The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law that guards against discrimination against those with disabilities by offering them extensive protections in the employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications sectors. The four pillars of full involvement, equitable opportunity, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency are used to achieve this.
Allowing a person with a disability full involvement means making their environment accessible. Access to parking and public spaces is included in this. The concept of equal opportunity applies to how employers treat employees who have impairments. Non-discriminatory recruiting procedures are one illustration of this.
Independent living is the capacity of a person with a disability to carry out his or her daily tasks independently without requiring ongoing assistance. For those with visual impairments to read the text, for instance, common items could be printed in large print.
Economic self-sufficiency entails full employment of people with disabilities or their ability to get hired and not be dependent on any kind of government aid as their sole source of income.
Therefore, the goal of the ADA is to guarantee that those with disabilities have the same opportunities and rights as everyone else. The ADA is split into five parts or sections that address various facets of public life: employment; public services provided by both state and local governments; public accommodations and services provided by commercial entities; telecommunications; and miscellaneous provisions.
ADA compliance refers to adherence to the established criteria for accessible products and services. It encompasses the physical as well as all digital information and technology, including websites, being accessible to people with disabilities.
All employers with 15 or more employees must comply with the ADA, as must any company that serves the public interest, as well as state, local, and transportation facilities. Due to their exemption from ADA compliance, religious institutions, private clubs, and any locations under their control, including private schools and churches, are not subject to it.
Rearranging your furniture so that stepping through the spaces left makes it easier for someone with a vision disability to move around can be a simple ADA compliance measure. Additionally, it can entail doing ADA compliance testing for your websites that are visible to the public to make sure that they are accessible to those with disabilities.
Scope of ADA Compliance
The ADA covers a wider range of disabilities than only the physical ones. Additionally, it dictates that companies make reasonable accommodations for people who might have difficulty speaking, hearing, or seeing due to physical or mental impairments. Since all information and communication technology (ICT) must be accessible to individuals with impairments, the ADA was amended in 2010 to include criteria for their accessible design.
In that context, information and communication technology (ICT) refers to the Internet, wireless networks, mobile devices, computers, software, middleware, video conferencing, social networking, and other media applications and services that let users access, retrieve, store, transmit, and manipulate data in a digital format.
Therefore, when considering what is ADA compliant, one should establish if a business provides accommodations for people with all kinds of disabilities. This includes special protection for people who rely on service animals, such as granting them access to areas where other animals are typically not allowed.
What ADA Compliance Means
- Avoidance of hefty penalties over noncompliance
Since the ADA is a legal requirement, any firm that does not comply—including with the ADA accessible design—risks severe fines from the government.The Department of Justice keeps an eye out to ensure that businesses comply with the ADA, from hiring practices to satisfying requirements for commercial venues. Someone may complain if they believe they have encountered an accessibility obstacle with your business, which could predispose the business to hefty fines. Businesses that violate the ADA may be fined up to $150,000.
- Benefits to the business
According to estimates, the market segment for people with disabilities and the communities they belong to is worth $3 trillion. This is no mean market. Businesses that make a conscientious effort to be ADA compliant offer themselves the benefits that accrue from creating loyalty within this market segment.
With more businesses espousing the online platform, websites are becoming abuzz with business transaction activities. A website that is not ADA compliant prevents potential customers who have disabilities from accessing the goods and services offered through the website platform, which denies a business the opportunity to make more sales. An free ada compliance website checker can help a business to establish and fix any ADA compliance barriers the site has. ADA Compliance Pros, who are among the leading ADA compliance testing experts, offer detailed compliance advice to businesses as well as a free ADA compliance website checker.
- Support for the aging population
Long gone are the days when people could view their peers with disabilities with an "us versus them" outlook. That is because present-day medical advancements mean that people are now living longer than previously. Living longer means that you could be predisposed to certain types of disabilities in your old age, which would push you into the segment of people with disabilities. It is therefore prudent to do for others what you would like done for you if you get challenged with a disability during your old age.
- Tax write-offs and financial assistance
The ADA provides certain resources for businesses endeavoring to attain ADA compliance. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides the Disabled Access Credit to help offset some of the costs associated with meeting accessibility standards. This deduction can be up to $15,000 per year, which could be a huge help to a business.
Need help with ADA compliance?
ADA compliance means so many positive things for a business. You can learn more about these as well as professional ADA website checker services by clicking this link or calling (626) 486-2201 to get in touch with ADA Compliance Pros today.