Simple ways firms can make their attractions and buildings more accessible

Simple ways firms can make their attractions and buildings more accessible

I am passionate about accessible travel and write quite a bit about the experiences I have with this. Over the years, I have found that little enhancements can make a huge difference to disabled travelers.

Good signage can be really helpful

When getting around is a struggle, the last thing you need is to waste time walking or wheeling yourself to the wrong place. Unfortunately, signage is something that an awful lot of businesses and towns or cities get wrong. There is a tendency not to provide enough of it or make things clear enough.

For people with visual impairments, some signs are impossible for them to read. It is a shame that more companies do not go to somewhere like to buy signage that is designed to be legible for more people. They even sell signs that are printed in braille.

In 2010, the US government strengthened its Americans with Disabilities Acts (ADA), in an effort to make things easier for their citizens. One of the changes they made was requiring businesses to provide internal signage that included tactile characters. This enabled those who had lost their sight completely to more easily navigate their way around a building.

The language or images used on signs also need to be clear and concise. This simple change helps people with learning difficulties to find their way around and stay safe. As you can see here, it is all too easy to get things wrong and really confuse people. Many of the examples are very funny. But, they also help to make a serious point, which is that firms need to think carefully about what they put on their signs.

Make reliable lifts and stairlifts available

For many people, lifts are essential. If you have a mobility issue or heart condition, climbing even just a few stairs can be impossible. So, it is essential that businesses install and maintain lifts or escalators. However, this can be expensive to do.

Fortunately, modern stairlifts are becoming more affordable and in most buildings, there is plenty of room to install one. So, it is a viable option and more businesses and attractions are investing in them.

Provide wheelchair accessible pathways

Being out in the fresh air, close to nature is good for the body and soul. Following a path that takes you through beautiful countryside really lifts the spirit.

But, sadly, it is not very easy for wheelchair and mobility scooter users to do this. For the most part, they are restricted to towns and cities, simply because these are the only areas where the pathways are smooth enough for them to use.

It is nice to go to a city park and spend a couple of hours exploring. But, sometimes you want to go somewhere that is tranquil as well as green, without the background traffic noise.

Fortunately, stately homes, botanical gardens, and national parks are realizing that people in wheelchairs and on mobility scooters want to explore the countryside too. As a result, more of them are widening their pathways and making them out of materials that are relatively wheelchair friendly. Or they are providing visitors with the opportunity to hop onto a scooter or into a wheelchair that has off-road capabilities. This is an option that opens up a world of new opportunities for those with mobility issues.

It is good to see the world-changing and becoming more accessible. Hopefully, this trend will accelerate.

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