Modifying your place of business to provide access for disabled individuals isn’t just about attracting more customers, it’s also required by law. Commercial structures in California must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which includes a wide range of requirements regarding access to the property. San Diego commercial insurance experts break down most of the essential requirements into four basic categories.
Parking and Entrance
Business owners should go through their checklist by taking the customer’s journey step by step, starting with parking. Most lots need to have wider parking areas dedicated to the physically disabled, with a standard ratio of 1 per 25 total spaces. Depending on the total number of spaces, the lot may also need to have at least one dedicated spot sized for van parking. Spots for disabled customers should be located near curb ramps and close to a building entrance.
The ADA requires there to be at least one path from site arrival points that does not require stairs. The route must have a contiguous stable surface and be at least 36 inches wide throughout. All ramps on the access path must have a relatively shallow grade of 1:48 or less to qualify for this requirement. Ramps with a total rise over 6 inches must also have an accompanying hand rail.
Acquiring Goods and Services
Disabled customers should also be able to navigate the interior of the structure, at least enough to access the product or service offered within. Stores should size their aisles to accommodate customers with restricted mobility, allowing enough room to safely navigate corners. Larger stores can also dedicate some of their staff to assist disabled customers so they don’t have to reach high or lift heavy objects as they shop.
Businesses that have bathrooms for their employees and customers need to make sure at least one is fully accessible. Accessible restrooms usually include lower sink and toilet fixtures, as well as more space within the stall itself. Businesses can dedicate a stall in each of its bathrooms or establish a stand-alone room with the necessary modifications. The number of dedicated restrooms required in a specific place of business is determined by the California Plumbing Code.
Additional Services and Amenities
Companies that offer drinking fountains and other amenities for customers must make sure at least one of them is fully accessible to disabled individuals. Many businesses establish multiple fountains at various levels to allow for access regardless of age or physical restriction. If public telephones are available on-site, they should also be designed to accommodate use by the physically disabled.
Complying with the ADA is just one of many things small businesses need to take into consideration. It’s also important to make sure you have adequate commercial insurance. Get in touch with American Tri-Star today, and we can help you select a policy that best suits your company’s needs. In addition to reliable commercial insurance, we also offer auto, health, and homeowners insurance in San Diego. Give us a call today at 619-272-2100 to speak with one of our friendly agents.