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ADA Compliance in New Jersey

Table of Contents

When Commercial Renovations Trigger ADA Compliance Upgrades

What official measures must companies take when re-doing a parking lot, bathroom, or other public space in New Jersey in accordance with state law?

During a renovation, to keep things accessible, accommodate people with disabilities, and adhere to ADA requirements, the upgrading of commercial buildings needs to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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marking handicapped parking spots

customer satisfactionThe Purpose of ADA Compliance: Public Accommodations

The purpose of the ADA is to prevent discrimination based on disability to the maximum extent possible. In other words, it is a Federal Civil Rights Law that states, in Title II and Title III of the ADA, that all public and local governments and private entities must comply regarding accessibility.

If ADA standards are violated, you may be at risk of liability. In this way, any commercial renovations or new construction must adhere to guidelines in keeping with ADA compliance.

Commercial Renovations and ADA Compliance

A primary function area means a place where business activities occur, so in reality, any area that sees the regular presence of your guests or customers is a part of the primary function area.

Strictly speaking, a transportation parking lot is not viewed as a primary function area in many spaces, but it is still subject to many ADA compliance-related rules and regulations regarding access when it comes to construction.

Until the ADA Compliance Update is implemented, compliance must be met strictly.

basic handicapped marking by the law

dump truckThe Basic Requirements

Commercial renovations must include maintaining or forging an accessible path, barrier removal, accessible parking, grab bars in bathrooms, and removing problematic flooring for those with disabilities.

This is done to reduce barriers, meet ADA requirements, and comply. In this way, ADA compliance is verified to ensure that all persons within the New Jersey community are dedicated to following such a provision.

Disabilities Act Guidelines and Existing Spaces

Although new construction can generally meet the specific accessibility criteria of the ADA quite simply, as they are starting from scratch, implementing this regulation for existing parking lots or buildings is often more complicated.

This doesn’t mean spaces made prior to ADA regulations regarding construction are excused; far from it. Existing parking lots require barrier removal whenever such a job is feasibly possible. In this way, even older spaces are kept in line, maintaining an accessible path and keeping up with public accommodation.

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Equality assurancensure Accessible Hardware

Another easy addition to existing buildings is accessible hardware on any and all doors, such as handles, pulls, latches, or locks that are within reach of those with disabilities. Similarly, adding drinking fountains serving the area is a relatively easy fix so that all can access water fountains easily.

ADA Compliance Checklist

A commercial refurbishing project could rejuvenate your parking lot and business as a result. But before you begin, you must know what your project requires. Remember to make your changes conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

ADA Mandatory Features

nvn paving logoHow to Keep an Eye on ADA Mandatory Features

The best way to do this is to keep a conscious eye on the ADA’s most mandatory features, such as their guidelines for businesses, parking lots, entrances, barriers, operable parts, grab bars, and the layout of and differences between public and company bathrooms.

Application of the Standards in Alterations

The standards will apply only to the changes made to the space itself. So, whatever section of the parking lot is actually being altered is the area that will be most heavily subjected to these standards.

Unless a primary function area is entirely altered (or constructed in the context of a modification), the requirements of this rule will fully govern the space.

handicapped elevator

parking lotExamples of Provisions for Alterations

Vertical access to a story or a mezzanine is required when alterations (or additions) are made. Whenever stairs or escalators are added, measures must be taken to ensure the facility and building are also accessible to disabled persons.

If major structural modifications are required, every element must consider the ADA-related construction implications on every aspect, from the elevators to the fire alarm.

Such facilities must provide easy contact and open services within their building and parking lot to best serve the disabled community as intended.

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Example: Toilet Room Alterations

In a bathroom renovation project where modifications are being made only to a toilet and shower door, the standards for renovation apply only to these items but not to the items that remain unchanged.

The standard application will be greater according to the scope of longer-lasting works in which additional elements have been added. Generally, the standard does not allow any modifications that exceed the access requirements required for new construction.

handicapped restrooms in nj

parking space linesAlterations Affecting Your Primary Function Area

While alterations to such primary areas often entail extensive application and review processes, which might discourage some businesses from even trying, specific requirements relate to changes to areas that contain a primary task or major activities that should be carried out at a facility.

Examples of Primary Function

Examples of primary function areas include restaurants, shopping spaces in retail stores, doctors’ offices, schools, offices, and other places of work for a covered entity.

Spaces not considered primary functions include entrances, corridors, bathroom breaks, employee lockers, and mechanical and electrical closets.

Restrooms do not serve as the primary functions in public facilities only, for example, highway stops and rest areas.

ada regulations

How is “Technical Infeasibility” Determined in an Alteration?

Determining the technical feasibility involves assessing the limitations or problems relating to the proposed scope of work.

The terms defined in Standard 106 are used to identify design, site engineering, or other conditions prohibiting compliance with the rules. Examples include works that affect a structure or contaminate an incorporated structure.

Meet State Requirements for Air Pollution When Doing Construction

The Bureau of Stationary Pollution permits stationary sources of atmospheric pollutants (e.g., factories, power plants, etc.), older sources (which are being created), and new transportation facilities to protect against air pollution. Depending on what business you’re operating, you need to obtain permission from them and meet the ADA standards.

faqCommon FAQs

What is ADA in New Jersey?

The US disability law protects disabled employees from the impact they have on their jobs.

The New Jersey equivalent of the federal one is known as the New Jersey Laws Against Discrimination, a comprehensive law that protects workers who are disabled and protects their access.

Simultaneously, it monitors any alterations or additions made to a public space to ensure that accommodations are met in accordance with the disabilities act.

Who enforces ADA in NJ?

In New Jersey, the enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a collaborative effort involving several entities.

Primarily, the US Department of Justice plays a key role in enforcing the ADA nationwide, including in NJ. They handle complaints and can take legal action if necessary to ensure compliance.

Additionally, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) is another important player. They work to prevent, eliminate, and remedy discrimination, including that related to disabilities.

They handle complaints, conduct investigations, and can engage in legal proceedings if needed.

file an ada complain in nj

How do I file an ADA complaint in NJ?

ADA claims can be filed with NJID through their Corporate Compliance Office. The following ADA compliance procedures are available.

What are the most updated ADA standards?

The most updated ADA standards in New Jersey were implemented in 2010, with two additions made in March 2011.

What is the 20% rule? What is the maximum extent feasible?

Accessible modifications are necessary up to the point that the cost of adding accessible features is less than 20% of the original cost of the initial modification.

Are renovations or modifications considered alterations under the ADA?

The ADA defines “alteration” as the change in the usability of a facility. It also includes renovation of existing facilities, rearranging structural components, and the alterations or rearranging of wall and floor partitions.