With an aim to avoid any kind of discrimination against people with disabilities, Congress passed the ADA law or American with Disabilities Act in the year 1990. According to this act, the building should be friendly for individuals with disabilities and the entryway should not pose any kind of trouble or hindrance for the individuals who are unable to access the door like it is traditionally done.
This is the reason why it is important for building owners as well as contractors to ensure that any building being used by the general public, is ADA compliant and makes use of ADA locks.
Why comply with the ADA?
Here are a few advantages of complying with ADA and using ADA compliant door locks in the building:
- Gives access to a large number of people
Even though there is a large number of people without disabilities, there are over 50 million disabled individuals in the US alone. Apart from that, hundreds and thousands of disabled individuals travel to the US every year for their business/leisure. When you are ADA compliant and ensure that you have easy access for such individuals as well, you expand your customer base automatically by welcoming them and not making them feel left behind!
- Reflects well upon your business
When you welcome individuals with disabilities with open arms and make no discrimination, it reflects well upon your business as people begin to respect you. Your brand value as well as a recall is built with a simple action where you allow everyone irrespective of their physical stature or abilities to be a part of your business. This goes a long way as it also helps you connect better with the local community and spread the wave!
- Tells people you are different and care
When individuals lookout for a brand that genuinely is out there and cares, they tend to trust it even more and are more open to trying its products and services. Whether you are a shop owner, a service provider, a restauranter, or a consultant – when individuals know that you are against any discrimination and value humanity, they would prefer you over some other competitor who doesn’t. After all, humanity is the best touch that everyone respects!
- Helps you get tax breaks
Even though it is quite insignificant, being ADA compliant and using ADA locks also helps you get tax breaks, especially if you are a small business. These tax breaks can be claimed for removing barriers to old individuals and persons with disabilities.
Even though it might cost a few extra bucks to get ADA compliance and ensure you welcome all individuals, it would go a long way in establishing yourself as well as your business as a trusted brand or service provider which would eventually help you out in the long run.
How to tell if your doors are ADA compliant?
Even though there are several rumors and tips doing the round about how you can identify whether or not you have ADA compliant door locks. Not just the doors, you will have to ensure that all your structural components are ADA compliant. For this, you might have to take expert assistance from locksmiths as well as building engineers.
For example for doors, here are a few things you might have to get checked before you can apply for the compliance of ADA and open for the general public:
Height of the handle
Now to ensure that your door is ADA compliant, you will have to make note of the height of the handle from the ground, and not the surface of the door itself. You might be using an ADA compliant door lock which is good, but the height of it should not be below 34 inches and above 48 inches, as measured from the ground surface. If the height is not in the given range, you might have to ask the locksmith to take off the handle and redo the fixing to comply with the standards.
One hand operation
If you are making sure that your door is ADA compliant, then one of the biggest points to note is the operation. Your door should allow a soft and loose grip – it should not require a lot of strength, a hard twist or pinch to get operated on. It should be okay for individuals to open and close the door with just one hand. If your door allows that, only then it can be termed as ADA compliant.
As per the ADA standards, a force of no more than 5 lbs should be enough to operate upon all parts of the door. Whether it is moving it, shutting the door, or opening it, an individual should not require more force than 5 lbs to ensure that it gets opened and closed smoothly.
Even though it is not compulsory yet, it is always a welcome move to have ADA compliant door locks and ADA compliant doors in your structure. After all, you should not allow or encourage any discrimination against people with disabilities.