The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been around for the better part of three decades now, but there are still a lot of misconceptions that people have about its various regulations. It’s important that business owners completely understand the rules outlined in the ADA so they can avoid being slapped with penalties for noncompliance.
Here are a few of those most common ADA myths:
Small businesses do not need to comply.
Many small business owners mistakenly believe the rules do not apply to them, or that they will be given more leeway when it comes to ADA compliance. The truth is all businesses are expected to abide by the rules outlined in the ADA. If you fail to comply, the consequences could be tragic for your business, as small businesses are much less likely to be able to absorb a significant fine than a large corporation.
The ADA only applies to visible, clear disabilities.
There are a wide variety of disabilities covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The law does not only apply to people who are bound to wheelchairs or who have missing limbs. Some of these conditions you would not know about unless the employee told you he or she was affected by it. The ADA has rules for compliance that take all of these conditions into account.
People with disabilities are able to demand accommodations.
While you are expected to comply with all of the regulations under the ADA, you do not have to acquiesce to facility demands made by people who have disabilities. Employees can certainly make suggestions for features to be implemented, but you are only responsible for having such features as outlined in the ADA.
If I am sued for noncompliance, my business is sunk.
This is not necessarily true, even if you are the owner of a small business. In many cases, courts give these owners a reasonable amount of time to achieve compliance (or make significant steps toward compliance) before actually applying the penalties in a case. This is becoming a more common practice in the wake of abusive, frivolous lawsuits in a variety of places around the country.
You can read about other common ADA myths here.
For more information about complying with the ADA through getting the right signage, contact us at Erie Custom Signs.