3 Tips for Keeping Your Property ADA Compliant
If you manage a commercial real estate property, you probably keep a close eye on its interior and exterior conditions, including your parking lot. If this is true, you’re probably also aware of how important it is for you to ensure your property complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Here, Pavecon defines ADA compliance and shares with you three tips for keeping your property up to date with its standards.
What Does ‘ADA Compliant’ Mean?
According to the United States government, the ADA “protects people with disabilities from discrimination.” Therefore, in the context of design and construction, an ADA-compliant municipal, public or commercial property is accessible to every person with a disability, including but not limited to autism, blindness, cancer, deafness, and diabetes.
Accessibility encompasses design standards for a wide range of building, site construction and improvement features. For example, here is a partial list of design standards:
- Accessible routes
- Light and heat controls
Tip 1: Pave and Stripe Your Parking Lot
The government provides standards and specifications for the width, length and marking of accessible parking spaces, passenger loading zones, and floor and ground surfaces. Paving and striping in compliance with these standards render your property ADA compliant, creating an accessible parking environment for your customers or residents.
In addition to paving and striping your parking lot to ADA standards, you can provide complementary signage that helps visitors with disabilities better navigate your parking area.
Tip 2: Include Ramps
Under the ADA, the continuous and unobstructed “path of travel” concept for pedestrian passage involves walkways, sidewalks, ramps and pavement maintenance. Consider adding curb ramps and other types of inside or outside pedestrian ramps to your property to ease access for visitors with disabilities.
The ADA recommends that you provide ramps with the least possible running slope to serve the broadest range of users. Also, the ADA stipulates that wherever possible, you should accompany ramps with stairs for people for whom distance is more of a concern than steps. For example, for a person with heart disease.
If appropriate, consider providing a combination of walkways, clear floor paths, and ramps to create a welcoming and easy-to-navigate path of travel for all visitors.
Tip 3: Install Signage
Signage is another essential aspect of any ADA-compliant property. For example, installing “van accessible” and vertical clearance signs in your parking lot can make visitors with disabilities feel safe, comfortable and welcome. Entrance and room signs are another way to provide wayfinding opportunities for visitors. Further, adding braille and high contrast lettering to signs is helpful to blind people and those with visual disabilities.
When it comes to creating signage, follow the ADA guidelines. Here are a few other recommendations for creating ADA-compliant signage:
- Avoid reflective surfaces
- Choose contrasting, readable colors
- Use simple, moderate typefaces
If you’re a property manager who’s keen to know more about how to keep an ADA-compliant property, contact Pavecon today. From paving surfaces and building exteriors to property assessment, we offer our clients a wide array of services. Submit your message or question via our online form or contact our headquarters or regional offices.