As of last July companies with as few as 15 employees must conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). But precisely what measures a diminutive enterprise must take aren't clear. Recognizing the act's celebrated ambiguity, Michigan office-furniture manufacturer Haworth has prepared a free 20-page illustrated handbook that attempts to pin down some aspects of the ADA's call for "reasonable accommodations." A 3-inch or 5-inch floppy that demonstrates how furnishings should be adjusted to meet ADA directives is also offered.
A few of Haworth's recommendations: (1) Remove a section of the reception desk and substitute a low counter for transactions with wheelchair-bound visitors. (2) Replace fluorescent lights with incandescents (to prevent seizures). (3) Add a round conference table at the end of an existing square-edged desk. (4) Install keyboard wrist rests to relieve cumulative-trauma disorders. (5) Replace solid panels at work-space entryways with safety glass.
To request the handbook, The ADA and the Workplace, and the DOS-based disk, "Office Ergonomics," call Haworth at 800-344-2600.* * *