ADA Sensitivity Issues
By Clara Rose Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Influence MATTERS | February 19, 2012
Discrimination – especially subtle discrimination – continues to thrive. It is the everyday stereotypes and assumptions about our differences that are the basis for most unintentional discrimination and the lack of training about sensitivity issues that can result in these inadvertent offenses.
The broad mandate for equal access by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), allows it to affect every aspect of our society. Restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctors' offices, pharmacies, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools and daycare centers; are all considered a place of Public Accommodation and therefore are covered under the ADA.
In the hospitality industry, which is considered a public accommodation by the ADA, this includes most of the accommodations, recreational facilities and amenities… as well as the daily practices that the businesses are comprised of.
For Americans with different abilities, equal access means simply being able to use, enjoy and participate in the everyday aspects of life, including working, commerce and leisure activities. In other words, can those with different abilities access the entire property - to use and enjoy it -or will they feel excluded? Exclusion is a sensitivity issue.
With an estimated 18% of the American population having an impairment that offers them protection under the ADA, the hospitality industry has a vested interest in understanding and meeting the needs of that significant number of potential customers.
Where to start