On January 26, 1992, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) went into effect and has had a dramatic impact on improving the lives of people with disabilities.

The goal of the act is to ensure that public places are accessible and hospitable for anyone and everyone who might be differently-abled, including making businesses and homes more wheelchair accessible.

While the passage of this act has done a lot to improve the lives of people with disabilities, the changes haven’t happened quickly. Even now, many businesses and homes are looking for ways to ensure that all people have access to what they need.

Read on for some tips to make your workplace or home better suited for wheelchair accessibility

1. Get Rid of the Stairs

Probably the largest obstacle that your home or business faces when it comes to wheelchair access is stairs.

But stairs aren’t only problematic for wheelchairs, they can be a challenge for anyone who might have limited mobility. Thus, getting rid of stairs and replacing them with ramps benefits a wide range of individuals.

Stairs are a common feature in a variety of architectural styles for business and homes. In some cases, there may only be one or two steps that are located on the outside of your home or business to get inside. Taking the time to add ramps to these few steps makes it easy for anyone to access your home or business.

Since this can be a challenging change to undertake on your own, you might consider working with a professional. To make your home or business as accessible as possible, visit this website today!

2. Add a Stair Lift or Elevator

If you have a staircase in your home or business that a ramp can’t be added to, then you should consider adding a stairlift or elevator. Stairlifts are used more often in homes. They can be a permanent modification or you can look into a portable stair climber.

Elevators are used more often in businesses because of their cost and the amount of space needed to accommodate the car and lifting mechanisms. However, they can be added to a home, and this can increase your property value.

Both options can be useful in either a business or a home, and determining which one you want to add will depend on the individuals who need to use these mobility aids.

Either one can ensure that people can quickly and easily get from one level to another, but some may find it more convenient to ride an elevator, as this means they won’t have to get out of their wheelchair.

To ensure that you are offering the right equipment for accessibility in your business or home, you might consider asking those who will be using it which one they prefer.

3. Update the Bathroom to Make It Wheelchair Accessible

Trying to navigate a bathroom in a home or business can be incredibly tricky for differently-abled individuals. Thus, making bathroom modifications for disabled individuals will ensure that they are safe and able to take care of personal needs.

Make the Tub Accessible

In your home, one of the things you’ll want to focus on includes how accessible the tub is. Since this feature often comes with tall sides and the tile can become incredibly slick when wet, it’s beneficial if you get a tub that a person can walk into.

Some of the other features the tub should be equipped with include the following:

  • Bench for sitting
  • Handrails for support and stability to get in and out of the tub safely
  • Water handles that are easy to reach and turn on
  • A showerhead that can be removed to ensure the individual can clean every part of their body

It’s also a good idea to ensure that all surfaces in the tub have a slip-resistant surface. This ensures the safety of anyone who uses the tub for personal cleaning purposes.

Ensure the Toilet Is Easy to Use

Toilets are another feature that can be challenging for people with disabilities to use, but adding handrails can make accessibility much easier. Adding this feature to toilets in your home and at your business will allow those with limited mobility the ability to safely use the facilities.

4. Be Aware of How You Position Furniture and Store Shelves

To ensure that individuals who use wheelchairs can easily maneuver through your store or home, you need to make sure you have enough space between your product shelves or your furniture. It’s also helpful to remove obstacles that create sharp turns.

Within your store, it’s a good idea to remove any boxes or displays from the middle of aisles, as these can create narrow passages that make it difficult for people to maneuver around.

Not only is this a challenge for individuals with mobility issues, but it can also create a tripping hazard for other customers. To keep everyone safe, it’s a good idea to keep aisles as open as possible.

Within the home, you might consider reducing the size or amount of furniture you have in your home.

Instead of having a coffee table in the middle of the room, you might consider adding end tables to set things on.

This will open up space and allow individuals who are in wheelchairs the ability to quickly and easily move through it.

5. Get Rid of Other Hazards

Not only should you ensure that the furniture in your home and the shelves in your store are positioned correctly, but you should also check for any other hazards that might be challenging for wheels to get over or could become trip hazards for individuals with mobility issues.

This could include getting rid of rugs and making sure electrical cords are out of the way or covered.

If there are any transitions from carpeting to other floor types, make this as smooth as possible. Taking care of these issues benefits everyone, not just people with disabilities.

Work With a Professional

One of the easiest and best ways to ensure your home or business is wheelchair accessible and complies with the stipulations and regulations set forth by the ADA is to work with a professional. They’ll be able to audit your building and give you a list of features you can add to make it more accessible.

For more tips and advice on ways to improve your home or business, check out the other articles on our site.

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