The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against workers with disabilities. It requires employers to make their workplaces more accessible and inclusive for workers with disabilities. The ADA is an important law that helps ensure that all workers are treated fairly in the workplace. It’s important for employers to understand their obligations under the law and for workers with disabilities to know their rights.
Likewise, a company’s employees aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the building’s accessibility facilities. Potential clients with disabilities can also have peace of mind knowing you’re willing to go the extra mile to ensure their comfort. With these, here are changes you can make in your office building to make it more accessible for everyone:
Ramps and Lift Chairs
Persons with mobility limitations can often be challenged by stairs, including the ones that only have a few steps. If a wheelchair user comes across even one step, it will still be difficult to get up that level without assistance. Ramps are one of the solutions that can be used to make buildings more inclusive for persons with mobility limitations. It’s a sloped surface that can be used to bridge the gap between two levels. They can be installed inside or outside a building and are often made with an anti-slip design or material, so they are always safe to use.
Meanwhile, lift chairs are similar to ramps in that they allow people with mobility limitations to access different levels in a building. However, a machine raises and lowers lift chairs instead of relying on human strength. This makes them an ideal installment for a flight of stairs that might be too long or difficult for a person to ramp up on their own. That’s why it’s essential for you to install lift chairs on your building stairs so you can help people with mobility issues, making your building more inclusive and accessible for everyone.
If your building has multiple floors, installing an elevator is a great way to make it more accessible. Elevators can help those who have difficulty walking up and down stairs and can also be useful for transporting large items or equipment. Moreover, when getting an elevator, you should also ensure it has braille buttons for visually impaired people. Braille is a system of raised dots that can be read with the fingertips, allowing people who are blind or have low vision to identify the different floors in your building. If your building doesn’t have an elevator, talk to a contractor about installing one. Elevators can be expensive to install, but they are worth the investment.
Renovate Restrooms and Common Areas
Another important way to make your building more inclusive is to renovate restrooms and common areas to make them more accessible. For restrooms, you should install grab bars that they can use to steady themselves, as well as wheelchair-accessible toilets and sinks. You should also ensure that there is enough space in the restroom for someone in a wheelchair to comfortably maneuver without bumping into anything or anyone.
In common areas, you should ensure all doorways are wide enough for wheelchairs. Per ADA standards, doors should be at least 32 inches wide for wheelchair users. This will allow them to move freely in and out of the room without having to ask for assistance. Moreover, you can also install tactile steps for the visually impaired in common areas. These steps can help someone with visual impairments navigate the space with ease by providing a physical guide they can follow with their feet.
Signage and Information
It is essential that your building has signage that is easy to understand for everyone. This will not only make it easier for people to find their way around, but it will also make your building more accessible for those with disabilities. By having clear and concise signage, you can ensure that everyone feels welcome and comfortable in your building. Make sure to use universal symbols and easy-to-read fonts so everyone can understand the signage. For example, your exit signs should be brightly lit and in a large font so people can see them easily, especially during emergencies. Or, if you have a multi-story building, put up large elevator signs to help people find their way.
By renovating your building and installing the right kind of equipment, you can make changes that will allow people with disabilities to have an easier time accessing your building. For employees and clients with disabilities, these facilities can make a big difference in their ability to move around and do their jobs or conduct business with your company.