Frequently Asked Questions about ADA Standards


Identity Group helps provide businesses with the proper ADA compliant signs necessary to follow legal regulations. Having no idea where to start can be intimidating, so don’t worry. A business’ ADA signs are an integral part of its brand, but that doesn’t mean they can’t reflect your brand’s character. You can provide a safe and aesthetically pleasing environment to your customers with the right ADA compliant sign solutions.

Here are some commonly asked questions about ADA Guidelines:

What is the definition of disability under the ADA?

The term “disability” is not medically defined but rather a legal term in the context of the ADA. Disability is defined differently under the ADA than under other laws, such as those that relate to Social Security Disability. An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as someone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits at least one of their major activities. The term includes people who have a record of disability, even if they are not currently disabled.

Discrimination against a person based on a person’s disability or association with a person with a disability is also prohibited under the ADA.

What is considered an “undue hardship” for a reasonable accommodation?

In some cases, employers may not be required to accommodate a disabled employee or guest if it would impose an “undue hardship” on the operations of the employer’s business. As a result of a variety of factors under ADA guidelines, “undue hardship” has been defined as anything that requires significant difficulty or expense. Factors including the cost, size, and nature of the accommodation as compared to the employer’s operation, resources, and structure will come into play here.

Each case is evaluated individually to determine whether it represents undue hardship. It is generally expected that a larger employer with greater resources should make more accommodations than would be expected of a smaller employer with fewer resources. An employer who finds a particular accommodation to be an undue hardship should look for another alternative that is not unduly burdensome. These efforts could include anything from ramps to safety decals and signs that provide braille options.

Visit Identity Group to learn more about our options for ADA compliant sign options!

Is my building “grandfathered in” under the older 1991 ADA Standards for Accessible Design or do I need to comply with the 2010 ADA Standards?

Although the ADA does not permit a facility to be grandfathered in, it does have something called “safe harbor” in the 2010 ADA regulations for businesses and government agencies. If a building meets the 1991 ADA Standards, it is not required to make modifications, even if the 2010 ADA Standards differ from those of 1991.

It is important to note that the “safe harbor” rule does not apply to elements that weren’t addressed in the 1991 ADA Standards. If there are new elements that are addressed in the 2010 ADA Standards, you will also be required to follow those as well.

Industry areas that fall under these provisions include some of the following:

  • swimming pools
  • play areas
  • exercise machines
  • miniature golf courses
  • fishing piers
  • boating facilities
  • bowling alleys

What is the process to request a reasonable accommodation in employment?

EEOC, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, guidelines stipulate that, when an employee requests an accommodation, they must inform their employer their need for an adjustment or change at work as well as how that adjustment is related to their medical condition. It is not necessary to mention the ADA or use the phrase “reasonable accommodation.”

There is no requirement that reasonable accommodations be requested in writing. However, while an employer may not require it, the employee can opt to put the request in writing if they so choose. However, reasonable accommodations and requests can also be made in person, by email, or through any other method of communication.

An employer may then choose to write a memo or letter to confirm an employee’s request. They may also opt to ask the employee to fill out a formal accommodation request form, before confirming said request. In some situations, before discussing the merits of an accommodation request, an employer will want/need to determine if the employee’s medical conditions qualify as disabilities under the ADA.

For more information and questions, visit the ADA website.

ADA Compliant Business Signage

Having ADA compliant signage means that all customers will be able to access the goods and services they need in your business. Regardless of the industry you’re in, or how many buildings you own, you will want to ensure that you’re meeting ADA requirements. Creating custom ADA signs will ensure a great experience for all your visitors and employees, which will help you reflect your brand well.

Identity Group in Nashville, TN has everything you need to set your business apart.

Contact Identity Group today!