Sometimes it is the smallest detail that renders an accessible situation usable or not.
A few weeks ago, Darrell and I trekked to a nearby recreation centre to pick up a library book on hold. After scooting along jarring sidewalks for half an hour, I, of course, had to use the washroom.
Wheeling into the women’s washroom, I was immediately impressed by the amount of open space, particularly between the two rows of stalls. I had plenty of room to back my scooter into the wheelchair stall without the door crashing against the stall across the aisle.
However, once in the stall, I had no way to pull close the door. I tried grasping the lock to close the door, but as soon I adjusted my hand position to lock it, I lost my grip and the door swung open. I desperately tried again. And again.
I also tried my trick of holding the bottom of the door with my foot. But the door was too low and I just couldn’t manage the fancy footwork without falling out of my scooter.
After trying for ten minutes to close and lock the door, I aborted my mission. Not a comfortable decision for a middle-aged woman.
A $3-$5 door handle, available from any hardware store, installed on the inside of the door would have made the door easier to pull close and to hold onto while locking it. This inexpensive solution would make an otherwise accessible space usable.
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.