Last weekend Darrell and I checked out a brand new recreation centre in our extended neighbourhood. Me being who I am, I was noticing the accessibility features: the automatic sliding front doors, the automatic door opener for the wheelchair accessible washroom, the flashing fire alarm, the Braille on the elevator keypad and on the room signs, the wheelchair parking stalls near the front door and the like.
But the one thing that really stuck out for me was this set of stairs:
“If there’s an elevator, what is wrong with the stairs,” you ask.
For people who are blind and use a white cane to navigate their surroundings, if they are heading towards under the stairs their cane will not hit an obstacle and they will keep walking, potentially banging their head on the overhang of the stairs. Similarly, children could be running around the staircase, take the circle too small and smack their head on the stairs overhead. Ouch!
The solution is to place a planter box, a sculpture on a base or something similar to act as a barrier:
A barrier the full width of the staircase and the length to where adults can fully stand up will prevent bonked heads and broken noses.
Accessibility 100 is a series of 100 easy-to-implement, free and inexpensive tips for improving accessibility for people with disabilities. This is a community project. Feel free to leave your comments, questions and ideas for future Accessibility 100 posts.If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a cafe mocha. Thanks kindly.