An accessibility assessment can help identify barriers that prevent people with disabilities from accessing your business. Here are some things to look for as you conduct your own accessibility assessment:
- Entrances and Exits: Ensure entrances are level and wide enough for wheelchairs. Automatic doors are ideal. Avoid placing accessibility buttons in spaces that the door will swing towards to ensure easy access.
- Parking: Designated accessible parking spots should be clearly marked and have proper signage. The designated spaces should be on a level surface close to entrances.
- Washrooms: At least one accessible and gender inclusive washroom is required. It should have a wide stall, grab bars, and easy-to-use locks and fixtures. If possible, having an accessible changing table to help parents of all genders.
- Circulation paths: Aisles and pathways should be at least 36 inches wide to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. Avoid overstuffed chairs and displays that block paths.
- Signage: Ensure signs are visible, easy to read and include both text and symbols. Place signs at optimal heights.
- Seating: Have removable armrests, spaces between tables and chairs for wheelchairs and movable seating options. Also consider rest benches throughout the building to accommodate all needs.
- Technology: Make sure your website and apps provide accessibility features and meet web content accessibility standards. For more information, the Canadian government has a detailed guide on web accessibility requirements for all web and app resources.
- Service Counters: Ensure at least one lowered section for customers of short stature or in wheelchairs. Make sure to create receiving counters for receiving product orders that are inclusive of all height and ability needs.
- Evacuation Preparation: Ensure Evacuation Chairs and other evacuation tools are available in easy to access spaces, and that your staff is regularly trained on how to effectively evacuate staff and clients using evacuation tools.
Conducting a thorough accessibility assessment is the first step to identifying and removing barriers for people with disabilities. From there, you can implement solutions to make your business fully inclusive for all customers and employees.
For more info on business accessibility, including preconstruction services, contact us to schedule an assessment of your business space. Accessible Places provides customized access plans and mobility solutions to fit your needs and budgets.