July 26th is National Disability Independence Day, which commemorates the signing of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which happened on July 26, 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications, and access to state and local government programs and services.
ADA compliance means the appropriate and reasonable accommodations are in place for disabled persons. This includes things like large print, interpreters, wheelchair ramps, and allowing service animals.
Statistically, there are over 54 million Americans with a form of disability. When that number is broken down, that’s about 19 percent, or one in every five, Americans. As the population grows and ages, this number will only increase, making these regulations increasingly more important.
As the Plant Operations Director at The Boulevard Senior Living – St. Charles, an ADA compliant community that serves several individuals with disabilities, I work every day to keep our building accessible and safe.
I think with the ADA in place it has helped a lot of people with disabilities to continue working and living a normal life. The extra work that has been done on sidewalks, adding ramps, and designated parking spaces, has all helped a lot. Federal buildings adding wheelchair ramps, grab bars in bathrooms, along with proper toilet heights, has also been helpful.
Some of the things we do to be compliant with the American with Disabilities Act includes having ADA apartments with sit down shower seats, grab bars, toilets that are ADA compliant, and sloped vanities for wheelchair access. We also have elevators, along with handicap push buttons on doors for easy access.
Some of our weekly tasks that take ADA compliance into consideration are when mopping floors, we always use a wet floor sign and when working on electrical issues we always use lock out tag out procedure. Making sure ramps to entrances are always clear and handicap buttons on the main entrance doors are also checked.
At home, I have installed ADA-compliant toilets throughout my house.
Our goal in everything we do is to continue providing the best possible accessibility opportunities to everyone within our community.