The date was January 26, 1992. “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” by George Michael and Elton John was the Number 1 song; the Washington Redskins defeated the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI by a score of 37 to 24; and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) went into effect after legislation was passed in the House of Representatives on July 26, 1990. For those with disabilities, it was an unforgettable day. They would be able to go to work, school, the bank, movie theaters and more because there wouldn’t be physical barriers preventing everyday activities. Former President George H.W. Bush likened the enactment of the law to the fall of the Berlin Wall. He said, “And now I sign legislation which takes a sledgehammer to another wall, one which has for too many generations separated Americans with disabilities from the freedom they could glimpse but not grasp.”
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Your company’s parking lots are often the first customer touchpoint. Do your lots appear as inviting expanses of carefully-tended blacktop, or are they full of potholes? Be sure your lots reflect the pride of your Company Brand.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 50 million Americans have disabilities, many of whom need special accommodations when shopping and lodging. The federal government isn’t leaving it to retailers, hotels, and shopping centers to decide what to do. There’s some pretty extensive and complex legislation to ensure the special needs of disabled citizens are met, and lately the Department of Justice and opportunistic third parties are keeping very close eyes on which companies and brands are complying. Want to retain your stellar public image? Keen to minimize or avoid costly lawsuits? Committed to corporate compliance? These are all great questions, and if you answered “yes” to one or more of them, keep reading!