Now that your clientele have come to know that you
provide an accessible facility make certain that the accommodations
you provide are maintained and functioning. Routine checks and periodic
maintenance plans will help prevent those embarrassing moments for both
you and the customer when an accommodation is in a dysfunctional state
or otherwise unavailable.
In order for an accessible parking space to
be usable, all elements of the space must be free of obstructions: the
vehicle space, the access aisle, the curb ramp, and the route that connects
the parking to the accessible entrance of the building. Lack of maintenance
of any one of those elements can make the whole space inaccessible.
For example, for a wheelchair user to exit her car, she must place her
wheelchair in the access aisle, transfer from the car seat to her wheelchair,
and then roll backward in the access aisle to provide clearance to close
the car door. If another car parks in the aisle or if a plow loads the
aisle with snow, the wheelchair user does not have sufficient room to
get out of her car. That parking space the owner just paid to have correctly
re-striped is now useless to her.
Accessible Route Into and Through the Business
While accessible routes through a store are
originally well-planned, promotional, seasonal, and other special displays
that surround entrances and spill into aisles may substantially reduce
their accessibility. Customers with disabilities will not be able to
shop in a store if the route through an entry plaza is too narrow because
of a display of snow blowers, if the maneuvering clearance alongside
the entrance door is blocked by a sale book rack, or if a route contains
scattered trip hazards from impulse items displayed on cloth-covered
tables or in baskets on the floor.
Restrooms, Fitting Rooms, and Elevators
Equally important to the customer experience
is the ability to comfortably access the various elements offered within
a given establishment. Whats more, its essential that facility
managers understand that product selection is only the starting point
as installation must be done with height and placement in mind, and
maintenance of the various fixtures and/or features are just as crucial
to accessibility as product selection and installation. Maintenance
of accessible restrooms, fitting rooms, and customer service areas,
as well as any lifts and elevators is essential for all customers to
fully enjoy the experience your business offers.