ISO 21542 is an international standard that provides guidelines for making buildings and facilities accessible to People with Disabilities. Here are some of the most important standards from ISO 21542 for construction companies:
- Entrances: The standard requires entrances to be accessible and free from hazards that could cause trips or falls. This includes ensuring that pathways leading to the entrance are wide enough to accommodate mobility devices and that steps are equipped with handrails on both sides.
- Elevators: The standard sets out requirements for accessible elevators, including their size, controls, and braille markings. Elevators should be large enough to accommodate mobility devices, and the controls and indicators should be easy to reach and understand.
- Washrooms: The standard sets out requirements for accessible washrooms, including their size, layout, and the types of fixtures that must be included. Washrooms should be designed to accommodate mobility devices, with accessible stalls, sinks, and grab bars.
- Lighting: The standard requires that lighting be sufficient to prevent falls and positioned to reduce glare and shadows. Lighting should be bright enough for people with visual impairments to see clearly, but not so bright as to cause discomfort or eye strain.
- Flooring: The standard requires that flooring be slip-resistant and free from tripping hazards, with a maximum height difference of 5mm (0.2 inches) between flooring surfaces. This can include the use of slip-resistant materials such as carpet, vinyl, or rubber, and the placement of non-slip mats in areas that may become wet.
- Signage: The standard requires that signage be provided in a range of formats, including braille and tactile formats, to ensure that people with visual impairments can access the information they need. The standard also sets out requirements for the size, contrast, and placement of signs to ensure they are easily visible.
By following these and other standards set by ISO 21542, construction companies can help ensure that the buildings they construct are accessible to people with disabilities, which can improve the safety, usability, and overall quality of the buildings. This can also help construction companies meet regulatory requirements and improve their reputation as socially responsible businesses.
Hiring an accessibility specialist can help benchmark your pre-construction’s current state of accessibility against guidelines and standards and provide recommendations for making improvements.