How to make commercial buildings more accessible to people with disabilities,
Large shopping malls and commercial buildings are among the most inaccessible places, especially for people with disabilities.
Studies show that only 18% of commercial buildings in the US are accessible and not improving,
so we can say it’s time for a change.
In this article, we will present 8 ways to make commercial buildings more accessible to people with disabilities:
Installing stairs and cutting partitions
Without an easy way to get in and out of the building,
it is impossible for a person with a disability to enter the building.
So you should make sure that your commercial property has entrances and exits that they can access.
Providing easy-to-access parking spaces
If you have parking on your property, make sure there are plenty of accessible places for people with disabilities to use.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires companies to provide at least one accessible space for every 25 standard parking spaces.
So if you have 50 places, you should have at least three parking spaces.
If there are no available places on the site, you can rent a plot of land off site as there are plenty of accessible places.
This is only required if the company is owned by a private entity;
Government-owned buildings do not need to provide off-site parking for people with disabilities unless they provide transportation services for them as well.
Building interior maps
Indoor maps are a great way to help people with disabilities navigate your building,
and with a service like MappedIn, you can create a map of the interior of a shopping mall or building.
You can also add tags for each accessible feature, such as ramps, elevators, toilets, etc.
This will make it easy for people with disabilities to see which features are available in your building and where they are.
Clear signage for accessibility features
Even if you have ramps or cuts in the sidewalks that lead to doors,
not everyone will know how to use them properly or even know they are there at all.
So you should make sure that your building is clearly marked with signs that let people know where the entrance is and how they can get there safely.
It may be helpful to include instructions on using the building’s accessibility features in your signage as well.
You can also install braille signs for blind individuals who may need help getting around your property.
Putting braille signs in bathrooms
Lots of people with visual impairments don’t like to use accessible bathrooms because there are no braille signs telling them where everything is.
So make sure the signs in the bathroom clearly indicate what’s there,
if you have an accessible bathroom on site, so that someone who is blind or visually impaired knows exactly where everything is.
You can also install signs above sinks that let people know how much soap is left so they don’t run out unexpectedly while washing their hands.
Your organization’s website is working fine
If you have a website that customers can access from anywhere in the world,
make sure it works well for everyone by using a tool like Google Chrome Accessibility Viewer.
It may be helpful to include instructions on your website if you have any accessibility features on it
(such as zoom in and out images) so that people with disabilities can easily use your product or service.
Placing overhead signs for those with hearing impairments
If you have a lot of hearing-impaired employees or clients,
it may be helpful to install overhead signs to let them know what’s happening in the building at any given moment.
Signs can be used to communicate emergency messages,
such as “fire training in progress” or “employee meeting in conference room A.”
Provide various forms for your information
Many people with disabilities do not want to use accessible services because they do not have access to the same information that others use.
If you offer a product or service that requires someone to register online,
be sure to provide an alternative registration format if the person is unable to register online.
For example, if someone wants to apply for a job at your company but cannot apply online due to a disability,
make sure you have paper applications available so they can apply.