The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) sets standards allowing people with disabilities to frequent business establishments. It is required for retailers to comply with these standards, and some will even go further to ensure customer satisfaction from customers who need a better experience due to a disability.
These are some of the most common standards that we see on our day to day:
- Handicap parking
- Wheelchair ramps
- Handicap rails in restrooms
- Automatic doors
- Braille on ATM machines and other devices
There are also some standards that are not as obvious, such as requiring that all vending machine operable parts do not exceed 48 inches in height, therefore ensuring the ease of use for anyone in a wheelchair. In addition, the height of the counter at checkout is another area you may overlook as a standard designed for wheelchairs.
The ADA exists to help those with disabilities get around and shop a little easier. Without them, many businesses would not be equipped to properly handle these customers.
Although some businesses may see these regulations as a burden, the reality is that having them will attract more customers who may not have been able to shop at a particular store without them.
Going Above and Beyond the Standards
It is always great to see businesses go above and beyond the basic standards to accommodate people with disabilities.
For example, some businesses have their employees trained in sign language, allowing the deaf to patronize their business without the need for an interpreter or having to write down their requests.
Recently, Starbucks has also been recognized for having video capabilities at their drive-thru menu. With the video screen, a hearing impaired customer can now use the drive-thru and communicate via sign language with the employee.
ADA Compliance Goes Digital
One of the many benefits of talk-to-type on mobile phones is being able to assist those who are visually impaired, as they can now speak and send messages and have messages read back to them.
Also, websites have regulations on ADA Compliance. All websites should be built for the readers assisting the visually impaired. By having the proper alt tags and site structure in place, someone with a vision disability can properly navigate a website with the help of a reader program. This includes having a proper web design that follows these standards. Some websites will even use captions on their videos to assist those with a hearing disability.
Everyone Wins with Proper Compliance
Fortunately, companies going the extra mile is becoming more of a growing trend. Where compliance used to be something you just had to do, many are now looking for new ways to help their customers with a disability. By businesses combining the ADA standards with going above and beyond for the customer, they have really helped those with disabilities have a much more enjoyable shopping experience.
This not only helps those who need these measures in place, but also the businesses they are visiting. A business that is better suited to handle someone with a disability is going to naturally have more customers wanting to visit, just as a website better designed for ADA Compliance would.
So in the end, it is better for all.