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8 Considerations for Improving Your Building Accessibility

There are 61 million adults in the US who live with a disability.

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) works to build a more inclusive and diverse community. Society should be free of discrimination based on disabilities. When it comes to employment, it grants equal opportunity and accessibility in the workplace. But how can you make your building more accessible?

That’s where we can help! Keep reading for these 8 steps to improve your building accessibility so everyone has ease of access.

1. Get on Euan’s Guide

If you’re a venue, you’ll want to get on Euan’s Guide as this is a chance to put all your information in one place. Tell people what you do to make your venue more accessible, it’ll take some of that anxiety away from them.

You might not have wheelchair access, but you might have an induction loop. This makes it a great facility for those who have a hearing impairment. Though, you definitely should consider wheelchair access. It’s easy to get started with a Google search of ” wheelchair ramp installation near me“.

Not every building can be accessible to everyone, but it’s important not to exaggerate. Explain what you can’t provide and tell people what you can. You should also put this into an on-site access guide on your website and any other review sites you use. This will make them more comfortable and more likely to visit you again.

2. Train & Support Staff

Most of the time, your staff will make or break an experience for any guest. But a large way to improve accessibility is offering a friendly, helpful space. Welcome customers and clients with the aim that no part of their time with you is difficult.

It’s a great idea to offer training and support to staff, especially if they’ve not dealt with a disability. Your staff should feel confident engaging with people with disabilities and aiding them. In turn, this will put the client or customer more at ease.

Make sure your staff has training in how to offer the warmest welcome to everyone. Also, give them training on how and when to offer help. Emphasis the small things as they go a long way. Staff can do things like offering to take their coffee to their table of choice.

3. Talk With Your Customers

Include your clients and customers by talking with them and asking their opinion. This is the best way to learn how you could provide greater access for people with disabilities.

Ask for feedback on what accessible features people look for or use the most. It could go a long way to offer them a “thank you” for taking the time to speak with you.

4. Have at Least One Accessible Toilet

This might not be an exciting feature but it’s something we all use. Not having an accessible toilet could make or break the visit for a customer, and could see them leave.

If you don’t have much room, take out the unnecessary decorations and clutter or items like large bins. Everything should be easy to reach from a wheelchair and no one should have to reach for anything.

Include a red cord card for the alarm system so it’s easy to see and make it easy for any customer to use. Remember, accessible toilets can look as stylish as your regular ones. And you can still fit them to the theme, style, or color scheme of your venue.

5. Get Creative

As people do, wheelchairs vary in shapes and sizes and all users should have the space to get around. Start by aiming to keep the floor space as clear as possible, or pathways wide enough at the very least.

Moveable furniture comes in handy here. It’s quick and easy to move, creating a space for wheelchair users to move about with ease. Also consider the line of sight, making sure obstacles are easy to spot from the seat of a wheelchair.

Avoid dark environments and get as much light as you can. For visitors with a vision impairment, this could make it harder to get around. It’s also a good idea to illuminate your signage and any important information.

6. Check Your Signs

Signs are important for all visitors to navigate your space, so this tip is a must. Try to use a text that is in high contrast with the background, making it easy to see and free of obstruction.

If you’re missing or waiting on a sign, train staff to tell customers when they arrive where that facility is. This should include things like:

  • Toilets
  • Lifts
  • Wheelchair ramps

Make sure staff know where the alternative routes are and can give directions. Your sign should be clear about where it leads to. For example, “wheelchair ramp to courtyard”.

The height of your signs is important too, you don’t want them too high up or tucked away in darkened corners. This could make it harder for people with visual impairment to read it.

For signs that display a longer message, replace words with picture symbols. As long as the sign’s message is clear, then have fun with them and make them a part of your accessible spaces.

7. Fill Up Some Water Bowls

Some visitors may arrive with their service animal, so have water bowls ready. This is a great gesture of inclusivity to put visitors at ease. Otherwise, they might feel pressured to leave if their animal hasn’t had a drink in a while.

8. Be Informed

Make sure staff know where the nearest bus stop is and where they go. Make sure to find out if they’re accessible for wheelchairs too. You should also find out if the local train station has an accessible lift or if there are parks for service animals to go for a break.

Clue yourself up on your neighborhood and its accessibility features too. This way, should a disabled customer have a question, you’ll be able to answer it. If they’re new to the area, it can help put their mind at ease getting to their next destination.

Don’t Skip Out on Building Accessibility

So, there you have it! Now you know these 8 ways you can improve building accessibility you’re ready to get started.

Remember, not every building can be completely accessible for everyone. But there are steps you can take to make it as accessible as possible. From large things like adding a lift or ramp to small gestures like dog bowls. Get creative with your space and open a dialog, you’ll be amazed at the results.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out our other blog posts for more! 

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