Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, organizations have been required to put an ADA ramp slope anywhere they have steps or a steep grade on their property. They are not required to put in a ramp if they have an elevator or a wheelchair lift. Ramps are most commonly seen outside of businesses and other organizations. It is very important for organizations to not only install ramps, but also to install ramps that meet the legal specifications. This ensures safety, minimizes liability, and maximizes accessibility for all. Read on to learn more about the importance of installing ramps that follow the ADA guidelines.
Safety for All
One of the most important reasons to put in ADA-compliant ramps is to ensure that your place of business is safe for everyone. If your business does not have these ADA-required ramps, it may be hazardous for people in wheelchairs or people using walkers. There is a much higher chance that they will fall and injure themselves. Questions of safety also lead to questions about potential liability concerns. To learn more about that, see below.
Protecting Your Organization From Liability Concerns
Perhaps the single most important reason that organizations need to install a compliant ADA ramp slope wherever required is liability. Any site that is not ADA-compliant could potentially provide grounds for a lawsuit. These lawsuits can be expensive and can give a business bad PR if the suit is reported on by the local media. Not only will the settlement potentially be expensive, such a lawsuit often causes a business’s insurance premiums to go up steeply. It’s also important to note that there are legitimate liability concerns from a lack of ADA compliance, there’s a very high chance that the organization will not be successful in defending themselves against the lawsuit. In this case, your insurance company may simply settle the suit in the plaintiff’s favor as quickly as possible.
Accessibility for All
Last but certainly not least, ADA-compliant ramp slopes ensure that your organization is accessible for all. If you are running a for-profit business, it is important that all of your customers are actually able to access the business. If this is not the case, you’ll be losing out on potential customers and potential revenue. Even if you are running a non-profit, you may not be able to help disabled people if they cannot actually access your offices. It is important to note that even many able-bodied people will notice that an organization does not follow all accessibility laws. This could hurt your organization’s image among able-bodied people as well as disabled people.