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Businesses, federally funded housing and other facilities must be accessible to people with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Fair Housing Act.
Do you know if your business meets the accessibility guidelines set forth in the ADA and Fair Housing Act? Do you need an accessibility survey done for your business? What are some of the benefits to having an accessibility survey performed for your facility?
Mountain State Centers for Independent Living (MTSTCIL) can provide your business or federally funded housing complex with a detailed accessibility survey for a fee. This survey includes an on-site visit to your business, housing complex or other facilities, and a written report to explain what is and what isn't accessible. The staff of MTSTCIL will also provide you with materials and other resources to ensure your facility is accessible for all citizens to enjoy.
One of the greatest benefits is that, as a business owner, you will be opening your business to more customers. There are approximately 54 million people with disabilities living in the United States. These people work and have money to spend. If you are accessible to more customers, this means more profit for you. There are also tax incentives for business owners who are ADA compliant.
Another major benefit is avoiding an ADA or Fair Housing lawsuit. Over the past few years, many people with disabilities and/or their advocates have filed lawsuits against public and private businesses and federally funded housing because they have not made their facilities accessible.
The ADA requires state and local governments and places of public accommodations to provide goods and services to people with disabilities on an equal basis with the rest of the general public. The goal is to offer every individual the opportunity to benefit from our country's businesses and services, and to offer businesses and services the opportunity to benefit from the patronage of all Americans.
Are you sure your business is accessible? Do you need to have an accessibility survey done?
For more information about accessibility surveys or to request a survey, please contact the West Virginia Center For Independent Living nearest you.