Equal access audits are aimed to provide organizations with a snapshot of the provision and accommodations with respect to the overall accessibility of your premises. As a business owner, it is important to remain cognizant of the potential physical and digital barriers your customers with disabilities may face. You should always strive to offer accommodations that can alleviate any barriers and make your services and offerings accessible to all. In this blog, we offer you some of the common mistakes with respect to equal access audits. Let’s begin.
Choosing the wrong Access Auditor – One of the most common mistakes done is choosing the wrong auditor for the process of auditing the accessibility of your physical and digital space. If you are investing time and money in an equal access audit, you must be sure that the professional doing the audits is competent, can access your premises and will provide you with actionable recommendations that are affordable, executable and reasonable. Its best to choose professionals with specific experience in assessing the accessibility of your business. We recommend using separate services for auditing physical accessibility of your premises and the digital accessibility of your website, mobile app and other digital assets.
Failure to inform your Access Auditor of a refurbishment – If you are planning to refurbish and renovate your facility, it is very important to inform your Access Auditor of your plans ahead of time. In most cases, it can be beneficial to have an access audit carried out before any renovations takes place so that you can address any accessibility issues as part of a scope of work that you were going to perform anyway. In many cases you can accomplish your renovation goals while improving accessibility with little to no additional cost, all it requires is planning and precision. Why not strive for equal access and aesthetic improvements.
Not providing your Access Auditor with enough information – The professional conducting the equal access audit of your facility or digital presence should be equipped with all the information required, such as whether there are employees, visitors or contractors who have disabilities and are regularly on site. Make sure to ask your Access Auditor to review all disability policies and procedures you currently have in place and any recent changes to accessibility legislature provided by the ADA and other governing bodies.
Not making enough use of the access audit – If you are investing time and money in an equal access audit, it is very important that you make the most of the audit report and do the relevant changes suggested by the experts within reason and budget. Some organizations perform an access audit purely to check a box but never act on the recommendations of the audit. This can be a big mistake as it may lead to future litigation if patrons with disabilities can’t access your facility and choose to sue your business for discriminatory practices.
So, if you are planning to get an equal access audit done, it is recommended to keep the above-mentioned common mistakes in mind and to always strive for accessibility.