Monday, December 21, 2015

Wheelchair accessible

How wheelchair accessible is the location really?

This is something that so many people don't seem to understand. Being accessible means that someone in a wheelchair can actually get around themselves without issues. Now, here are some issues that I have seen and people with walkers or in wheelchairs would have issues.

  1. Washroom doors without the auto assist button. How does someone pull open a door when they can't get up beside the door. The other issue is how can they pull the door open and deal with their walker or chair themselves
  2. Cubicles not large enough. Some washrooms are not accessible due to the size of their cubicles. Someone with a walker or in a wheelchair cannot fit into the cubicle which is not fair.
  3. Hand-dryers. Some of the new hand dryers in public washrooms are made where you put your hands down into them to activate the dryer. How does a wheelchair get close enough to use these. These dryers are quite often the only dryers available.
  4. Apartment building parking garages. Some garages have no means of someone with a disability to open doors to get either into or out of the parking garage. This is an issue even for existing tenants as they may require some sort of physical aid and have a challenge getting to or from their own vehicle alone.
  5. Unclear entrances. There are situations where entrances with the ramp or the auto assist button are not easy to locate.

For locations to be accessible they need to be welcoming to individuals. Some physical challenges can be temporary while others are permanent. If a location is accessible think of how it may help the able bodied individuals as well.

  • Auto assist button – helps open doors when you are holding something (like a child).
  • Large cubicles – parents with strollers are able to use these and have the stroller in with them.
  • Parking garages – makes the opening of doors easier when you are moving things between your car and apartment again using the auto assist button to open doors after using your access fob.

Of course making some wheelchair accessible areas also makes it easier for able bodied individual to use at well. The locations I am really looking at are the ones that say they are accessible but really aren't. The requirements always seem to be changing with regards to being accessible.

If you are somewhere and see someone that might need some assist, see how you can help. One day you may be in the position of needing some help due to a physical challenge.

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