Many people in America live with disabilities, including mobility disabilities which require them to use a wheelchair, walker, cane, or crutches to get around. While most businesses are aware of ADA guidelines for their stores, some requirements are unfortunately overlooked. In today’s blog, we will be taking a look at how your commercial or residential space could use some improvements in order to be completely ADA compliant. We will be discussing entrance areas, entry doors, and entry door handles, all of which can hinder a person’s access to a building in different ways.
If you own a business, you should ensure that your entryway is completely accessible to everyone, including those with mobility disabilities. Those who do not have an ADA compliant entryway are essentially denying customers access based on their physical condition. To ensure that your business’s entryway is 100% ADA compliant, let’s take a look at the entrance area, entry doors, and entry door handles, which are the three main ways that a person with mobility disabilities could be denied entrance.
For people with disabilities, whether they use a wheelchair, walker, cane, or crutches, to have ADA compliant access to your business, there should be no steps or stairs in front of the doorway. Even one step up could hinder their access. Installing a ramp or creating a second entryway is a great way to eliminate this challenge for people with disabilities and keep your building ADA compliant. If you do have a second entryway available as an option, keep in mind that only one entrance into your building has to be ADA compliant, so the other one can have stairs if you wish. Ramps can be created as a part of your entryway with construction, or you can find an ADA-approved ramp to securely place in front of your door if you have a single step up.
Additionally, ensure that your entrance area is wide enough for people who use wheelchairs to make turns. It can be very awkward for people to have to wheel out of a door backward because there is not enough space to turn around. For more information about ADA compliant accessible entrance for business, check out the official ADA guide for small businesses.
Once your customers get up to the front door, are the ones with mobility disabilities able to open it easily? The best kind of entry door you could have would be one that opens up automatically. We understand that not every business may not be in a building with this luxury or be able to afford the upgrade to do so. However, there are some other options. As long as your door can stay propped open and is wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair (36” wide), your door is ADA compliant. If your door does not open wide enough, consider widening the entrance frame or installing some swinging hinges, which might be enough to help. If you need assistance picking out new door hardware, contact the experts at First Impressions International, and we can come up with the perfect solution to help make your business’s entry door ADA compliant.
Entry Door Handles
Aside from the door itself, certain door handles can be tricky for people to open if they have disabilities. Round doorknobs and thumb latch handles require some twisting strength and force to open the door, which can be an unwanted challenge for a person with disabilities. Instead, consider door handles that are levers or loops. A lever door handle is easy to push, which not only helps people with disabilities but can help people with their hands full and can eliminate hand-to-door contact since people can use their arms or bodies to push the door open. Looped door handles are also a great option since no twisting and turning is involved; you just simply need to push or push the loop to open the door. At First Impressions International, we offer a variety of door handle options, including custom-designed and made decorative door handles that match your business’s logo or style. For assistance picking out ADA-compliant door handles for commercial spaces, contact us today.
Perhaps you, someone you live with, or someone who visits often has a mobility disability. Consider all of these aforementioned updates for your home as well. Eliminate the challenging staircase and install an accessible ramp for easier front door entry. Ensure that your front entry door can open wide enough to fit a wheelchair or walker, at least 36 inches. And finally, swap out your front door hardware, including the door handle, for easier access. Get rid of your round doorknob and replace it with an easy-to-push-and-open lever handle. When doing this upgrade, consider a custom-made door handle from First Impressions International to tie your house’s style together and add some curb appeal.
ADA Compliant Door Hardware and Custom Door Handles at First Impressions International
At First Impressions International, we offer a variety of door, kitchen, and other house hardware, as well as custom door handle projects. We have worked with residential homes, retail stores, hospitality businesses, and everything in between. Our team is dedicated to finding the perfect solution to help make your commercial building or home ADA compliant, starting with the entrance. Learn more about the products we sell and the services that we offer and then contact First Impressions International today to get started!