One of the services we offer as an ADA contractor is Readily Achievable Barrier Removal Programs. We can work with a third-party CASp to inspect your property and create a list of readily achievable barrier removal options to help your business meet ADA guidance and the California building code. This will usually focus on four key areas:
- Creating access to your business from the sidewalk, parking lot, or nearby public transportation stops
- Making the goods and services your business offers accessibility to all customers
- Providing accessible public restrooms
- Removing barriers to other public amenities such as drinking fountains, payment counters, or telephones
What Does 'Readily Achievable' Mean?
One of the questions we get asked a lot as an ADA contractor is what the phrase ‘readily achievable’ actually means in relation to Readily Achievable Barrier Removal Programs. This is understandable as it can be seemingly vague and open to interpretation. However, ADA guidelines define readily achievable to mean a renovation that is easy to accomplish without too much difficulty or expense. Some examples that would be considered readily achievable include:
- Installing Grab Bars (assuming only routine wall reinforcement is needed)
- Simple Ramping of Couple of Steps
- Restriping Parking Lots
- Installing Braille Signage
- Lowering Wall Mounted Telephones
- Rearranging Tables & Chairs to Allow Space to Maneuver
- Widening doorways
- Adding Curb Cuts to Sidewalks
- Switching Door Hardware to More Accessible Options
Determining Factors for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal
One area that is still a little bit of a grey area is that what is considered readily achievable will vary from one business to another based on their size and available resources. What is not a huge expense to a large corporation could easily put a small business in financial hardship. The ADA has laid out several factors that help to determine what is achievable. These factors include:
- The nature and cost of the required action
- The overall financial resources of the business or site, the number of employees at the site, the impact of resources and operation of the site, and legitimate safety requirements
- The geographic and/or administrative/fiscal relationship of the site to a parent company
- Where applicable, the overall financial resources of the parent corporation or business entity
As an ADA contractor, we can offer advice on what sort of renovations and barrier removals will be considered readily achievable for a business of your size. In general terms, these modifications should not have a drastic impact on revenue potential. For example, a restaurant would not be expected to reduce seating capacity by 50% due to changing the floor plan to be more accessible. Similarly, adding raised braille lettering on elevator buttons is an achievable request. Installing an elevator when an elevator did not exist is not achievable until a major planned renovation of the building.
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Why Wait to be "Forced" into ADA Compliance. If you are a public business or public property owner, save money, lawsuits, time and headaches by being prepared and avoiding it all in the first place. It’s time to call in the ADA pros. Use Protrk, an ADA construction expert, to Get it Done Right Prior to Forced Compliance.
Call 415-813-9877 today or visit www.protrkconstruction.com for more details.