Cable protectors can make a difference in producing an event that is ADA compliant. These devices protect wires and cables and also the person walking, the wheelchair or other vehicle rolling over them with appropriate ramps. This means the company putting on the event must review and research the various regulations and then implement them. This is not an easy task, and the organization that implements ADA guidelines for cable protectors is to be applauded.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by the US government in 1990. The act itself prohibits discrimination based on disability, with disability defined by the ADA as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity." This multi-faceted bill and now an organization directed by the Department of Justice underwent revisions in 2008 to assure more coverage for disabled workers and for those people who had not received protection in the past.
Of the five titles that fall under the ADA, cable protectors would be found under Title II - Public Entities (and public transportation) and Title III – Public Accommodations (and commercial facilities). Title II applies to restricting discrimination at the sites of public locations including schools, city, county, state and federal courts and other buildings, as well as public transportation that falls under the US Department of Transportation and the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. This means that wires and cables which may restrict the passage of a person with a disability need to be protected from preventing that person from accessing a particular area because of their disability. Some protector ramps are not ADA compliant, and when they are used in a public location, they need to be so. The transportation requirements of the ADA would only be applicable if the wires, cables or protectors were in a building which housed public transportation, as protectors are not likely to be found on the public transportation itself.
Title III of the ADA, regarding public accommodations and commercial facilities is going to apply more to private businesses – and almost every form. Stores, restaurants, hotels, personal care businesses, transportation, places of public things and nearly any location where the public is welcome except for your home, are subject to ADA guidelines. While protectors are not used in every single one of these places, the act proposes that no individual with a disability would be discriminated against with regards to the full enjoyment of the services and goods at that business.
ADA Compliance with Cable Protectors
Cable protectors with ADA compliant ramps are easily visible because of the more gently sloping ramp and the distinct blue color. When an indoor or outdoor event is being set up, access should be given to all that are present. While not every cable protector will require an ADA compliant ramp, setting up at least one access point over the cable protectors, and noting it on a map, is a suggested route to take with making the event accessible to all.