Though the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law back in 1990, many facilities still have yet to incorporate the features necessary to ensure that individuals with disabilities receive the same access and opportunity.
Failing to comply with ADA regulations can result not only in hefty fines but also in customer loss.
Having knowledge of ADA guidelines, common ADA noncompliance issues, and the latest ADA sign news can increase a sign shop’s credibility in the eyes of potential clients. That’s why we encourage sign shops to familiarize themselves with the ADA and to stay up to date on new developments.
Armed with this information, sign shops can better serve the clients whose ADA sign orders they may be outsourcing to a specialist.
Organizations Required to Adhere to ADA Regulations
First and foremost, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that traditional businesses are not the only ones required to address ADA noncompliance issues. Even private places that are open to the general public must adhere to ADA regulations.
The following list highlights just some of the facilities required to make the appropriate accommodations for individuals with disabilities:
- Golf courses
- Day care centers
- Retail stores
- Movie theaters
- Health care facilities
Further, state and local governments are held accountable for ADA noncompliance issues as well. Title II of the ADA addresses a number of requirements to avoid the discrimination of individuals with disabilities. For example, the ADA highlights the need for effective communication with people who have hearing, speech, and vision difficulties, which is also required by public and commercial facilities.
This part of the ADA is particularly significant to sign shops, as it brings up the fact that facilities must have easily legible signage in place. And it just so happens that this is one of the most common ADA noncompliance issues seen in public places.
Common ADA Noncompliance Issues
Knowing what noncompliance issues arise most often is beneficial for sign shops. As mentioned previously, those looking to sell ADA-compliant signage to their clients need to come across as an authority on all things related to the ADA. Even though some features may be beyond a sign shop’s scope of services, simply noting that a business may need to tackle additional projects to achieve compliancy can cement a sign shop’s position as a valuable resource.
When a business owner or government official inquires about signage, it’s worth introducing the following ADA noncompliance issues so they can address other areas that may need attention.
- Signage– Facilities frequently neglect to update their signage, allowing faded or otherwise hard-to-read signs to remain in place. Additionally, many businesses fail to correctly mount their ADA signage, which must be done according to ADA guidelines to be considered compliant.
- Restrooms– Oftentimes facilities won’t take stall size, fixture access, or toilet seat height into consideration when designing or updating restrooms. As a result, individuals with certain disabilities are unable to use the restrooms, which can lead to lawsuits.
- Parking– Common problems related to parking include lack of signage, insufficient parking spot width, and incorrect ramp slope dimensions, all of which can pose accessibility problems for individuals who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
- Entrances and exits– Along with failing to properly label entrances and exits for visitors, businesses often install improper door handles. Also, they frequently design doorways without sufficient clearance.
- Ramps– Despite being a necessary feature to ensure access to individuals who use wheelchairs, a number of businesses either neglect to add ramps next to stairs or install them in such a way that they are difficult to use.
It’s important to note that these are just some of the most common noncompliance issues. In reality, facilities may fail to achieve compliancy for any number of reasons, which is why reading through the ADA guidelines in their entirety is strongly recommended.
ADA Noncompliance Issues Today
A quick search online will undoubtedly bring up news articles about various businesses, communities, and other entities under fire for not adhering to ADA guidelines.
Cities are frequently called out for having narrow sidewalks or sidewalks without slopes, absence of accessible parking, improper signage, and public transportation that fails to meet the needs of those with disabilities. Such oversights can have a significant impact on an organization’s reputation, as it suggests a lack of inclusivity and regard for those who require certain accommodations.
Moreover, failing to meet ADA guidelines can also have financial ramifications. Though a bill passed in February 2018 made it so that individuals are unable to sue a business for ADA noncompliance issues until the business has a chance to correct the violations, lawsuits are still common. In fact, in recent years, many small businesses have had to close due to the financial strain suffered from ADA-related lawsuits.
The importance of following ADA guidelines can’t be overstated, which is why sign shops that offer ADA signage should ensure that their products follow requirements to the letter.
Sign shops that are interested in expanding their offerings to include ADA-compliant signage should go the extra mile to ensure that they’re well-versed in ADA guidelines, common ADA noncompliance issues, and ADA-related news.
In doing so, sign shops can provide clients with valuable information about what they need to change in and around their facilities.
Further, even sign shops that opt to outsource their ADA signage orders to other businesses that specialize in this particular area can build their credibility and brand image.