ADA: Design for All
July 11, 2014 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
The mindset toward accessibility in many institutional and commercial facilities is evolving, but slowly. How can maintenance and engineering managers update their attitude toward ADA to see it as an element of the "design for all" concept instead of as a penalty or as something extra?
The best way to do this is by thinking of it as making the facility accessible to more visitors and occupants — not just those with disabilities — which is good for the bottom line.
In most cases, the project or facility can be designed so it does not negatively affect customers who are not disabled, yet still provides a positive experience for those that are. Accessible features also tend to benefit broader, possibly unexpected demographic groups, including parents with strollers, senior citizens, people with temporary injuries or even someone delivering packages or carrying luggage. These features ensure any and all customers can access the space safely and comfortably.