Friday, December 20, 2013

Disabled Access From The Public Way

It’s important to remember that not all of the disabled arrive to a property in an automobile.  Many are not able to drive and therefore must use public transportation.   As a property owner, it’s your responsibility to get the disabled safely from the public way (sidewalk) onto the property and into your facility.

Many business owners believe that disabled arriving to the site from the public way can simply use the same driveway that the automobiles do.   While this may be physically possible, this is not allowed by the ADA as it is dangerous for those in wheelchairs to interact with automobiles.   After all, you must remember that those in a wheelchair are sitting down and therefore may not be visible to drivers.

As you can see from the photograph at the right, this property has access from the sidewalk; however, it prohibits access by someone in a wheelchair.   This route needs to be modified to allow for access by the disabled.   This means all of the requirements of an accessible route must be addressed including the width and slope of the access way to name just a few of the requirements.

It’s also important to note that once on the property, the accessible route must get the disabled person to the doors of all facilities on the site.   This means that if there are several buildings on the site, they all need to be connected by an accessible route that meets all of the requirements such as ramps instead of stairs and maintaining the proper width.

Remember if a disabled person can not get from the public way (sidewalk) to the doors or your facility, then you are discriminating against that person and therefore may be the subject of a lawsuit.

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