ADA: Communication Consdierations
July 19, 2013
Institutional and commercial facilities, operations, and occupants change regularly. As a result of these shifts, maintenance and engineering managers need to communicate as thoroughly as possible about their departments' efforts to comply with facility access guidelines.
One crucial step in the regard is to designate an ADA coordinator. Managers should post the ADA coordinator's name, title, address, phone number, TDD/TTY number, and e-mail in a visible public location, and they should include this information in handbooks and all other organizationwide publications.
Managers also should post ADA-related notices in selected locations and on the organization's web site. They should pay special attention to provide additional information to front-line staff in non-public and outlying areas.
Managers also can use these tactics to communicate their compliance efforts:
Develop a brochure or an informational packet that provides information on ADA requirements, as well as information on how to contact the organization's ADA coordinator.
- Develop a procedure for providing materials in accessible alternate formats. These alternate formats might include large print, taped materials or Braille. All of these materials need not be available in an alternate format prior to a request. But a procedure should be in place to provide an alternate format in a timely manner if one is requested.
- Review web sites for accessibility. For little or no charge, services such as Bobby Worldwide will evaluate web sites in order to ensure their accessibility.
- Provide accommodation statements on all public notices. Such statements should provide a contact in the event an individual with a disability needs accommodation to participate in a program, service or activity.
- Give members of the public, individuals with disabilities, and organizations representing individuals with disabilities an opportunity to provide input. Tools for this purpose include postings, surveys of facility users, organizations and site administrators, and newspaper notices.
- Use appropriate terminology on all verbal and printed communication. For example, use the term "disabled" instead of "handicapped." Refer to individuals with disabilities as people first, so instead of saying "hearing-impaired person," say "person with a hearing impairment."