Talking about ADA

ADA, communication   June 15, 2010

I'm Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is, ADA and communications. Facilities change regularly, as do their operations and occupants. 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 under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. Managers also can use these tactics to communicate their compliance efforts:

• 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.

• 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 formats include large print, taped materials and 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.

• Finally, give members of the public, people with disabilities, and organizations representing people with disabilities an opportunity to provide input. Tools for this purpose include postings, surveys of facility users, organizations and site administrators, and newspaper notices.


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