What is ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights legislation which aims at prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities. ADA compliance is a major requirement of workplaces and other facilities in the US.
This legislation is the most comprehensive one in American history in terms of the scope of disabilities it takes into account. It guarantees equal employment opportunity for people with disabilities, unless that disability prevents them performing their official functions. Having come into effect in 1990; the ADA also enables people with disabilities to lead normal lives and enjoy the rights enjoyed by all other citizens. Keeping this in mind, the ADA specifies a broad range of spaces, workplaces and facilities that must show ADA compliance.
Who is a disabled person according to the ADA?
The ADA has a clear and unambiguous definition of a disability. According to it, a disabled person is one “…who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.” Thus, ADA compliance requires a workplace or facility to be compliant with guidelines that cover everything that is classified as a disability by the ADA, physical or mental or emotional.
Generally, ADA compliance requires compliance with guidelines set out by the ADA in relation to the following types of objects and spaces:
- Accessible Route
- Protruding Objects
- Ground and Floor Surfaces
- Parking and Passenger Loading Zones
- Curb Ramps
- Platform Lifts (Wheelchair Lifts)
- Drinking Fountains and Water Coolers
- Water Closets
- Toilet Stalls
- Lavatories and Mirrors
- Shower Stalls
- Toilet Rooms
- Bathrooms, Bathing Facilities, and Shower Rooms
- Handrails, Grab Bars, and Tub and Shower Seats
- Controls and Operating Mechanisms
- Detectable Warnings
- Fixed or Built-in Seating and Tables
- Assembly Areas
- Automated Teller Machines
- Dressing and Fitting Rooms
- Saunas and Steam Rooms
- Benches, and very importantly
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