When you think of January, what comes to mind? Usually it’s a time for retrospection and introspection. A time to celebrate successes and re-visit losses. A fresh hope to begin again and endeavor to make the upcoming year better than the last.
The tradition of making resolutions for the New Year dates back to 153 B.C., to a Roman god called Janus. According to myth, Janus had two faces – one that looked backward to see the past and one that looked forward to see the future. The Romans used this symbolism as a way to be forgiven of past failures and to determine to make the future better for themselves and for all. This tradition has carried over to modern times, where we promise to stop a bad habit, be nicer to others, try to save money, or any one of a host of other good intentions.
Given the year that is now behind us, we need to find ways to make 2021 a great year. One way is to ensure access is available for all customers this year. And in return, more customers mean more profits! According to a 2018 report from the American Institutes for Research, those with disabilities have big spending power. The total disposable incomes (post-tax) for working-age individuals with disabilities is nearly $500 billion.
Here are a few suggestions for 2021 and beyond:
- Discover anew why the ADA is important to ALL persons. Invest in yourself, your family, your friends and your business by taking a free introductory webcourse that explores the legal requirements and, most importantly, the spirit of the ADA. Check out what the Rocky Mountain ADA Center has in the way of (free) webcourses.
- Make ease of access a priority. Don’t know where to start? Conduct your own appraisal of your facility to see if it is welcoming to ALL customers, including those with disabilities. Use this helpful existing facilities checklist, a simplified list that prioritizes into four areas what you need to look for.
- Take advantage of tax incentives that are available to businesses that make their facilities physically accessible, and/or use communication aids to assist customers who are Deaf, blind, or speech impaired. Also available are tax incentives for accommodations made for employees with disabilities. Contact your tax advisor for more information specific to your situation.
- Websites are extensions of the service that a business provides. Make sure to remember to check your website when thinking of accessibility.
- Memorize this number and website: 800.949.4232, www.RockyMountainADA.org, and don’t hesitate to contact the ADA Center with questions you may have.
William Durant, co-founder of General Motors, advises us to “Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.” So, while it’s good to reflect, it’s vital to act. Now it’s time to make this a happy, profitable, and accessible 2021!