July 26, 2010 marks the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA. As a community we have an opportunity to celebrate the world's first civil rights law for people with disabilities. Cities and towns around the nation are proclaiming and reaffirming their support for all citizens.
It's time for local businesses to meet the challenge and fully implement the requirements of the ADA. Adhering to parking requirements is a quick and easy addition to your businesses that will show such support to persons and families with mobility limitations. The ADA requires any establishment offering services to the public to provide access to the building. This begins with accessible parking spaces with the appropriate signage. Designated accessible parking spaces send a message that everyone is welcomed and encouraged to come on in.
All of us enjoy going out and socializing with our friends and families. Having a disability does not change that desire. Everyone like to travel and everyone that comes to the Kenai Peninsula like to shop on our beautiful unique stores. Tourists and locals alike disabled or not, enjoy visiting our shops and galleries looking for souvenirs and keepsakes. Providing designated parking access is yet another way to broaden our customer base and encourage local commerce. We all know alternatives are a mere two and a half hours drive, or a mouse click away.
Many small business owners are unaware of the tax incentives available to help them meet the ADA requirements for accessibility. There are tax deductions (up to $15,000) and tax credits (up to $5,000) to help them comply with multiple issues of accessibility-parking, ramps, communication, etc. Take advantage of these valuable tax incentives to improve your customer base. All of us at the Independent Living Center support and advocate the full participation of persons with disabilities within their homes and communities. Taking this quick and easy step to designate accessible parking, would demonstrate that you and your business believe in a similar equality.
Please do not hesitate to call the Independent Living Center in Soldotna at 262-6333 and ask for Toni.
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