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 Regional Director of Plant Operations at The Westbury Senior Living, an ADA-compliant community that serves several individuals with disabilities, I work every day to keep our building accessible and safe.
The ADA mandated buildings and facilities to make accommodations for people with disabilities.
Some of the things that we do to be compliant with the American with Disabilities Act:
1. We provide a clear and accessible approach to our community entrances.
2. We provide shuttle bus transportation with a wheelchair lift.
Our weekly tasks that take ADA compliance into consideration include:
1. Adjust and inspect automatic doors
2. Inspect pool lift and charge battery
3. Inspect lift and “Q’straints” on shuttle bus
4. Inspect fire system strobe lights in ADA apartments
At home, I replaced stairs with ramps, installed a stair lift, and placed handrails in key areas.
Our goal in everything we do is to continue providing the best possible accessibility opportunities to everyone within our community.