The Importance of the ADA, Internally and Externally

5WPR News
ADA 04.19.23

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990. The law made it illegal to discriminate against individuals with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, and other areas of life. The ADA is a critical piece of legislation that’s had a profound impact on the lives of millions of Americans. In addition to the legal requirements, there are many reasons why a company should prioritize accessibility and inclusion for employees and customers with disabilities. 

External Benefits

For businesses, brand image and reputation are crucial factors that can make or break success. A strong brand image can help attract and retain customers, while a poor reputation can drive them away. Accessibility and inclusion are essential components of a positive brand image in today’s world. Customers want to do business with companies that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. By prioritizing accessibility and inclusion, companies can demonstrate their commitment to DEI values. This not only enhances their brand image but also attracts customers who value such values. By providing accessible services, products, and environments, companies can tap into a significant market of people with disabilities. According to research, this is a market that was expected to have a purchasing power of almost $2 trillion in 2023. Companies that prioritize accessibility and inclusion are more likely to earn customer loyalty and advocacy. A survey found that over 60% of consumers are more likely to choose a brand that prioritizes diversity. Not to mention that nearly 70% of customers are willing to make a second purchase from such brands.

Internal Benefits

Accessibility and inclusion are essential for a company’s external reputation. But they also have significant internal benefits. By providing accessible work environments and accommodations for disabilities, companies can create a more inclusive workplace that benefits all employees. This fosters a sense of community, loyalty, and engagement. When companies invest in accessibility, they’re investing in their employee’s well-being and productivity. Providing accommodations such as accessible technology, ergonomic furniture, and modified schedules can help employees with disabilities perform at their best. This leads to higher productivity, job satisfaction, and retention rates. Additionally, accessibility and inclusion initiatives can help attract and retain a diverse workforce. When companies prioritize accessibility, they signal to job seekers that they value diversity and inclusivity. This can help attract top talent from underrepresented groups. The strategy helps companies create a more diverse workforce that benefits all employees.

Compliance With the ADA

Finally, it’s essential to note that compliance with the ADA is not optional. The ADA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The commission investigates complaints of discrimination and can initiate legal action against employers that violate the law. Companies that fail to comply with the law risk costly lawsuits, negative publicity, and damage to their brand image. Furthermore, non-compliance can lead to missed business opportunities and loss of market share. However, compliance with the ADA should not be viewed as a burden or a necessary evil. Rather, it should be viewed as an opportunity to invest in accessibility and inclusion initiatives. These are initiatives that can benefit both employees and customers. The ADA sets a minimum standard for accessibility. But companies that go above and beyond these requirements can reap significant benefits.

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