5 Steps to Meet ADA Requirements for Office Buildings
Table of contents
- The Importance of Meeting ADA Requirements for Office Buildings
- 5 Steps to Meet ADA Requirements for Office Buildings
The Importance of Meeting ADA Requirements for Office Buildings
Even if you work in an office space every day, chances are you don’t give much thought to the importance of meeting ADA requirements for office buildings.
But you should…
Because providing all of your employees—and customers, if you regularly receive visitors in-house—with a safe, comfortable, and welcoming environment has a huge impact on your business.
When you make adjustments that allow people with disabilities to navigate your building with ease and get the information they need, you show that you care. You demonstrate a desire for everyone to have the same access to your facility. Most importantly, you prove that your business does not discriminate against those with sight, hearing, or mobility issues.
Ultimately, your goal should be to build an inclusive workplace in which everyone feels respected.
However, boosting company culture and reputation isn’t the only reason for adhering to ADA requirements for office buildings.
There’s also the matter of legality…
Per the ADA, public accommodations and commercial facilities must follow ADA rules and regulations. Failing to do so can leave your business vulnerable to fines and lawsuits.
So with all of this in mind, it only makes sense that you do your part to ensure that your office building is compliant.
Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of 5 steps you can follow to meet ADA requirements.
5 Steps to Meet ADA Requirements for Office Buildings
By following the 5 steps outlined below, you can not only determine what features in your building need to be replaced but also increase your knowledge of the ADA as it relates to your business.
1) Familiarize Yourself with ADA Rules
With so many tasks already filling your plate, you may struggle to find time to educate yourself on ADA rules and regulations. But doing so can only help you (and your business) in the long run.
The good news is that you don’t have to review all ADA guidelines or read the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design in their entirety (though we recommend it). However, you should look at the sections that affect your business—specifically, the rules outlined under Title III.
And keep in mind that the size of your business, date on which your building was constructed, and length of time your business has been in operation all determine exemptions to ADA compliance.
Further, you should consult an expert on state and local ADA requirements for office buildings, as these can sometimes differ from national standards.
2) Audit Your Building for Noncompliance Issues
Once you have a solid understanding of ADA regulations, you should perform an audit of your building.
During this audit, you’ll need to…
- Look at the floor plan – Reviewing the floor plan beforehand can give you an idea of potential noncompliance issues before you conduct your walk-through.
- Conduct a detailed walk-through – Performing a walk-through of your building will allow you to take note of trouble areas.
- Generate a list of necessary fixes – Creating a list of necessary fixes from the trouble areas you noted during your walk-through can assist in prioritizing the features you need to adjust or replace.
Additionally, you may want to enlist the help of an expert for your audit to ensure that nothing goes overlooked.
3) Determine Who Is Responsible for Renovations
If you discover that your facility has to undergo renovations to adhere to ADA requirements for office buildings, you need to determine who is financially responsible.
This can vary depending on a number of factors. For example, you need to consider whether your business owns the building or is merely a tenant.
- If you’re a tenant, then your business will likely be responsible for all operational issues related to compliance. You’ll share responsibility with the landlord for all physical improvements related to compliance.
- If your business owns the building in which you operate, then you’ll be responsible for all renovations.
4) Find Specialists Who Can Provide the Products and Services You Need
As you’ve found through your research, ADA guidelines are comprehensive and complex. That’s why it’s in your best interest to obtain the products and services you need to achieve compliance from specialists.
If your building requires structural changes, look for a contractor who has previous experience with such projects. A contractor who is well versed in ADA guidelines will ensure that doorways are between 32 and 48 inches wide, ramps have a running slope no steeper than 1:12, and all other features meet accessibility requirements.
In the event that only ADA-compliant signage is needed, it’s still well worth ordering your new displays from a business that specializes in compliance signs. Though signage may seem like a minor issue in getting your building up to code, displays that don’t meet ADA rules can just as easily result in fines or lawsuits.
Relying on specialists will give you peace of mind that the necessary fixes in your building have been done properly.
5) Ensure All New Features Are Installed Correctly
It’s important to note that meeting ADA requirements for office buildings doesn’t end at obtaining the necessary accessibility features. It also involves installing them correctly.
For structural changes to your building, you can feel confident that the contractor in charge did the job properly. Though it never hurts to perform a follow-up audit.
With signage, however, you may need to do the installation yourself (or with the help of other employees). In that case, it’s important that you follow the guidelines for installing ADA signage.
- Not installing Braille or tactile signage on a door
- Mounting signs at the proper height
- Making sure there is enough space between doors and signs
- Allowing for a clear area around each sign
- Using the proper tools for hanging ADA signage
If it’s been a while since you’ve considered whether your office space is accessible to all individuals, including those with disabilities, now is the time to do so.
Follow the 5 steps outlined above to ensure that you’ve met ADA requirements for office buildings—for the safety and well-being of everyone who comes to your facility.
And if you have any questions about ADA compliance or what signs you need, reach out to the team at Erie Custom Signs.
Check out this blog’s summarized infographic below and download the PDF for easy sharing!