By Stefanie Farrell
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 1 in 5 Americans has a disability, which can include difficulties with hearing, vision, cognitive ability, mobility, self-care, and independent living. As of the 2010 Census, 15% of Tennessee’s population was living with some kind disability.
In Tennessee, a renewed emphasis on the ADA, or Americans With Disabilities Act, is concentrating on bringing facilities in our state up to standards to provide better access for everyone. The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in any way, including in jobs, transportation, and spaces that are open to the public. Facilities that are out of date or noncompliant with ADA standards put the burden back on people who are already at a disadvantage. When you’re aware of ADA standards, it’s difficult not to see areas that need improvement, such as structural issues in public spaces which often block access.
LDA Engineering is providing the experience our clients need to ensure their facilities are ADA compliant. We are currently offering ADA assessments and working with Maryville, Alcoa, Sevierville and Gatlinburg to create transition plans that focus on implementation. Our primary goal is to look at ADA compliance practically and prioritize which issues need to be addressed immediately. Because each application is unique, we customize the results to meet specific needs. For example, the City of Alcoa is using Cityworks Software. LDA created templates to seamlessly integrate infrastructure assessments into their CMMS of choice. Our team delivers long-term plans that outline projects that can be realistically completed.
Contracting with LDA to assess and plan for correcting any issues you face with ADA standards brings with it an added layer of protection that lessens your chances of being challenged for noncompliance. We’ll work to find creative solutions you can count on to address your needs as well as those of our entire community. Our consultants and engineers have expertise in accessible design and are up-to-date on all current ADA standards; let us help you make your part of Tennessee a place where everyone can feel at home.