Publically accessible buildings must comply with the requirements up forth in the American Disabilities Act, permitting people in wheelchairs safe and efficient entry and exit to the premises. Built before the law came into existence, older buildings may not always meet automated door safety compliance regulations; instead, they require attention to modify doors to allow for appropriate space and closure procedures. If you’re a building manager or owner, it’s best to ensure that your property follows the codes. Your doors should meet the following requirements.
Bear in mind that ADA insists that wheelchair access is viable at public entrances such as business buildings, apartments and malls. Also, parking structures, tunnels and exits should be included. Anywhere the patron goes, the wheelchair should easily be able to get there too. This requires appropriate space in the doorways and openings. Automatic doors should be at least 32 inches of clear width to ensure that any glass openings do not impair maneuvering.
Ease of Operation
Equal access is important, and being able to get in without hardship is just as essential. Otherwise, customers are cut off from services. This is not good for either party. Those with a disability cannot get what they need, and the operation loses customers. Think then about how welcoming and effortless your door frame is. Can someone get in without a struggle? Evaluate the level of the ground. The threshold should not be higher than 1/2 inch unless there is a slope provided. When this occurs, property owners may have a threshold of 3/4 an inch.
Be aware of how well someone can approach and move through the door. If there is a button to open the doors, where is it located? Is it at a level that is reasonable for someone to reach? Is the door going to open and not prove a hindrance? Can it close without a problem as well? Remember that it takes extra time to get across, so allow for extra seconds. Generally, at least five seconds is recommended.
Be sure that nothing obstructs the walkway, especially plants and chairs. People need a chance to turn and straighten, so be aware of narrow areas that could use widening. Steps are a problem and should be replaced with slopes.
It’s not just about following the law; ADA door compliance is about making clients and visitors feel welcome from the first moment. That impression is important in your business and your customer base.