If you manage a property, whether commercial or residential, you know the importance of accessibility. For starters, ensuring that your property is accessible to those with limited mobility is the right thing to do. And in many cases doing so is required by regulations contained in the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.
We advise you to always follow all applicable ADA regulations, of course. But there are ways you can improve accessibility beyond that level. Here are 3 ways for you to consider improving accessibility on your property.
Install Surfaces with Truncated Domes
You’ve likely encountered truncated dome technology in the wild. Also called tactile paving or detectable warning surfaces, truncated domes are an ADA-compliant way to notify people who are visually impaired of an upcoming danger. They are walking surfaces, usually yellow in color, with a pattern of raised bumps across their surface. They are most commonly installed at crosswalks, on stairs, at train station platforms. A person who is visually impaired can feel the truncated domes with his or her feet or with a walking stick. Then he or she will be alerted that a potentially dangerous situation lies ahead.
Truncated domes are often installed by cities and municipalities when sidewalks or other walking surfaces are refinished. But you may find useful applications for these surfaces on your property, too. Install these effectively, and people with visual impairment will appreciate your effort to keep them safe.
Create Van-Accessible Parking
You likely already have some accessible (or handicapped) parking. But ADA-compliant handicapped parking often can’t accommodate a modified van with accessibility features. These vans feature motorized lift gates that usually operate out the van’s side door. They require a certain amount of clearance so that a wheelchair or motorized scooter can be loaded and unloaded next to the van. Some people with limited mobility are even able to drive their own vans equipped with these features. Consider creating van-accessible parking in addition to your existing accessible (handicapped) parking.
Keep Sidewalks and Paths Clear of Overgrowth and Debris
Drivers sometimes encounter dangerous situations due to poor landscaping management: overgrown bushes at a shopping center exit can block driver’s views of oncoming traffic. This danger could be easily avoided with consistent, thoughtful landscape management.
People with limited mobility often experience a similar difficulty. A sidewalk that’s ADA-compliant on paper can become completely unusable if bushes or other foliage are hanging over onto the path. Roots and debris can make path too difficult to navigate, as well. Keep your sidewalks clean and your bushes trimmed to create better accessibility.
If you’re looking to improve accessibility on your property, start with these three tips. And remember to follow all ADA rules and regulations as you work to improve your property.