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Top 10 Ways Businesses Can Meet Their ADA Compliance Resolutions

DBTAC Rocky Mountain ADA Center says “Good access is good business”

 
PRLog - Jan. 3, 2011 - As businesses close their books on 2010 and look forward to the new year, making sure they are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should be on their checklist of objectives and goals to be met in 2011. Businesses have responsibilities under the ADA to ensure that their goods, services, programs and facilities are accessible to the 54 million people with disabilities in the U.S.

All public and private businesses and nonprofit organizations are considered “places of public accommodation” under Title III of the ADA. Examples of covered entities include hotels, restaurants, museums, parks, retail stores, theaters, sports venues, private schools, banks, hospitals or offices of health care providers, daycare and senior centers, pharmacies and offices of accountants and lawyers, among others.

“Good access is good business,” said Jana Burke, the director of the DBTAC Rocky Mountain ADA Center which provides information, training and informal guidance to individuals and organizations with rights and responsibilities under the ADA. “Businesses are required by law to make reasonable modifications to their facilities, policies and procedures to accommodate people with disabilities and most modifications can be made with minimal effort or expense.”

The Rocky Mountain ADA Center has compiled a list of ways businesses can meet their ADA compliance obligations this next year:

1.   Conduct a facility audit to identify potential access barriers for customers, vendors, applicants, and employees with disabilities. Be sure to review parking areas, paths of travel into and out of the facility, restrooms, and common use areas that are open to the public. Create a plan to make reasonable modifications in order to remove barriers and increase access to your facility.

2.   Plan several training opportunities for your staff on serving customers with disabilities. Include topics such as disability etiquette, basic sign language, and strategies for ADA compliance.

3.   Learn about the upcoming ADA changes that impact private business including the new regulations for the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, and revised Title III regulations affecting places of public accommodation.

4.   Partner with local job placement agencies that work with people with disabilities to identify qualified candidates for vacant positions. Contact your state’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation for more information about recruiting applicants with disabilities.

5.   Ask a person who uses assistive technology like screen reading software to visit your website and evaluate it for accessibility. Be sure to include your online employment application process in the review. Make changes to improve your site based on the evaluator’s feedback or website accessibility guidelines such as Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998 or the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

6.   Target some of your marketing and advertising toward individuals with disabilities. Include information about accessibility improvements your business has made in advertising and promotional materials. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, this large and growing market has more than $175 billion in discretionary spending. Ask your marketing firm to include people with disabilities in your advertising materials.

7.   Talk with your accountant about utilizing the IRS tax incentives available to businesses to help cover the costs of making access improvements during 2011. The Disabled Access Credit can be used for architectural adaptations, equipment acquisitions, and services such as sign language interpreters. The Barrier Removal Deduction can be used for architectural and transportation adaptations.

8.   Gather input from your customers with disabilities regularly. People with disabilities, who frequently need to find creative ways to work around physical barriers and product inaccessibility, can offer ideas and innovative solutions to attract and keep new customers, especially those in the burgeoning older adult market. People with disabilities can assist businesses in finding cost-effective, usable solutions that bring facilities and customer service policies and practices into compliance with the ADA.

9.   Provide effective means of communication for people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have other sensory disabilities to ensure this group has an equal opportunity to enjoy the goods, services, accommodations, and amenities offered by your business. Offer print materials in alternate formats. Verify you have adequate lighting in public spaces. Review your procedures for accepting telephone calls via relay services.

10.   Take advantage of available resources to stay up-to-date on the ADA and other disability laws impacting business. Organizations and agencies offering regular news on the laws include (but are not limited to) the Rocky Mountain ADA Center, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

For more information or for additional ADA compliance strategies, contact the DBTAC Rocky Mountain ADA Center at (800) 949-4232 or visit www.adainformation.org.

About the DBTAC Rocky Mountain ADA Center
The DBTAC Rocky Mountain ADA Center is operated by Meeting the Challenge, Inc. and provides information, training and informal guidance to individuals and organizations with rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Center is one of 10 regional centers funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, a division of the U.S. Department of Education, and serves a six-state region including Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.adainformation.org.

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The DBTAC Rocky Mountain ADA Center is operated by Meeting the Challenge, Inc. and provides information, training and informal guidance to individuals and organizations with rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Center is one of 10 regional centers funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, a division of the U.S. Department of Education, and serves a six-state region including Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.adainformation.org.

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Source:DBTAC Rocky Mountain ADA Center
City/Town:Colorado Springs - Colorado - United States
Industry:Business
Tags:Business, ada, americans with disabilities act, resolution, disability, complaince, access, new year
Shortcut:prlog.org/11191974
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