If you are a small business owner, you should consider becoming ADA compliant. While many people think that only large companies should think about customers with disabilities, smaller brands should also prioritize them. Legally, only employers with 15 or more employees face the ADA compliance requirement. However, ignoring a large part of the population is a wrong business decision. It is especially so for small businesses that need more customers. While becoming compliant sounds complex, it is simple. Here are a few tips on what to do.
Look for any architectural obstacles
If you have a physical store location, you should evaluate any physical barriers that make it inaccessible to anyone with some form of disability. For example, if you only have stairs, those in wheelchairs or crutches will have difficulty entering your store. Installing ramps would be an excellent move to correct that problem. It would help if you also thought about the various spaces in your store and outside it. For instance, if you have no handicapped parking, that can be a problem. Additionally, wider doors are necessary when welcoming people with disabilities to your location.
The problem is how people can move about and enter your store and how they can use the facilities. A disabled-friendly restroom would be a significant upgrade, while additional changes might be necessary depending on the business. For example, a dress shop would need a changing room to accommodate those with difficulties in standing up.
Work with your staff
You can’t completely solve ADA compliance with simple upgrades. There is also the question of training your staff. Many don’t know how to accommodate or treat people with disabilities. You need to give your employees some training on how to help this community and how to treat them properly. Simple policies like being extra helpful or providing them with some additional help would be a good thing. Some of those with disabilities may have even had to go through significant legal proceedings, perhaps with a lawyer from somewhere like StoneRoseLaw.com, so may feel a little sensitive when talking about certain issues, so it’s important that staff are aware of this and make every effort to avoid the subject, or talk about it with the utmost care.
It is not just physical locations that need ADA compliance. If you have an online presence, you need to make it friendly to the differently-abled. You can start with using accessibility overlays, which are simple scripts installed on a website to provide the various accessibility tweaks necessary. It includes increased keyboard access, changing colors, and even having text-to-audio capabilities. With all of these features active, your site will be ready and more inclusive instantly. However, it would be best to work on making permanent changes to the website so that you won’t need the overlay anymore. Then, with all the ADA compliant features incorporated into the site, it will perform much more smoothly.
Becoming ADA compliant opens up your business to a lot of potential customers. People with disabilities will appreciate the service that you do for them and will stay loyal to your business. If you’re the first to be ADA compliant in your market, you have an advantage over your competitors. Lead the way and earn a lot of profit by following the tips above.