Imagine walking up to the mall or any other building and finding a large barrier put up in front of you. While others can move around and access the building, you are the only one who can do the same. Now that you have that picture in mind, you can understand what it means to be a disabled person who encounters an inaccessible commercial building. It’s a fact that a percentage of our population is disabled. This affects their ability to walk, hear, see, or grab hold of objects or other persons.
In America, the Americans with Disabilities Act provides certain minimum requirements to which a building must adhere to. In the case of older buildings that were constructed and were in use before the enactment of the Act, owners and in some cases, tenants are required to upgrade their buildings to make them accessible to the disabled. The information on the ADA act is interesting and more information on the same can be found by clicking here.
The importance of accessibility to a commercial building
A commercial building depends on the rate of footfall to be able to meet their expected sales. In the best-case scenario, a commercial building should be accessible by every form and type of client regardless of age, gender, race, or in this case disability. A client would look elsewhere for the same service if they feel uncomfortable due to one reason or another. Such a reason could be the inaccessibility of your building. And if you lose clients, the effects will trickle down to your earnings and other expenses.
Features required in a commercial building
1. Installation of ramps
Disabled people who make use of wheelchairs find it impossible to use stairs and curbs. The installation of ramps to exits and entrances allows them easier access to the building. For owners of buildings, you will have to consult the ADA since it has very strict requirements when it comes to the angle of the slop. Ramps may also need to come with handrails to assist those who might be using canes and walkers due to either old age or a previous injury.
2. Renovation of your bathrooms
Your bathrooms might need some serious redesigning and renovation. Due to the use of wheelchairs and also those with walkers and caners, bathroom stalls might need to be made larger to allow easy entry, exit as well as rotation within the stall. Building owners might also need to add grab bars to toilet stalls, which can be in the form of vertical and horizontal bars.
3. Use of ergonomic equipment
The ADA calls for building owners to make reasonable preparations when it comes to the provision of ergonomic equipment for both staff as well as clients. This might include the use of text to speech software for those with visual impairment or ergonomic chairs for those with arthritis and severe back issues.