When shopping for wheelchairs, have you ever pondered over what is the size of a typical wheelchair? For starters, a wheelchair’s average length is 28 inches, which can pass through a 32-inch wide door.
Yet, there are a lot of elements that impact the width of a wheelchair. There can be wheelchairs that are about 40 inches wide. These wheelchairs are heavy-duty for bariatric users. There are also 18 inches wide wheelchairs which are made for transport and children. Different types of wheelchairs come in different sizes.
Sizes of Walkways for Wheelchairs
Department and business stores also have designed their aisles and walkways to be at least three feet wide. Besides, the ends of aisles should have 3×3 foot space to turn a wheelchair user. That will warrant a smooth flow of traffic in these stores’ aisles with minimal chances of injuries.
The shelves can contain products at any height. Yet, there should be an employee nearby to hand over the items when needed. ADA accessibility requirements state that the checkout counter must be 36 inches in length and not exceed a height of 34 inches. To help wheelchairs and electric scooters in turning and queuing customers in the stores, the checkout should be 48 by 36 inches.
Heights of Counters for Wheelchair Users
There should be tables and counters accessible for people who use wheelchairs. Be it a restaurant or other places that sell food and drinks. A typical dining table does not have a height that gives a 30″ average lap height so that a wheelchair can slide underneath.
When constructing wheelchair-friendly eating spaces, one should keep the width requirements of a wheelchair under consideration too. There are times where it is compulsory to have unique surfaces for customers that use wheelchairs.
Restaurants should mark the designated areas for customers to find them. They should also include extra space for wheelchairs to maneuver. They can install counters with retractable knee areas that allow wheelchairs to be brought nearer to the edge.
Updating Your Building for Standard Wheelchair Width
Suppose you plan to alter your business or building space to incorporate accessibility for wheelchairs. In that case, you should verify if the person that will make these alterations knows what the ADA standards are. If you feel unsure about something, you can always establish contact with the ADA compliance team.
Areas that are slick with rain must be highlighted. If you live in places where it often snows, make sure to have a way not blocked by it. Placing indicators for people using wheelchairs will stop any accidents from occurring. It will also make your living or business place user-friendly.
Spaces, facilities, and parking areas with ease of access grant disabled individuals more freedom. With accomodating establishments, disabled individuals dine in their favorite restaurants and shop in their famous malls without ever facing the struggle of crowded walkways and narrow doorways.
Width of a Standard Wheelchair and Commercial Spaces
A commercial building’s owner needs to be responsible enough to allow easy access to all its areas. And that requires careful planning of the building’s passages which includes entrance, furniture placement, counter, and aisles. Commercial buildings often block passages to slow foot traffic. The owners must ensure that a standard type of wheelchair can use the path section.
We need to understand that the US population that requires wheelchairs for their transport is around two to three million. We must consider this as an alarming situation because negligence can impact the commercial establishment’s image in customers’ eyes. While it may also violate the ADAs accessibility standard, there is a need to build wheelchair platforms everywhere.
Facts on Wheelchairs
According to the ADA accessibility standard, the width of a door needs to be 32 inches. This guarantees easy maneuverability for the wheelchair user. An electric wheelchair may be wider than a manual one and therefore it is important for us to consider creating spaces that can easily accommodate such wheelchairs without an issue, including wheelchair ramps or lifts.
A doorway’s width can also surpass 36 inches. These extra spaces are particularly useful in emergencies. On the other hand, narrow doors make it difficult for a wheelchair user to pass through. The wheelchair can harm the passage or even damage the entrance. Obstructions from objects and sharp turns are also important aspects when the comfort and safety of a wheelchair is kept in mind.
People who use wheelchairs need access to the facilities around their surroundings, be it homes, health clinics, or grocery stores. It will allow them to carry out their daily activities without any obstructions. Commercial spaces should include mobility aid and mobility equipment so that is less stressful for people using a wheelchair to do their chores.
Wheelchair folks not only require a platform to move upon but they also require another basic necessity that is toileting. Apart from wheelchair-accessible pathways, we must also consider incorporating wheelchair ramp toilets in public. It would require sharing knowledge about wheelchair-appropriate areas in order to completely protect the rights of disabled individuals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do commercial spaces need to be wheelchair-accessible at all times?
A. Most likely, yes. If you plan to obtain a franchise license, apply for an ADA certificate, or hold one at the federal level you’ll need to be wheelchair-accessible. If you’re a business owner and want other businesses in your area to follow suit, it is imperative that your company complies with this rule.
Q. Should the wheelchair-accessible pathways include ramps?
A. Yes. If this wheelchair-accessible pathway is in an unlevel area, then it should include a ramp. However, there are areas where ramps are not appropriate. For instance, if you are building on a hill or on uneven terrain, then you need to keep the wheelchair-accessible platforms level.