SWA Joins the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington
JUNE 13, 2014
Steven Winter Associates, Inc. (SWA) has recently joined the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) as an Allied Member, reaching nearly every major restaurant and foodservice partner throughout the DC Metro area.
According to recent statistics, 75 percent of people with disabilities are reported to eat out at least once a week, and spend over $35 billion in restaurants a year. With restaurant owners and managers taking notice of this market trend, SWA plans to utilize its membership to bring expert accessibility consulting services to meet the growing demands of this industry.
SWA’s Accessibility Compliance and Consulting Group has largely worked with the restaurant industry to address the barrier removal requirements of the ADA regulations, which requires public accommodations, including restaurants, to remove existing architectural barriers in certain instances. Issues such as steps leading to entrances, inaccessible restrooms, and private dining areas located on an inaccessible route are just a few examples of barriers, which under certain circumstances, must be removed as part of the ADA’s requirement.
“We’ve seen a lot of confusion around the issue of barrier removal,” said Mark Jackson, Senior Accessibility Consultant and Manager of Commercial Building Services. “Through our RAMW Membership, the Accessibility Group hopes to take a more proactive role in not only helping newly constructed restaurants identify non compliance before it occurs, but also working with existing facilities to provide guidance through the barrier removal remediation process.”
SWA’s new membership with RAMW seems timely as the association is championing campaigns designed to raise awareness of accessibility regulations throughout the district. One example is a campaign led by the DC Office of Human Rights to engage DC restaurants to complete a short self-assessment survey, and ultimately take a pledge to become accessibility friendly. Restaurants that choose to participate will receive a window decal that symbolizes their desire to be a welcoming place for people with disabilities.
“We’re thrilled that SWA has recently joined RAMW as an Allied Member at a time when accessibility is becoming a high priority for our members,” said RAMW Managing Director Julie Sproesser. “Our members are always looking for ways to enhance their business practices to make their establishments welcoming to everyone.”
For more information on SWA’s work with the restaurant industry, please contact Mark Jackson, Senior Accessibility Consultant and Manager of Commercial Building Services. Contact information can be found on SWA’s website.