To assist multi-unit retailers starting or improving their retail audit program, Compliant IA regularly publishes how-to guides, best practices, and checklists. An estimated 61 million Americans deal with some type of disability. It’s critical to ensure your stores are accessible to all individuals. Using an accessibility checklist is a great place to start to see what efforts are already in place and how you can improve accessibility across all stores.
Use this sample Accessibility Checklist for Retailers to create or update accessibility standards across your retail locations. This checklist comes from the ADA and is included here in case the information is moved or removed from their website.
- Are all accessible parking spaces, access aisles, curb ramps, and connecting accessible routes clear of obstacles including vehicles without proper designation, shopping carts, gravel, snow, mud and debris, or leaf piles?
- Are the surfaces of all elements of the parking area and accessible route smooth and free of large cracks and broken or raised areas?
- Are the signs for the parking spaces readable and mounted so they are not obscured by parked vehicles?
- Is the full width (minimum 3 feet) of the entire accessible route up to the store entrance clear of obstacles?
- Is the surface of the accessible route to the entrance smooth and free of large cracks and broken or raised areas?
- If the accessible route is not the main route to the store, are the directional signs to the accessible route readable and located at the main entrance and key points along the alternate route?
- Are all sidewalks and walkways to the store entrance free of any objects (e.g., overhanging trees, flags, hanging planters) with bottom edges that are between 27 and 80 inches above the walkway and extend more than 4 inches into the route?
- Are the lower edges of all objects that hang over the sidewalks or walkways (e.g., banners, strings of lights) 80 inches or more above the route?
- If the accessible entrance is not the main entrance, is it unlocked during all business hours?
- Is the sign directing people to the accessible entrance readable?
- Is the accessible entrance into the building free of obstacles that block the clear wall and floor space needed for opening the door (between 18 and 42 inches on the latch side of the door, depending on the direction of approach and door swing)? Obstacles might include merchandise, customer seating, or vending machines.
- Is the full width (minimum 3 feet) of the entire accessible route into the store clear of obstacles (such as ice, and potholes) and trip hazards?
- Have all new employees been informed about the business’s accessible features and accessible customer service practices?
- Are accessible parking spaces well lit at night?
- Are accessible entrance paths well lit at night?
- Does at least one door into the store open automatically?
- Is the full width (minimum 3 feet) of the entire accessible route through the store clear of obstacles and trip hazards?
- Are all the aisles into and through the business free of any objects (e.g., cantilevered display fixtures, trees in container pots, signs) with bottom edges that are between 27 and 80 inches above the walkway and extend more than 4 inches into the aisle?
- Are all objects that hang over the aisles(e.g., seasonal lighting, display merchandise) 80 inches or more above the route?
- Are the accessible checkout aisles and sales counters staffed during all business hours?
- Is the full length (minimum 3 feet) of the lowered counters of the accessible checkout aisles and sales counters clear of merchandise and equipment?
- Are accessible product demonstration fixtures and areas (e.g., listening stations for recordings, try-out areas for electronics) clear of obstacles that block floor or knee clearance?
- Does at least one door out of the store open automatically?
- Are the signs for the accessible restrooms and fitting rooms still readable and mounted next to the latch side of the door, at 5 feet to centerline of the sign?
- Do washroom doors have Braille lettering or a raised (tactile) male/female symbol?
- Are washroom doors equipped with an automatic or push-button opener?
- Are accessible public restrooms, toilet stalls, and fitting rooms unlocked when all other facilities are unlocked? Or, if keys are required for all facilities, are the keys for the accessible facilities available in an accessible location?
- Are the entrances to accessible public restrooms and fitting rooms free of obstacles that block the clear wall and floor space needed for opening the door (between 18 and 42 inches on the latch side of the door, depending on the direction of approach and door swing)? Obstacles might include boxes, shelving, or chairs.
- Is the required floor and wall space inside public restrooms and fitting rooms free from obstacles such as trash cans, chairs, or shelving?
- Are all the accessible dispensers in the public restrooms filled?
- Can someone using a wheelchair or a scooter reach the faucets and turn the water on using one hand?
- Are washroom accessories and dispensers also within easy reach of a person using a wheelchair or scooter?
- Are the dispensers automatic or easy to use?
- Are there any obstacles that block access to lift or elevator controls? Obstacles may include trash receptacles or cigarette urns.
- Are all the business’s elevators and lifts in working order?
- Do elevators have Braille buttons and raised numerals for people who are blind or have low vision?
- Are the elevator controls mounted at a comfortable height for a person using a wheelchair or scooter?
- Does the elevator have an auditory signal to alert people who are blind or have low vision?
- Does the elevator have a visual cue system in each elevator lobby to alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing?
- Are employees trained on the fire policy and fire safety plan in case of evacuation
of people with disabilities?
- Emergency exit routes and exit doors are easily accessed and can be used by people using mobility aids.
- Exit instructions are printed in large text, and mounted in an accessible, highly visible location.
- Exit instructions are pre-recorded, easily understood and can be played over the intercom system in event of an emergency?
- Fire alarms have both visual and audible signals?
More checklists to improve your health and safety standards: