ADA Door Compliance | What you need to know
Did you know that your business’s doors need to be ADA compliant? You may have heard the term, but you might not understand whether your doors qualify or what exactly it means to comply. This article will walk you through everything you need to know about ADA door compliance for your business.
What is the ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. It was passed in 1990 and prohibits discrimination in regard to access to goods, services, programs and facilities. It requires public accommodations, such as businesses, to make reasonable accommodations so that disabled individuals may equally access these goods and opportunities. This means making modifications to remove physical barriers such as stairs or too-small doors so that those with physical disabilities can access your business.
Does my business have to comply?
If your business is open to the public, then yes, you need to comply. Some business owners are a bit confused by the “existing facilities” clause in the ADA statute, thinking that because their building already exists, they do not need to worry about being compliant. However, these businesses can still be fined for not removing any architectural barriers unless it can be shown that removing a barrier is not readily achievable or accommodations cannot be provided through other means. There are very few cases where compliance cannot be made, and therefore, you are putting your business at risk by failing to comply.
What are the penalties involved?
The maximum penalty for a first violation is $55,000 to $75,000. The maximum penalty for a second violation is $110,000 to $150,000. As you can see, the penalties for not complying are very steep, especially for smaller businesses with thin profit margins as it is. It is often much less expensive to make the necessary modifications in lieu of accruing those fines.
What makes a door ADA compliant?
According to ADA standards, the clear width of a door opening needs to be at least 32 inches. You can measure this from the face of the door and the stop of the frame when the door is open 90 degrees. If your door opening is less than 32 inches, you’ll need to widen the door frame.
If you need to update your doors to be ADA compliant, consider contacting a professional. For example, in addition to providing industry-leading security services, Artery Lock has the expertise to upgrade your business’s doors to ADA compliance, saving you money.