If you’re a property owner—especially in retail or apartment communities—you’re probably quite familiar with the (sometimes panic-inducing) phrase, “ADA Compliance.” Of course you want to keep your property as safe and inviting for your customers as possible, but keeping up with ADA Compliance codes can be extremely complicated and frustrating. How do you cover all your bases; figure out what needs to be fixed and find a contractor who’s competent and experienced enough to make the upgrades?
It’s currently estimated that around 20% of Americans have some form of disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (which is what ADA stands for) was created in order to prohibit discrimination and ensure equal opportunity for these individuals—on the whole, a very very good thing. In our increasingly litigious society, however, businesses who let their properties fall lax in regards to ADA regulations can become vulnerable. In the last few years, over 14,000 ADA/accessibility lawsuits have been filed in California, alone. These lawsuits are costly and time-consuming and can often be prevented by staying on top of compliance code.
Of course, this is never quite as easy as it sounds—not only do ADA rules and regulations change frequently, but they also often differ between State and Federal levels. In fact, only three states have guidelines that match Federal law, and since Federal law always trumps local, this leaves a window wide open for lawsuits.
California has higher standards of access than most other states. This is good, on the one hand, because it means less discrepancy between state and federal law. On the other hand, it can still be quite tricky to navigate and difficult to ensure your property is up to snuff. When performing any construction or upgrades, it’s extremely important to select a contractor who has ample experience working within ADA compliance procedures. Mistakes made by inexperienced crews can be very expensive.
At Black Diamond, we are well-versed in ADA Compliance. We have many years of experience navigating the ins and outs of the ever-changing ADA rules and regulations and often work closely with specialists and consultants in the ADA Compliance field. We can help get your property current with ADA laws, which can end up saving you lots of money in the long run.
For more information on the process of getting your property to ADA compliant status, visit our ADA Upgrades page. As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your property, or ADA work we’ve done in the past, feel free to contact us at any time.