VOL.3, NO.2

Americans with Disabilities Act is civil legislation. It has far reaching implications for virtually all enterprises that serve the public. The legislation is designed to improve access to the job and workplace, and to commercial facilities. Businesses must now go beyond policies and procedures and explore their physical environment for barriers to any disabled individual. This effects not only employees but customers and visitors as well.

WHAT CONSTITUTES DISABILITY? The law covers anyone with any physical or mental impairment that limits a major life activity. This includes activities as everyday as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

ACCESS TO PUBLIC FACILITIES All public facilities will be required to make their services accessible to people with disabilities. Schools,
museums, parks, zoos, and recreation centers all fall under this category. Installation of handrails for those using canes and textured surfaces on elevator controls for sight impaired patrons will now be required. to enhance accessibility is the use of door levers versus standard round knobs. Another is the construction of ramps where a building has entry steps.

ACCESS TO THE WORKPLACE All businesses with 15 employees or more will be required to make special accommodations at their own expense for disabled workers. For example, if an employee is wheelchair bound, all access doors must now conform to ADA standards.

ALTERATIONS TO A PUBLIC OR COMMERCIAL FACILITY Although not every act of construction on an existing building is considered an alteration, any change in an area of a building that Is a "primary function" must be designed to conform to ADA requirements. Alterations to the path of travel that cost more than 20% of the cost of the alteration to the primary function areas are considered disproportionate and are not required.
Newletter 10 GIF
ACCESS TO BUSINESSES Businesses must make their premises accessible to people with disabilities, unless the cost is excessive. All new facilities must comply with accessibility design guidelines. One specific area

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