Dear NJ Small Business Advisor:
Q: I own a local pizza restaurant and I want to make sure my establishment is accessible to people with disabilities. How do I best go about improving accessibility?
A: Making your business accessible to people with disabilities should be a priority since, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 4 people in the United States have a disability. Millions of these people have disposable income to spend in businesses and restaurants.
Karen Roy is a veteran employee of Sayreville-based Numotion, which is a supplier of custom wheelchair technology, medical supplies, and has 3,000 employees across the US. Numotion is part of a specialized industry called complex rehabilitative technology (CRT).
Roy has been a wheelchair user for 35 years and has encountered many barriers in accessing business establishments in her community. According to Roy, accessibility issues can be remedied, and the financial gains far exceed the costs.
Roy suggests several ways to make your business more accessible to customers with disabilities:
The best place to find all the specific information about making your business accessible, go to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Title III of the ADA focuses on private and public entities that are considered “public accommodations,” and requires that businesses not discriminate against customers based on disability, including providing reasonable access.
About the Author:
Bruce Freeman launched and successfully ran his own high-tech public relations company, Proline Communications, after leaving a management position at a major technology publication firm. For 20 years, he served as Professor of Marketing at the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University. He is co-author of the start-up guide, “Birthing the Elephant” (Penguin Random House).
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