Many business owners are unaware of the thousands of possible accessibility barriers that can occur. Fortunately, many of them are simple and easy to address with little time or cost. Here are six tips from Yours Truly Accessibility that can greatly reduce your liability in minutes.
|Missing ISA Sign on Storefront
All business entrances are required to have an ISA logo (International Symbol of Access) displayed in contrasting colors. There is no “certification” required to post this on your front window. Placement of this can be anywhere near or on the entrance door. Be sure not to place this sign where the sign will blend in with the surrounding surface! That defeats the purpose of having the sign.
|Disabled Parking Sign Not Filled In (Or just missing)
This sign should be filled in and present at every entrance of the parking with the relevant information regarding disabled parking (telephone number and the location or entity where the car is kept… usually this is the police station). This is one of the most common missing signs in parking lots, and is necessary to prevent disabled parking from being unfairly occupied.
|Unsecured Floor Mats
Unsecured floor mats, while tidy, are also a source of trips and falls by people using walkers and canes, especially if they tend to shuffle their feet. These should be attached to the ground with industrial-strength adhesive to avoid bunching up, or simply removed to eliminate liability.
|Mirrors Placed Too High
The key here is ‘equal access.’ If restroom mirrors are placed too high (over 40 inches from floor to bottom edge), they are considered discriminatory. Either remounting a mirror (just one is enough) to the correct height or removing all mirrors solves this problem.
|Unwrapped Hot Water Pipes
Most people are unaware of how hot pipes can become after hot water has been running through them. Even worse, diabetics and paraplegics in wheelchairs may be unable to feel scalding burns from unwrapped pipes beneath a sink!
|Non-Lever Doors and Non-Button Locks
Doorknobs and locks that require a grasping, twisting or pinching motion to operate may be difficult for people with joint problems such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. A door lever with a push-button lock is the best solution.
These are just a sample of issues that are extremely easy to fix, but are legitimate barriers to people with disabilities.
So, your question now, I am sure, is how liable does this make me?
Read our ADA FAQ for more information. For information about assessing your site yourself or hiring an ADA expert, please look at our ADA Consultation page. Or call us at 866 982 3212 x2 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Note: The California Building Code may have changed its requirements since the writing of this article.