There are many laws that businesses must comply with to operate. One of these is the ADA law, which requires companies to make their products accessible to people with disabilities. Noncompliance with the ADA law can result in fines and other penalties, which is why companies like accessiBe exist to help businesses comply.
What is the ADA Law?
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all places open to the general public.
What Does it Require?
Public accommodations must comply with the ADA. This includes businesses that provide goods or services to the public or sell or rent housing. The ADA requires businesses to remove physical obstacles in their facilities that currently prevent people with disabilities from accessing goods and services. The ADA also requires businesses to provide accommodations, i.e., special aids and services, for customers with disabilities so they can access whatever is offered to the general public.
What is a Physical Obstacle?
A physical obstacle is anything that prevents a person from getting to or using a business’s goods and services. Examples include steps, curbs, narrow doors, and inaccessible restrooms.
What if I own a Mobile Business?
The ADA applies to all businesses that provide goods and services to the public, including temporary or mobile businesses. If you operate a mobile food truck, for instance, then your truck must be accessible to people with disabilities unless it is structurally impracticable.
What if I own an Online Business?
It doesn’t matter what type of business you own – online, brick and mortar shop, or mobile, you still have the same legal requirements. However, if your business is not completely accessible to people with disabilities, you violate the ADA law.
What is Required for Existing Facilities?
When the ADA went into effect, businesses already in operation had three years (until July 26, 1992) to remove facilities that prevent access by people with disabilities. If barriers in existing facilities cannot be removed, businesses must provide services to the disabled public through alternative methods.
What are the Penalties for Noncompliance?
Businesses that do not comply with the ADA can be assessed fines of up to $50,000. In addition, in some cases, a business could be sued by an individual for failure to comply with the law. A successful lawsuit would result in a court-ordered compliance plan and additional damages that could total millions.
How Can I Comply with the ADA Law?
If you are a business owner or manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that your company complies with all relevant federal laws. This includes the ADA law. There are several ways for you to fulfill your legal obligations regarding access for people with disabilities:
- Conduct a Self-Evaluation
- Make a Plan to Remove Barriers
- Designate an ADA Coordinator
The ADA requires businesses to make their products accessible to people with disabilities. Noncompliance can result in fines and other penalties. However, businesses can comply with the ADA law by making simple changes to their products and processes. The benefits of compliance include improved accessibility for all customers and increased sales.