Handicap Facilities in Public Buildings

Getting around in a public building is usually not too much of a problem these days for wheelchair users or anyone with mobility issues. Most buildings are now fitted with entry ramps so you can get in or out, and once you're in there are elevators wide enough for wheelchairs or electric mobility scooters. Where there are no elevators, often due to space limitations, there are stairlifts or wheelchair stair lifts fitted to stairways so we can get up to the other floors if necessary.

I want this article to sound pretty positive, so it will be all about the good side of getting around and using public buildings and the handicap facilities they have installed. So no whining about the lack of anything - I'll leave that to a future article!

So getting back to our public buildings that are wheelchair friendly and either designed from the ground up or retro-fitted with all the accessibility options that people with special needs, need. We have the bathroom facilities that are essential in just about all public buildings now, by law. This is a good step forward and it is nice to know that you can get to one easily enough when you need it and using it will be generally as easy as your own that you have installed in your home.

Another good thing to note is that these days, the people responsible for the maintenance and cleaning of most public buildings are more aware of the needs of people with disabilities and make a point of not scheduling the cleaning of the handicap bathroom during the hours the building is open to the public. This used to be a big issue, but that seems to have been cleared up as people took notice of our needs.

What about walkways, doorways and office navigation?

Even that is better in most places now. Walkways are wider to facilitate wheelchairs and electric scooters, while the doorways on public offices or interview rooms are wide enough so that we can get our wheelchairs in and out without any hassle.

Offices have been redesigned with a floor plan that provides more space to navigate a wheelchair around, without obstacles and encumbrances clogging up the path we need to take from A to B. All in all, this is a vast improvement on years gone by. But its not all great and as I said I wouldn't do any moaning in this article, I'll leave it to a later one to talk about the exceptions to this ever expanding and growing better rule...

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