About ADA Compliance
The ADA Compliance Act sets forth minimum guidelines for the construction and design of accessible rooms, altering rooms, and other spaces in residential buildings and on commercial property that contain buildings. These guidelines are intended to eliminate unnecessary obstacles to the enjoyment of outdoor and indoor living spaces for all people. Part of the intent of the Act is to define a "qualified individual with a disability" as someone who has a physical impairment which substantially limits one or more of life's major activities, a major physical disturbance or condition, or a combination of these impairments. An individual with a disability is also considered a person with a disability if they require assistance to perform the basic activities of daily life. Some of the activities required to meet this standard include climbing stairs; walking; using toilet facilities; and operating mobility equipment like wheelchairs
In order to meet the requirements of the ADA, most public accommodations must provide access onto the property to all entrances, whether through a ramp, a straight staircase, an elevator, or a new entry. This includes all new construction, renovation, and alterations to existing buildings, if such changes are necessary to make the building accessible to and usable by handicapped individuals. As well, many public accommodations must provide access to all exits, including all stairways. Additionally, many of the areas that must be fully accessible include: emergency exits, seating areas for people with hearing and vision disabilities, and restroom facilities for elderly and disabled individuals. ADA compliance for alterations to existing buildings is essential in ensuring that every person has easy access to all areas of a business or other facility.
Individuals with a disability need to be aware of the regulations regarding alterations to existing buildings, or the construction of new facilities. Although new construction is allowed to provide access for all individuals, alterations to an existing structure may not be. Therefore, it is important for people who would like to add a room, bathroom, or other additions to ensure that they are ADA compliant when making these modifications. Doing so can help ensure that you have easy access throughout your facility, ensuring the safety and comfort of everyone who visits.