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Wheelchair users and public access

Wheelchair users and public access

For some of us mobility is a big issue as we find it hard to walk for whatever the reason, whether due to permanent disabilities, injuries or thru illness. This is when a wheelchair becomes a necessity as they are without doubt the most popular type of mobility aid whether its a self propelled wheelchair for those fortunate enough to retain their freedom or a transit or push wheelchair when an assistant is needed.

When traveling overseas we need to mae ourselves aware of mobility standards and expect them to vary widely. In more and more countries there are laws that require public buildings to be constructed to accommodate wheelchair users as in the UK. Facilities are required by law to accommodate the wheelchair user and ensure they have as much access with ease as any other user of the building. These regulations mean that assistance for wheelchair users such as wheelchair ramps, lifts and auto-opening doors are in place making mobility easier. In some places extra effort has been made to make all facilities mobility friendly and include thoughtful gestures such as wash basins at a lower height so that seated individuals can still make use of them without difficult, grab bars and over sized cubicles can also be found in public places.

This level of mobility assistance is becoming more common place and now appears in libraries, modern Churches and hospitals, where wheelchair ramps can be found on all floors. These wheelchair ramps are designed to ensure that wheelchair users can ascend or descend with ease, so the gradient and ramp surface are critical factors. In multi-story buildings wheelchair ramps are used for the lower floors and elevators are used by most wheelchair users.

Wheelchair ramps to the resuce

In recent years smaller portable wheelchair ramps have become more popular and are now portable than ever meaning they are often carried in vehicles for use on arrival. Public transport has also had to adapt with buses in the UK now lowering at bus stops in built up areas, trains now have wheelchair friendly facilities including ramps, toilets and wider gangways. This rollout of wheelchair friendly features in recent years has made enormous differences for wheelchair users and the benefits enjoyed by many more disabled people than a decade ago. As a result, disabled individuals are now able to enjoy more facilities in their neighbourhood, allowing a wider variety of pursuits and greater freedom for wheelchair users.