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ADA: Are You At Risk?
March 25, 2013 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Eight questions can help maintenance and engineering managers determine the risk their institutional and commercial facilities face in relation to a complaint under ADA access guidelines from an individual or the U.S. Department of Justice:
- Have we evaluated our facility for ADA barriers?
- Have we been performing readily achievable barrier removal since January 1992?
- Have we ensured that any modifications, alterations, additions or new construction after 1992 were in full compliance with the 1991 standards?
- Have we ensured that the facility's accessibility features — including door closers, sidewalks, ramps, handrails, and grab bars — are maintained in working order?
- Have we converted to the 2010 ADA Standards for any barrier removal, alterations and construction? If you are still working on a project that was permitted before March 15, 2012, using the 1991 ADA standards, complete the project using those standards.
- Have we looked at the new standards for policies and procedures that went into effect on March 15, 2011, for service animals, effective communication, mobility devices, and ticket sales?
- Have we reviewed the new elements contained in the 2010 ADA standards and put together a plan to review our facilities for those areas and elements?
- Have we been documenting our ADA compliance efforts?
Each "no" answer increases the organization's risk. But it is not too late to take the actions to turn no answers to yes. Even if all facilities cannot be immediately compliant, taking action will at least show that the organization is making a good-faith effort to remove barriers, comply with ADA standards, and maintain the accessible features of its facilities.