Common Myths Surrounding the Americans with Disabilities Act
What you think you know about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) might not necessarily be true. There are a lot of myths surrounding the law, more than a lot of other laws that effect policy in all types of industries and sectors.
Here are a few of the biggest ADA-related myths and the truths behind them:
MYTH: The ADA requires businesses to spend a lot of money to update their facilities.
This is not necessarily true. The government recognizes updating existing structures, especially buildings that are very old, is far more costly than ensuring new structures adhere to ADA standards. Buildings can also meet the Americans with Disabilities Act standards if they take certain steps in their buildings to ensure accessibility for all, including moving programs to more accessible areas.
MYTH: The ADA requires businesses to act fast when it comes to compliance.
Businesses are only expected to do what they can realistically accomplish at a given time. Small businesses might not have the money to install a ramp in one year, but they are encouraged to have a plan to help them achieve compliance within a reasonable amount of time. The government is not unreasonable when it comes to its expectations under the ADA.
MYTH: Restaurants must provide menus written with braille.
Not true. Waiters are allowed to read the menu to blind customers.
MYTH: All state and federal buildings must be renovated for accessibility.
The ADA requires government programs, not government buildings, to be accessible. Again, there might not need to be any updates made to a building at all if the municipality in question can ensure everyone has access to the programs. Not every part of every building needs to be accessible for this to be true.
MYTH: Businesses are subject to large fines for ADA violations.
Courts may levy penalties only in cases that are brought by the justice department, not people who privately file lawsuits. These penalties are only sought when violations are substantial and the business has repeatedly failed to comply and has shown bad faith in attempting to meet compliance standards.
For more information about achieving ADA compliance in your facility, contact us today at Erie Custom Signs.