The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed into law by the US government in 1990. It seeks to prevent discrimination against individuals that are living with disabilities. Under ADA, building administrators are to provide disabled individuals access to public accommodations, commercial areas, and state/local government facilities. Building managers are also required to remove any obstacles that will impair access to these buildings.
Making your facility ADA-compliant, and maintaining your compliance status, is a valuable achievement that can potentially save you from costly litigation problems.
ADA Compliance: Important Notes For Facility Managers
Though there are still many reforms going on for ADA, there are some central points that facility managers and building owners must note.
For example, apart from requiring that administrators of these buildings make them easily accessible to people with disabilities, the Act requires that these assets are kept in good working condition.
Another notable point is the proposed bill H.R. 620. The House of Representatives passed this bill in February 2018 and it should be of major interest to facility managers and owners. HR 620 requires that disabled individuals should notify the owner first if they encounter a barrier when attempting to enter a commercial space. Thereafter, the owner has 60 days to acknowledge receiving the complaint and another 60 days to make progress in resolving the barrier. This seeks to help building owners reduce litigation problems.
As a facility manager, you need to stay informed, know what you could be held liable for, and understand how much time you have to rectify a problem.
Navigating ADA Compliance With a CMMS
Certainly, you and your maintenance team are going to need as much information as possible to understand what is expected and then comply. Unfortunately, this can be quite challenging especially in older buildings that will usually require extensive renovations and retrofitting to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
Whatever, the case, deploying a CMMS will help you to quickly spot any maintenance issues that need attention.
Note that complacency or overlooking issues with regards to ADA compliance can cost you dearly with the Department of Justice. Added to that, you can’t rule out the possibility that some disabled building users may be intentionally looking for loopholes to hold you accountable.
Fortunately, you can include ADA compliance checks as part of your CMMS based routine maintenance schedule and inspections. This is also important for monitoring and reporting issues that could lead to safety-related incidents for people with disabilities.
In addition, a CMMS is designed with powerful documentation and reporting capabilities. You can easily generate the information you need and present it as evidence that you carried out the necessary checks and maintenance in the case of a regulatory audit.
ADA compliance can be confusing but that’s no excuse to be found lacking. You definitely don’t want that kind of negative publicity in your building. It’s therefore important that you make informed decisions and get assistance particularly if you’re managing a very large facility.
For more information on how we can help with ADA compliance and other regulatory compliance issues, contact us today and request a demo. Our software can help to keep your property on the right side of several laws.Free DemoFree Demo