Monday, October 19, 2015

How Can Businesses Protect Floors and Carpets From Wheelchair Tires?

In 2013 Lexi Haas, a young girl in a wheelchair was turned away from a museum because employees were concerned that her wheelchair wheels would soil the carpet. The family was extremely upset and wrote a story on Facebook about what happened. Lexi's story went viral and hit the national media. It became a PR nightmare for the museum.

Just 3 months earlier, Amal Mohamed was refused entry to a Fabco shoe store for exactly the same reason: an employee was worried that her wheelchair tires would soil the carpet. Amal's story did not get the same press coverage as Lexi's. But she did win a $10,000 settlement from Fabco.

The American with Disabilities Act guarantees access to wheelchair users. Failure to provide access may result in huge fines, not to mention bad press. This is a big problem for many small businesses such as museums, stores, spas, hospitals and many other businesses. Floors and carpeting are expensive. But access to wheelchair users can not be denied.

What can businesses do to protect their property from dirty wheelchair tires without breaking Federal laws? The answer to this question is in this 45 second video: