September 7, 2022

Good Access is Good Business

Happy businesswoman in a wheelchair with her service dog.

If your business is not accessible to people with disabilities, you could be missing out on tons of revenue. You could also be opening yourself up to liability.

Picture this: A patron with a disability comes into your establishment with their service animal. An employee, not knowing any better, asks the patron for their official service animal registration. Though this is a common misconception, there is in fact no such registry. Despite the patron’s protests, the employee refuses to serve them with their service animal. This constitutes an act of discrimination, however unintentional, which is prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The patron has the right to file a charge of discrimination with the Department of Justice or file a civil lawsuit in Federal court, resulting in hefty costs for you as you navigate that situation.

The conservative estimate is that America is home to 61 million adults with disabilities, or one in four people. Most of us will acquire a disability with age. You should expect to interact every day with someone who is disabled.

The total disposable income for U.S. adults with disabilities is about $490 billion, which is comparable to other significant market segments. For businesses to be positioned to capture consumer dollars from the disability market and reduce the risk of liability, it’s crucial that they take steps to ensure they’re compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a civil rights law that protects people with disabilities from discrimination.

The goal of the ADA is to make sure people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to fully participate in society. Businesses covered by the ADA are required to reasonably modify their business policies and procedures, and take steps to communicate effectively, to serve customers with disabilities. Businesses must also remove architectural barriers when it is readily achievable to do so.

While there is much to learn about the ins and outs of the Americans with Disabilities Act, simply put, good access is good business. Join us for more information on Monday, September 12, at 8 a.m., for more information on how the ADA impacts your business.

Register for now for Member 411: Understanding ADA Requirements at the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC office.

Courtesy of Chamber & EDC member, CP&Y an STV Company. Contact Emily Shuman, Director, RMADAC at or 719.433.7637.