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What Are the Different Types of Wheelchair Accessible Accommodation?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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A wheelchair accessible accommodation or set of accommodations may be required for businesses, and for handicapped people, home renovations that accommodate a wheelchair may be necessary. Perhaps the most noticeable and common wheelchair accessible accommodation for businesses and homes is the wheelchair ramp, which allows a person in a wheelchair to access a building with front steps. The ramp bypasses the steps and allows the person in the wheelchair to wheel up or down the ramp easily. Most businesses are required to have some sort of handicap accessibility such as this ramp, though certain circumstances can prevent a business from having such accommodations.

One of the more common but less noticeable wheelchair accessible accommodation projects within the home is the widening of doorways. This allows a person in a wheelchair to get through doorways without worrying about injuring his or her hands, or getting stuck in a room because the doorway is too narrow to allow passage of a wider wheelchair. This is a matter of convenience as well as safety: a wheelchair bound person needs to be able to move through the house freely in the event of an emergency, such as a fire.

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Lowered countertops are another common wheelchair accessible accommodation. The countertops can be lowered to a level that allows a wheelchair bound person to use the counters comfortably without reaching. The countertops may even be designed to be shallower to allow a wheelchair bound person to reach the back end of the countertop. Tables can also be lowered, as can other commonly used tables or surfaces. It is not uncommon to see wall mounted phones mounted much lower than typical phones, though with the popularity of cell phones, this wheelchair accessible accommodation is needed less and less.

Multi-floor buildings are usually required to have elevators so handicapped persons can access the upper floors. The elevator itself must be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, and the numbers that dictate which floor the elevator will travel to must be low enough for a wheelchair-bound person to reach them. Bathrooms in public buildings must also feature widened doorways for handicap accessibility, and in many cases, every bathroom must feature one or more handicap stall that is larger and wider than a typical stall. Hand rails are very often featured in these stalls to allow a wheelchair bound person to get onto the toilet seat more easily. The seat of the toilet is usually the same or similar height to a typical adult wheelchair.

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