Are you aware of the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Signed into law on July 26 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act is a wide-ranging legislation intended to make American Society more accessible to people with disabilities. What does this act mean to you? As the owner of business property or the operator of a business, you need to know that ADA regulations stipulate any place of business, regardless of size or number of employees, both public and private, must provide equal access and “reasonable accommodations” for both the general and disabled public. Basically if the potential exists for a customer to ever visit your facility, you need to be in compliance.
The act has no grandfather clauses, it stipulates, that in existing structures, barriers to entry or services must be removed if “technically feasible.” Cost is not a factor in determining whether an action would be technically feasible.
ADA is civil rights law, and provides for fines and/or private lawsuit or enforcement by the Department of Justice. If any private party or group feels you have discriminated against them by denying access, the government will help them sue you.
Security and door hardware manufacturers provide a variety of products designed to help you comply. The advent of the lever lockset is almost totally due to ADA, other products include, power assisted or automatic door operators, keyless entry systems, and egress systems that require no physical action to exit. These products and systems make it possible to bring almost any entry into compliance. Your professional locksmith or other security professional is experienced in the selection and installation of this specialized hardware. They understand the complexities of the ADA regulations, as they relate to hardware. Contact them for an audit of your facility to determine your needs for ADA compliance.
The American with Disabilities Act cannot be ignored, if a lawsuit, even an unfounded one is brought against you, the cost of defending yourself can be substantial.
For more information go to:
U.S. Department of Justice,
Americans with Disabilities Act
ADA Home Page