COMPLIANCE CORNER: ADHERE TO AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT STANDARDS

The Americans with Disabilities Act presented one of the most significant federal civil rights law in decades and it impacts millions of businesses. The rule took effect in 2012, and there are several provisions within the Act that apply directly to truckstops and travel plazas. Although ADA makes some exceptions for businesses built before the rule took effect or those that would face an undue burden to comply with certain provisions, operators need to ensure their facilities in full compliance with the law.

COUNTER HEIGHTS

Look at your checkout counter and sales counter. The ADA maximum height for the counter is 36 inches. Is yours too high? Additionally, the counter should not be covered with impulse sale items, which might block people with disabilities who need the lower counter for making their purchases or signing any paperwork.

SELF-SERVE FOOD AND FUEL

Look at all self-serve dispenser controls, such as those operating soda dispensers coffee and condiment dispensers and even fuel dispensers and ATM controls. The ADA requires that all are no more than 48 inches above the floor or ground, which is down from 54 inches. However, there is an exception for fuel dispensers on existing curbs, which can be as high as 54 inches. Additionally, the reach limits in the new rules apply to one of each type of fuel dispenser only. When considering fuel dispensers, note that the Department of Justice wants the accessible fuel dispenser to be on the shortest route to the entrance of the facility.

At least one of each type of every non-pre-packaged food and drink item designed for self-service use by customers, including all sizes of cups, lids and utensils, must be accessible. Also, at self-service food stations, at least 50 percent of shelves housing open, self-service food items, such as donuts and hot dogs, should be within the 48-inch reach range and a full range of choices should be available on the accessible shelves.

THE PARKING LOT

Check out your accessible parking spaces. The regulations require that they be on the shortest accessible route to the entrance of the facility. The Department of Justice interprets that to mean the closest spaces to the entrance. You are also required to provide an accessible route to the entrance from public transportation stops on or adjacent to the property, and from the public streets and sidewalks.

RESTROOMS

In single-user toilet rooms, the water closet now must provide clearance for both a forward and a parallel approach and, in most situations, the lavatory cannot overlap the water closet clearance. The in-swinging doors of single-use toilet or bathing rooms may swing into the clearance around any fixture if clear floor space is provided within the toilet room beyond the door’s arc.

Locations are also required to provide reasonable accommodations for customers and employees.



via Business Feeds

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