a complex code of standards, but it’s a lot simpler and the best you can do for your business. Most accommodations involve minor modifications to the physical work environment, but they make a huge difference in facilitating better accessibility for your business and your customers and employees with disabilities. So keep yourself well informed on these regulations and stay ahead in this dynamic business environment.

Photo by Mike Gil

Annika Bansal

Annika "The Chick Geek" is the founder of AnnikaBansal.com. Small Business Sense shares small business ideas, tips and resources for independent Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners.