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ADA: Ensuring Compliance
February 1, 2012 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
I’m Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is, ensuring compliance with ADA.
Even though the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, became law more than 20 years ago, managers in institutional and commercial facilities still must be diligent in ensuring their facilities comply with ADA accessibility guidelines.
Managers must take two key steps to meet this goal. The first is to perform a jurisdictional analysis. Managing projects that result in compliant facilities requires a thorough analysis of the range of accessibility regulations. In the early planning stages, such an analysis can help managers determine the required level of accessibility. Must all public entrances be accessible? 50 percent? Just one? A jurisdictional analysis must take place at the beginning of the project and be reviewed at key milestones. Specific questions to ask depend, in part, on the state the project is in.
The second issue involves knowing the organization's resources. Having in-house expertise is the easiest source for answering accessibility questions. Every organization should designate one person to become familiar with the federal laws and accessibility guidelines, as well as requirements of the states in which the organization has facilities. Managers must keep in mind that accessibility issues in many cases are not straightforward and often warrant second opinions or interpretations.