Buildings Accessibility

 
An accessible structure is one that enables persons with a disability, as well as the general public, to navigate, move around and use its facilities in an equal, dignified, independent and secure manner. This article reviews issues that must be addressed in making structures accessible.

​A structure can serve as a workplace, a place of residence or one that serves the general public. The law places various accessibility obligations on every type of building. This article provides a brief summary about the accessibility of buildings serving the public. For in-depth details please see the links listed below under “More on the topic”.

 

  1. Accessibility to and from the structure – at least one main route to and from the structure will be accessible, in other words without stairs, with a moderate incline, with handrails as required, free of obstacles, paved with hard, even, uniform, non-slip flooring, and wide enough to enable secure movement. In certain cases the route will be marked for persons with a visual disability.
  2. Disabled parking – the building will have the number of accessible parking spaces specified in the regulations. For persons with a disabled parking permit there will be parking spaces located near the elevator or the accessible entrances to the building. There will also be accessible passageways from the parking area to the building and proper signage.
  3. Accessible routes and passageways in the building – providing a continuous space for movement that is free of obstacles and enables turning, as well as a passage to entryways and to passages branching from them.
  4. Doors, entryways and gates – all persons will be able to enter and exit the structure through the main entryway. Accessibility arrangements will provide for wide entryways, a space for maneuvering before and after every door, and a door that opens and closes without great physical effort.
  5. Overcoming height differences:
    • Ramps that connect levels – the ramps will be at a moderate incline (5%-8%) that enables going up and down independently and without danger of falling or rolling down the ramp. In case of a long ramp – it will be divided into several ramps, separated by intermediate landings for rest. All ramps will have handrails installed on both sides.
    • Elevators – accessible elevators according to Manufacturing Standard 2481, Part 70, comfortably sized for a person in a wheelchair and an accompanying individual. The elevator will also have a handrail, buttons with embossed letters and numerals, signage in large clear letters and a public address system.
    • Stairs – a continuous handrail on both sides throughout the length of the staircase, a handrail in intermediate landings between floors and warning markings for persons with a visual disability.
  6. Accessible bathrooms for persons with a disability – toilet stalls for persons with a disability and access to them will be adapted to meet the regulations – stall size and shape, stall door and how it is opened, a handrail, sinks with room underneath to enable wheelchair access, etc.
  7. Direction signage – signage from the entrance to the structure and up to the main activity areas. In addition, direction signage for exiting the structure as well as for toilets, elevators and stairs.
  8. Flooring – flooring made of sturdy material that is slightly rough so as to enable comfortable movement and prevent slippage.
  9. Warning and alarm systems – auditory and visual warning and alarm systems.
  10. Protected area – an accessible protected area that persons with a disability can enter rapidly within the required timeframe and use its facilities.
  11. Acoustics and auditory systems – install acoustic and auditory systems in gathering halls, main meeting rooms and at service desks.
  12. Furniture – furniture that enables comfortable use by persons of different body sizes and reduced functioning and that meets service accessibility regulations.

 

More on the topic: