Column: ADA and clearing snow

It is that time of year again.

I am the Ridgefield Municipal Agent for the Disabled and each year I send out a reminder to some local businesses, facility managers and landlords about a seasonal issue we have each winter.

With the snow season here, I wanted to remind businesses and landlords about accessible parking spaces and pathways on their properties with regard to snow accumulation and removal.

All accessible parking spaces, sidewalks and access pathways around your business should be cleared and made available when the rest of the lots are being cleared; and as soon as possible.

Further, accessible parking spaces should not be used to collect snow for later removal. Too often, accessible parking spaces are used to store large piles of snow for later removal or the spaces are the last to be cleared.

If you cannot remove the snow or ice in a timely fashion, please make alternate plans to create accessible parking and an accessible route.

Properly maintaining accessible parking and pathways keeps businesses in compliance with the ADA law, but also reminds consumers with disabilities that they are welcome to come in and shop.

Any assistance you can provide toward getting this information to other local business owners would be much appreciated. I've included a link for an online resource for small business.

Please share this note in your business circles

For more ADA guidance for small business owners, please click this link:

Any facility offering parking for employees or visitors must provide accessible parking for people with disabilities. An accessible parking space consists of a vehicle space and a diagonally striped access aisle. The entire space must be kept clear of obstructions— including ice, snow, shopping cart corrals, trash cans, seasonal garden displays and bicycle racks—at all times.

Thank you for your assistance toward making Ridgefield accessible for all.