‘Accessibility in General’ Category
Explore the nuances of ADA and access codes with Janis Kent, Architect. Gain clarity on differences, implementations, and how federal and state regulations interact.
Explore the impact of Color Vision Deficiency in daily life. Read about its prevalence, types, effects on job choices, and tips for design considerations.
Braille was originally developed by Charles Barbier, who was interested in alternate writing forms. Some thought it was a code he created that could be used by the army at night.
I received an email today from someone at an Administrative Authority enquiring as to my opinion on protruding objects. Apparently they are reviewing a new construction project where the wall sconces are installed at less than 80″ above the finished floor, which is fine, but they project into the hallway more than 4″ which is not fine.
Time and again, I find that there is often confusion as to what Access means and who it is for. There is this overlying presumption that it is mostly for people who use wheelchairs. There are many types of disabilities. The question is – what are we doing and for who is it for.
One of the items that did not seem entirely clear to me was reflective or reflectorized signs for parking, and how do you recognize them, vs glossy or matt signs. At one point I looked for small dots in the signs but many of them seem to be faded with no added benefit that I could discern. And recently I have been seeing the signs with vertical type prism bands. So what is required, what is the difference, and what are we looking for?
Many times issues come up regarding the presence of animals in public spaces and places of public accommodation. Most building/business owners (hopefully) know enough to allow the service animal in and that they can not ask a person with an animal what their disability is. But the question is – is the animal really a service animal – how can they tell, and which animals are they required to allow to enter the premises?
One of the things we learn as designers and architects is how to organize, design, and incorporate way-finding thru axis and focal points. We learn about the more formal architecture with its linear and direct arrangements of space versus the informal with its cluster arrangements and less direct connections. We also learn much more about design for the mobility impaired. Since mobility issues directly affect the architectural environment, it is better defined in building codes and federal regulations with a multitude of requirements. For the Deaf Community – which is an inclusive term for those who might be fully deaf to hard-of-hearing and communicate by signing, lip reading, and/or using technology devices – we generally think in terms of placing visual alarms or sound attenuated devices, since this is what is required, and mostly for interior environments.
Doorbells have a variety of requirements with the implementation of the 2010 ADA Standards. This would be within communication feature units both for transient lodging guest rooms as well as for dwelling units. These features are for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and blind or partially sighted.
Acceptable tolerances are one of the major questions for built projects. No matter how carefully we delineate drawings or how well facilities are built, there always seems to be something that comes up that is not per plan or design. So after it is built, the question often is, a tolerance of ¼” or a tenth of a percent, for instance, is it acceptable? The answer is, of course – it depends.