Grants for ADA Compliance: How to Access Funding
Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people with disabilities are living more independently within their cities and communities.
However, there are still businesses that are yet to start their ADA journey, and compliance is more important than ever.
If you’re worried about the cost implications of ADA compliance, you’ll be happy to know that ADA compliance grants are available. Let’s get into what you need to know.
What is ADA Compliance?
The ADA is a federal law that requires businesses to provide reasonable access to all disabled individuals at their business premises and online.
The ADA states that people with disabilities should have equal opportunities to participate in everyday activities. Whether they want to visit a restaurant or shop or learn online, they should be able to do this in the same way as everyone else.
To comply with the ADA, business and website owners would need to adjust their physical locations and websites to cater to different disabilities and assistive technology.
What Happens If Your Business Doesn’t Comply with the ADA?
Businesses and entities that fail to adhere to the requirements outlined in the ADA could face legal implications in the form of costly fines and unnecessary lawsuits.
Over and above this, businesses that don’t show a commitment to ADA compliance could lose potential customers and damage their brand’s reputation. People are far more willing to do business with brands that value inclusivity.
4 ADA Accessibility Grants
Even though we’ve come a long way in making the world a more accessible place, there are still businesses that are yet to join these efforts.
There is a common misconception that ADA compliance is too expensive. However, by failing to comply, you could be missing out on business from millions of potential customers who are living with disabilities.
Just like there are grants available for people with disabilities, ADA compliance grants are available too.
The IRS set up a tax credit to help small businesses mitigate some of their ADA-related costs. A summary of eligible access expenditures can be found in Section 44 of the Internal Revenue Code.
A small business is defined as an entity that generated revenue of $1,000,000 or less or had 30 or fewer full-time workers in the previous tax year.
A credit of up to $5,000 is available to businesses who want to comply with ADA requirements. This credit can be used to pay for equipment, unplanned building alterations, and other services. Some examples include:
- Removing barriers that prevent someone with a disability from accessing it.
- Providing assistive technology and materials to aid people with hearing and visual impairments.
- Acquiring or modifying equipment for people with disabilities.
The amount of the tax credit is equal to 50% of eligible expenses in a year, with $10,250 being the maximum. There is no credit for the first $250 of expenditures.
Section 190 of the Internal Revenue Code also includes a tax deduction of up to $15,000 per year for the removal of access barriers. This tax deduction applies to businesses of any size.
Small businesses have the option of applying for both tax deductions and credit every year. However, any credit that is not utilized cannot be used in the following year.
ADA National Network Funding
To support its mission to ensure equal opportunities and independent living for all disabled Americans, the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) National Network offers funding, guidance, and training.
This funding is available to higher education institutions, nonprofit organizations, and other businesses and agencies.
To determine what funding opportunities are available to you, you can access a list of NIDILRR funding opportunities and application kits on the ADA National Network website. It’s recommended that you check these opportunities between October and April annually.
Their website also offers some helpful tips for your application, here.
Capital and Training Assistance Program
This particular ADA accessibility grant is specifically aimed at giving disabled people access to bus transportation. Grants from the Capital and Training Assistance Program range from $25,000 – $180,000, which is available for three years. Only the owners of private bus companies are eligible for this grant.
The funds can be used toward retrofitting old buses, maintenance, staff training, and purchasing new accessible buses. You can find out more on the Federal Transportation Administration website.
A More Accessible Society for All
With the help of ADA compliance grants, all businesses can do their part to remove access barriers and create a more inclusive society for all.
Make a point of carefully reviewing the necessary grant criteria before you apply to avoid any delays.