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What you should know about the Americans with Disabilities Act and compliance

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John Sherman
2017-01-05

Inclusion and opportunity are serious driving forces in the United States.

It is the job of human resource managers to adhere to the laws set in place against inequality and to protect the privileges of their employees. This includes, but is not limited to, workplace discrimination against Gender, Race, Sexual Preference, Age and Disability.

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The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was put into place to protect the fair working rights of disabled individuals. In order to abide by this mandate, companies must comply with a variety of different terms and policies.  Many HR managers, however, don’t have proper knowledge of what that compliance really means.

Protecting yourself from being non-compliant

Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is not merely a suggestion, but a legal necessity. It’s essential that HR managers have a thorough understanding of what their company should be doing to comply, but many are confused by its terms.

Thankfully, there are many free online courses available that cover the overall terms of the ADA.

These digital platforms contain detailed information not only about what compliance looks like and entails but also what the penalties for non-compliance are.

Before discussing the course any further, however, you should be aware of just how important an accessible, non-discriminatory, work environment is to your employees.

Why is ADA compliance important?

The fight against workplace discrimination has made great progress in the past decade. However, while Americans have come farther than ever before to obtain the fair treatment they’ve been hoping for, this doesn’t mean that the hard work is done.

It often seems the case that business owners do not understand what true ADA compliance consists of, and all too often, it is simply ignored.

In addition to the detrimental legal and monetary penalties that can occur, owners and managers that ignore ADA compliance policies are also disregarding the civil liberties of a large group of individuals. No matter what form a disability takes, protecting the rights of this group is an absolute necessity.

What does ADA compliance really mean?

The term “ADA Compliant” can cover a lot of territory.

Here are some of the guidelines that define which types of companies and facilities are responsible for workplace compliance:

  • Businesses that have 15+ employees
  • Various state and locally run facilities i.e. public education, police departments, court systems, etc.
  • Commercial establishments, including:

    Shops
    Restaurants
    Museums
    Plus many more
  • Shops
  • Restaurants
  • Museums
  • Plus many more

Knocking down boundaries: general compliance and individual-based concerns

In terms of workplace compliance, there are generally two types of accessibility “barriers.” The term barrier, in this case, represents the problem areas that must be overcome to achieve equality and fairness for disabled individuals.

General compliance barriers tend to represent things like entrance points and staircases that can be difficult to use for some individuals. Individual compliance lends itself to more specific needs that have to be handled independently to accommodate unique circumstances.

It should also be noted that workplace ADA compliance does not solely benefit disabled employees.

Common compliance issues

  • Inaccessible entrances and bathrooms
  • Refusal of service dogs
  • Cluttered store aisles or narrow hallways

Abiding by ADA rules does not have to cost a company tons of time and money. In fact, there are several easy fixes that can make your working environment more inclusive of individuals with disabilities.

How can a free course in ADA compliance help?

Taking advantage of a free course in ADA Policy like the one offered by Go1, called The Americans With Disabilities Act: Being in Compliance, is a great way way to help HR managers understand what’s expected of their company.

Not only does this online courses provide the flexibility of completion in your own time and space, but it also covers everything you need to know about staying compliant.

Courses like this one provide a variety of strategies to help make your workspace and policies compliant, and it also provides you with critical information to help you understand the intricate details behind what ADA act.

Simply having an accessible entryway does not mean you’re providing a compliant environment for employees and customers. Compliance also requires leadership—which means help from management to ensure disabled employees are provided with the tools necessary for personal success and the opportunities needed for professional growth.

In is program from Go1, you’ll learn about different aspects of compliance, such as:

  • Providing suitable accommodations
  • The rules of serving and assisting disabled employees
  • Understanding how the hiring and interview process should be handled

These lessons are a vital component in navigating ADA compliance and ensuring your disabled team members do not feel discriminated against.

Don’t leave compliance to chance. For HR managers, there are a lot of things to juggle in order ensure a proper and safe working environment for all employees. Rather than letting things slip through the cracks and risking costly mistakes (and even legal trouble), you should consider the use of these free ADA compliance lessons.

 

Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
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