10 Nov Venue Accessibility – Accessible Restrooms
Although complicated, accessibility is far from an unsolvable challenge
Disabled Spectator is committed to revolutionizing the way people with disabilities, their family and friends enjoy entertainment and sporting events at public venues. There are a number of ways we’re going to achieve this. However, our two primary focuses are on improving the accessible seat ticket purchasing process and gathering and providing venue accessibility information.
Venue accessibility is essential for people with disabilities attending live entertainment events. Without venue accessibility, people with disabilities are denied their right to enjoy music, sports, theater, etc., like their non-disabled counterparts.
Ensuring their venue is accessible is a challenge many venue management groups face. What makes accessibility seem complicated and challenging is the fact that there are so many different kinds of disabilities, thus each person with a disability has their own accessibility needs. Regardless, it’s possible to account for almost everyone’s accessibility needs, or at the very least, provide additional service during events to patrons with disabilities.
One way venues could tackle accessibility issues is by addressing each phase customers go through while attending, and looking at specific accessibility features that apply to that phase. We plan on doing showing this with a series of blog posts.
Today, we’re going to focus on accessible bathrooms venues.
Accessible Restrooms – What To Consider
Accessible restrooms are vital. Ideally, every restroom at a venue is accessible. Restrooms should be evenly spaced throughout the building. If there is a large parking complex, there should be accessible restrooms spread across the parking area as well. If a venue has specific accessible seating areas, accessible restrooms must be located as close to these areas as possible.
Accessible restrooms must clearly be labeled as accessible and staff should be on hand in the area to assist with any questions or concerns. There cannot be a slope or steps leading up to the restroom or by the entrance. The pathway and entrance to the restroom must be clear and accessible.
It can be beneficial for accessible restrooms to be standalone rooms, with their own entrance separate from the other restrooms. This shortens the wait time for people with disabilities, which can be important for people with some invisible disabilities.
Accessible restrooms require enough room to accommodate a wheelchair or other mobility devices. This means that the room must be at least five feet wide. This allows enough space for a wheelchair to rotate. There must be grab bars behind the toilet and directly next to it, meaning the toilet must be located in the corner of the room, right next to both walls. The toilet seats must be between 17 to 19 inches from the floor. The sinks, hand dryers, and countertops, all must be at a low height. Otherwise, wheelchair users will have trouble reaching them. Hand dryers should be touch-free and motion activated.
As mentioned above, accessibility might be a challenge but it is far from unsolvable.
Check out our other posts from our Venue Accessibility series.