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Published On: Tue, Jul 16th, 2019

Transforming a Property for Disabled Access: A Guide

Facilitating adequate access for disabled and wheelchair-bound individuals can be an important step for property owners to take in certain scenarios. Whether you just became disabled yourself, are trying to cater to the needs of a recently disabled family member or are operating a hospice or other service that accommodates the disabled, there are some steps that absolutely must be taken to achieve a minimally accepted level of accessibility. For starters, here are several features and installations you’ll want to add to your property if disabled access is a top priority.

photo/ pexels user Burst

 

  • Have a Domestic Lift Installed

 

Wheelchair lifts are important components to have because they provide fail-proof and convenient systems to help disabled individuals enter and exit the building in a safe and convenient manner. If you’re interested in learning more about the costs and benefits associated with installing a home lift and you want to figure out whether this would be a suitable option for your property, you can find out here. According to Terry Lifts, a certified member of the LEIA (Lift and Escalator Industry Association), installing a lift is by far the most impactful move that you can make to improve disabled access on any residential or commercial property. 

 

  • Wheelchair-friendly Sidewalks and Paved Paths

 

You can also create better disabled access on your property by having paved areas that are wide and smooth enough to allow for optimal wheelchair functionality. Ideally, you’ll want to have paths leading up to all disabled-friendly entrances and exits. You may also want to build an additional path that winds around the yard or property to give disabled individuals the option of going for a short stroll around the premises. This option is rarely considered for those with mobility issues in the UK, and disabled people making travel arrangements even have to research wheelchair-friendly paths. Remember this when landscaping your property.

 

  • Replace Steps with Ramps

 

Stairs are obviously a no-go when it comes to revising your property for accessibility. Anywhere you would normally put steps should instead be fitted with a low-incline ramp. You’ll also want to include a safety railing. Another way to make the ramp safer for people who are pushing their own wheelchair is to throw in a corner or 90-degree angle with a wheel stop at the bottom of the turn – this would prevent wheelchairs from picking up too much momentum when rolling down the ramp because the user not only has to turn around a corner while going down but is also protected by the wheel stop at the base. 

 

  • Widen the Door and Install a Push-Button Opening Mechanism

 

Having a wheelchair accessible door won’t do much good if the wheelchair itself won’t fit inside. Opening a door by hand can be difficult for many disabled individuals, so installing a push button opening mechanism is another feature you may want to look into. Thus, widening all doors that lead out to ramps or lifts is an essential step to take. Likewise, if the property is going to serve as the residence or office of a disabled individual, it would be wise to place the peephole at the height for someone in a wheelchair to look through.

Author: Carol Trehearn

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