There are 61 million adults with disabilities in America. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) exists to ensure equal rights for people of all abilities.
Keep reading if you’re opening a business and want to make your space compliant. We’re going to review the main ADA requirements for businesses.
To meet ADA compliance standards, you must have handicapped or accessible parking spaces. The rule is to have at least one accessible spot for every 25 parking spaces. These parking spaces must be close to an accessible entrance.
You may also need to look at the ground slope of your parking lot as there are laws for how steep it can be.
You will also need to provide a van-accessible parking space. Many accessible vehicles have side or back ramps that require a lot of space to maneuver.
If there are steps into your building, you’ll need ramps for ADA compliance. There are many specifications to meet when building ramps. An accessible ramp will:
- not have a slope above 1:12 (one foot of ramp for every inch of vertical rise)
- be at least 36-inches wide
- have edge protectors to prevent sliding off
- have top and bottom landings of at least five square feet
Some ramps will require handrails on both sides.
You may also need to reach out to the city to install curb ramps if necessary.
One often-overlooked area of accessibility is signage. ADA signs are those that mark rooms, spaces, or features of your building. They are helpful for people who are visually impaired.
You will need proper signage at every doorway. These signs need to be hung at a specific height level and in a certain spot to be compliant.
Creating and hanging your own signs can be daunting and also illegal if you do it wrong. We recommend finding a company that specializes in ADA signs to ensure you’re following the law.
An ADA-compliant restroom is a must-have for your business. Customers with wheelchairs cannot fit into normal-sized stalls so you need at least one fully accessible restroom.
There are many guidelines for creating an ADA-compliant restroom. The main things to consider are:
- installing grab bars
- ensuring the restroom stall is wide enough to fit a wheelchair
- providing an accessible sink with knee clearance
- installing the accessible stall door so it opens outward and not into the stall
Most business owners only consider physical accessibility but your company should be accessible digitally as well. Website accessibility is an essential part of any ADA-compliant business. Over 240 American businesses have faced lawsuits due to poor digital accessibility.
An accessible website should include:
- ADA-compliant graphics (e.g., no flashing images as they can trigger seizures)
- readable fonts
- videos with captions
- non-text content with text alternatives (e.g., photos with text descriptions)
Meet the ADA Requirements for Businesses
While the ADA requirements for businesses are plentiful, they are a must-have for your business. Without proper accessibility, you could be alienating the 60 million Americans with disabilities.
Keep browsing our site for more tips for business success.