04/05/2005

Embracing ADA Pays Off

Bridging the gap between ADA compliance and business objectives

 

Paying for ADA Compliance

 

The financial burden of bringing doors and hardware into compliance with the ADA can be minimized by taking advantage of available tax incentives. The Internal Revenue Service recognizes the disabled access credit for small businesses, and also allows tax deductions for businesses of any size to help offset some costs of improving accessibility. Both can be used annually.

The tax deduction, under Section 190 of the Internal Revenue Code, is for expenditures of up to $15,000 per year for making a facility more accessible to – and usable by – individuals with disabilities. Established under Section 44 of the Internal Revenue Code, the tax credit includes architectural modifications, purchase of adaptive equipment, removal of architectural barriers, and consulting fees. This tax credit cannot be used for the costs of new construction.

It’s good policy and good business to make the doors in your building accessible to people with disabilities. These individuals are a significant segment of the population, with $175 billion per year in discretionary income. A business can tap this lucrative market by investing in accessibility. One major area that is easy to upgrade is the hardware on entrances and interior doors.

Despite the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), many building owners still have not done enough to make their doors and door hardware ADA compliant.  “Businesses have had 13 years to meet the ADA’s requirements. There’s no longer an excuse for violations,” says Alan Reith, president, National Organization on Disability (NOD), Washington, D.C.

If compliance seems costly, non-compliance can be even more expensive. The rising cost of lawsuits is coupled with civil penalties by the U.S. Department of Justice – up to $55,000 for the first violation, and $110,000 for subsequent violations. Building value can also be affected if there are accessibility issues to be dealt with. Yet many changes are easy to make, such as replacing door knobs with lever trim or adding a power door operator.

ADA accessibility does not simply accommodate those with disabilities, but also serves everyone that uses a facility. In addition to serving the 54 million Americans with disabilities, a building with more accommodating doors and hardware is convenient for the elderly, children, and people carrying heavy loads or pushing strollers. It’s a business advantage to create an environment that accommodates all ages and people. Providing accommodations can create a positive corporate image and deliver a favorable message about your company as well.

Many companies are now realizing the benefits of ADA compliance. An average of 19.3 percent of the population has at least one disability, according to the U.S. Census 2000.  The few extra dollars it costs per square foot to accommodate people with disabilities are worth spending because of the multiplier effect, particularly in occupancies like restaurants and entertainment venues where people go in groups. 

ADA compliance does not have to be an expensive burden, but rather an investment that can provide real financial returns. Unfortunately, the corporate mindset is often that facility expenses should be tightly controlled, minimized, or eliminated. Companies are not accustomed to recognizing that some facility expenses can actually generate new revenue. Although the payoff could be long term and not readily visible, ADA compliance is a benefit to a company, its customers, and the general population. 

Improving the accessibility of your facility is not only the right thing to do; it also makes good fiscal sense. Help is available, with an increasing number of companies available to conduct a complete assessment of ADA accessibility compliance. “You want a consultant with a pragmatic view of ADA compliance who is also able to leverage other business objectives,” says Mark Derry, president, Eastlake Derry & Associates, Morgantown, WV. Eastlake Derry & Associates is an accessibility and ADA consulting and training services company. Consulting companies will also provide solutions to related facility, security, safety, productivity, convenience, and other strategic organizational goals.

Ron Ratell is an ADA program manager for Carmel, IN-based IR Security & Safety Americas (www.irsecurityandsafety.com).

 

Need portable cooling?

Rent or buy spot coolers from full-service locations nationwide. On call “24/7”. Primary, supplemental or emergency cooling. Atlas Sales & Rentals, Inc., or call (800) 972-6600.

Click here for more info


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Need portable cooling?

Rent or buy spot coolers from full-service locations nationwide. On call “24/7”. Primary, supplemental or emergency cooling. Atlas Sales & Rentals, Inc., or call (800) 972-6600.

Click here for more info


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


 
comments powered by Disqus

Sponsored Links