When you are building spaces that corporations and other businesses will use, you have to make sure that you make them accessible to people in wheelchairs. That process ensures that every doorway is large enough to accommodate a wheelchair user and uses appropriate ADA signs. If you create an inaccessible building that does not have broad enough doorways, you can face issues with the ADA.
What is the ADA?
The ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act. This act is designed to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities. In most cases, this means ensuring that every public area is accessible to people with protected disabilities. The ADA impacts businesses of all kinds and branches of the government at all levels. Refusing to comply with ADA standards can be a significant problem for business owners and contractors who build business spaces. It is easier to comply with ADA regulations upfront than retroactively make adjustments to a building and add ADA-compliant signs and specifications.
Why Width Requirements for Wheelchairs?
One of the most significant issues preventing access to a building or room is when the doorways or hallways are not wide enough for a wheelchair to pass through safely. If this is the case at your business, it can be difficult or even impossible for a wheelchair user to enter your space. This creates an accessibility issue that cannot be easily fixed with custom ADA signs. Instead, the width requirement needs to be met from the beginning so that citizens who use wheelchairs can access the things they need and have appropriate ADA floor signs that can help them navigate the space more effectively.
How Wide is a Wheelchair?
To ensure that you are giving sufficient clearance to wheelchair users, you have to understand how large a wheelchair is. Wheelchair width can vary greatly depending on the type of wheelchair and the person using it to move around. Most wheelchairs range from about 21 inches wide to approximately 40 inches wide. With those potential widths in mind, you can consider how wide you should be making the halls and doorways in the buildings you design. Modern ADA signs will also be necessary for your ADA accessibility plan.
In general, hallways need to be 36 inches wide for ADA compliance. However, there are certain situations where the width can be less or required to be wider depending on the specifics of the space in question. For example, a hallway can be as narrow as 32 inches if the hallway is less than 24 inches long. In addition, there needs to be more space near the doorway, a minimum of 42 inches, in bathroom spaces, for wheelchair compliance. Ensure that your bathrooms are also designed adequately with ADA-compliant interior signs. These ADA wall signs help provide information about the area to people with disabilities.
It would help if you also made sure that your doorways are designed to be sufficiently broad and include any necessary ADA office signs. The ADA requires that doorways be at least 32 inches wide. This makes sense as it is the same as the minimum width for short hallway sections. All your doors must be wide enough and are labeled with standard ADA signs.
Managing ADA compliance is an essential part of building and designing any space. Ensure that you comply with the ADA regulations regarding ADA door signage and door and hallway width. Doing so will make your buildings compliant and help you help your clients better.
If your business or building needs ADA-compliant signs, then please see our website for current offerings.