5 Daily Accessibility Concerns for Wheelchair Users

5 Daily Accessibility Concerns for Wheelchair Users

The average person using a wheelchair can do almost everything an able-bodied person can do. They can drive, shop for clothes and groceries, go to parks, eat at restaurants, and so much more.

The difference lies in how accessible the world is for people using wheelchairs. Continue reading about some of the daily accessibility concerns for wheelchair users you may not have thought about before.

Unusable Ramps

One of the most common ADA violations is an incorrect ramp height. Many ramps are too steep for wheelchair users to safely use, whether going up or down. Some facilities may have ramps that end in stairs, which contradicts the purpose of the design. Others have ramps with torn-up surfaces that make them entirely inaccessible and unsafe.

Ramps are essential for wheelchair users as they enter buildings. When buildings only are accessible through stairs, the inaccessibility obstructs those who cannot use them.

Narrow Doorways

Doors are everywhere! Whether you’re entering a store or opening the door to a restroom, you may notice that not every building has a standardized door size.

The average wheelchair is about 26 inches wide. Commercial buildings must have minimum door widths of 32 inches, according to federal regulations. Not every building complies with these regulations, and on top of that, wheelchairs aren’t all made the same. Therefore, these inconsistencies create a challenge for wheelchair users when they cannot comfortably move through doorways.

Limited Sidewalk Space

Sidewalks are a feature many people take for granted. For those in wheelchairs, sidewalks are a necessity.

Just like narrow doorways make entering buildings a challenge, limited space on sidewalks poses dangers and barriers. Busy, cramped sidewalks make taking a trip through a town problematic for people in wheelchairs. They require ample space to safely travel, just as everyone else does.

Challenges in Parking Spaces

Handicapped parking spaces support anyone who needs help reaching shops more efficiently. You’ll notice that one handicapped parking spot is the size of two: the empty portion for the car and a lined area to exit the vehicle safely.

Some drivers don’t acknowledge the lined portion of the space and will park over it. Parking in this area creates a challenge for wheelchair users who can no longer access the door of their vehicle or the ramp they use.

Inaccessible Shopping Centers

In smaller downtown locations, you’ll find that most older buildings aren’t quite compliant with ADA guidelines. Whether these buildings have narrow doorways and aisles or lack a ramp, these facilities can receive a costly fine for failing to make the necessary alterations.

Following a few shopping tips for wheelchair users can help make the experience more enjoyable when there’s the risk of facing barriers along the way. While wheelchair users can take steps to make navigating stores easier, it’s the responsibility of businesses to comply with the guidelines and make the facilities accessible for all.

As you go about your daily life, think about the frequent accessibility concerns for wheelchair users. How can you do your part to create a more accessible world?

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