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 Plant Operations Director at The Madison Senior Living, an ADA-compliant community that serves several individuals with disabilities, I work every day to keep our building accessible and safe.
Since the ADA, things have changed for the better for sure. Now we are so much more aware of how to effectively care for and help our seniors with disabilities.
Some of the things we do to be compliant with the American with Disabilities Act are print larger text memos and letters, lower peepholes in unit doors, and install ramps on patios that have a lower transition, so the residents can better manage.
Some of our weekly tasks that take ADA compliance into consideration include checking water temperatures, installing brighter light bulbs, and installing shower curtains and grab bars.
When not at work I consider ADA compliance by not parking in handicap spots and opening doors for older adults.
Our goal in everything we do is to continue providing the best possible accessibility opportunities to everyone within our community.