How to Make Your Business Handicap Accessible
today at 11:05 am
Whether you own a restaurant, coffee shop or retail store, making sure your customers are comfortable and happy is probably near the top of your priority list. No matter who comes into your establishment, they should feel welcome and taken care of. For many individuals who have physical disabilities or use mobility aids, this isn’t always the reality for every business they enter.
Many businesses design for the masses, not for accessibility, which can leave many people feeling left out. Ensuring your business welcomes people of all ability levels can set you apart. No matter how big or small your establishment is, you can do a few specific things to make your facility easier for everyone to navigate:
1. Accessible Parking Spaces
If your business has public parking, handicap parking spaces are required. To make your handicap parking as accessible as possible, it should be readily available, clearly marked and as close as possible to the business entrance. Additionally, there should be space for cars and vans, and the spaces should be at least 8 feet wide.
Besides these things, there are more technical regulations you should account for. Understanding the needs and rules surrounding handicap parking will help you create an accessible, welcoming space.
2. Ramps and Rails
If your business has inclines of any kind, adding ramps, slopes and handrails should take high priority. People who use mobility aids such as transport chairs and wheelchairs simply can’t go upstairs in them, so even small inclines need a slope as an option. Even people without traditional mobility aids might need some assistance with balance and stability. This is why handrails are so important, too.
3. Accessible Seating
If your business has seating, you should ensure that everyone can take a seat. Having wider spaces around tables and chairs, space to accommodate mobility aids and designated handicap seating are all great ways to make your seating more accessible and comfortable. If you have a small space or more enclosed seating, try designing and designating a few specific seating areas for those who need accommodations.
4. Wide Bathrooms and Stalls
Everyone needs to use the bathroom, and creating restrooms and stalls that work for everyone is a large part of building an accessible business. To provide the necessary space for those who use mobility aids or need assistance, handicap restrooms and stalls must allow for a wheelchair to make a 180-degree turn. Sinks also need to be no more than 24 inches high, and they should leave room for wheelchair and knee space underneath.
If your facility only has one bathroom, making it handicap accessible and comfortable should be a top priority so every customer can use it.
Welcoming Everyone Into Your Establishment
Making your business accessible is the key to ensuring that everyone feels welcome and at home. You want your business to bring everyone together. When you do your best to accommodate everyone, people will be happier, feel taken care of and return time and time again.