You cannot be fully in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act if you do not analyze your own building in detail. By performing a self-audit, you can uncover issues before they ever pose problems and before you end up having to pay any fines.
Here are a few tips for performing an ADA audit:
- Be familiar with ADA regulations: Before you begin your ADA audit, you need to actually know what it is you’re looking for. Familiarize yourself with all of the rules and regulations outlined in the ADA, and ask questions from the appropriate sources if needed to clarify any confusion that arises.
- Look at the floor plan: Look closely at plans for your building and determine all potential areas for compliance issues. This will prepare you for a walk-through, as you will already know all the areas of your building that need special attention.
- Conduct a detailed walkthrough: Armed with your floor plan that has potential trouble areas already pointed out, walk through your building and take note of all aspects that are potentially non-compliant. This includes signage, handrails, ramps (or lack thereof), elevators and more.
- Create a list of necessary fixes: Once you have completed a walk-through, create a comprehensive list of all the fixes you need to make to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Prioritize this list, placing larger issues (need for ramps, handrails, other basic accessibility needs) first. These are the types of issues more likely to cause problems for businesses and be the subject of lawsuits.
- Work through your fixes: Put a plan in place to work through all of the upgrades you need to make, and work through them. Obviously, it might not be realistic for you to make all of the necessary upgrades at once, depending on what your building needs. But putting a plan in place and figuring out how it will work among your other facility tasks is a good first step to getting all of the jobs done.