"Easy as ABC"
Making your entrance wheelchair accessible . . .
Easy as A,B,C
A. If you have a parking area, provide an accessible parking space.
- Make sure it's on level, smooth ground (no slopes, no gravel).
- Mark it with an official blue sign.
- Leave an 8-ft.-wide free area next to the parking spot so customers can get their wheelchairs out. (Paint diagonal stripes on this area.)
- If you have more than 25 parking spaces, provide two accessible parking spots -- for large parking lots, see http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/smbustxt.htm
B. Be sure customers have an accessible route from parking or public sidewalk to your entrance.
- Make sure it's smooth. No gravel, no wood chips, no bumpy cobblestones.
- Make sure there are no changes in level. Any 1/2 inch or higher lips or bumps will need leveling.
- Form a clear path 3 feet wide all the way. Tables, chairs, benches, planters, trash cans sticking into this space make it impassable. Make sure these objects stay out of the way.
C. Create an accessible entrance.
- A ramp slope should be no steeper than 1:12. It should have a flat area at its top (60 inches, if possible).
- Your ramp should be 3 feet wide.
- Install handrails if the ramp's vertical rise is more than 6 inches.
- Automate your door, if possible. Or, make sure it opens with 5 lbs. of force or less.
- Put a lever handle on the door, not a round knob -- it's easier for customers who don't have a good grip to use.
- If you have more than one public entrance, you must make sure that any inaccessible entrance has a sign by it directing customers to the accessible entrance.
- Your accessible entrance must remain unlocked and available for use during all business hours.
Once inside . . .
Both federal and state law requires that you also provide access to customers inside your business. Your public restroom should be accessible. Aisles between racks or tables should provide room to move through in a wheelchair. Sales counters and shelving should be accessible.
You can get information by calling the U.S. Dept. of Justice hotline at (800) 514-0301
or by downloading the booklet at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/smbusgd.pdf