Is your building ADA compliant? There are a lot of common misunderstandings of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. For one thing, some commercial property owners think that they don’t need to be in compliance if their building existed prior to the development of the ADA guidelines -- that their property was “grandfathered in.”
However, that’s not true. The Americans with Disabilities Act required owners of existing businesses to begin the process of “readily achievable barrier removal” as of January, 1992. And in many cases, older buildings need a lot more alterations to bring them into ADA compliance.
Or you might think that your property is already in compliance with ADA standards because the plans for your building were approved by your local code enforcement officer, or because you worked with an architect who claimed to be highly knowledgeable in all the ADA requirements.
But your city or municipal code enforcement offices aren’t required to enforce the ADA -- a federal law -- and the ADA Guidelines are not written as a building code, so many architects struggle with how to implement them into an accessible design.
And since the Americans with Disabilities Act is a “complaint-driven” law, you might not know that you are non-compliant until someone files an ADA complaint or files an ADA lawsuit against your business. There are no ADA inspectors -- you are responsible for ensuring that your facility is compliant.
In addition to physical alterations to your site, you might need to change or add signage in order to comply with ADA requirements -- and that’s something your architect or local code enforcement officer is not likely to know about. The ADA Accessibility Guidelines cover everything from which properties are considered “public accommodations” to the width of parking spaces and doors, the slope of accessibility ramps, the force required to open a door, access to public restrooms and water fountains, and more.
If you have any questions or doubts whatsoever about whether your facility meets ADA compliance standards, or you are planning a new construction project and want to make sure it meets all the ADA Accessibility Guidelines from the very start, contact Wright Construction. We serve Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga and Birmingham, and can help you make sure you meet all the ADA requirements so you can better serve all your customers.
Our team has the experience to help bring your facility up to ADA standards or to begin a new project from the ground up. Government codes can be complicated, so you need someone in your corner guiding you through the process. We can assist in not only the interpretation of the codes but also the transition from non-compliance to compliance and all necessary signage.
Contact us today to find out more about ADA compliance, or to get a quote.
barrier removal | accessible paths | curb ramps | signage |
hand rails | curb cuts in sidewalks & entrances