Evaluation of School Accessibility

2185 words (9 pages) Essay in Education

18/05/20 Education Reference this

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Abstract

This Accessibility Assignment was conducted at the Quest Center in Hollywood, Florida. The Quest Center is a special education school that supports different student groups such as those that may have Intellectual Disabilities, hard of hearing, deaf, orthopedically impaired, deaf, and etc. This facility is designed to meet the needs of their students. Therefore, this facility would comply with the majority of the ADA checklist for existing facilities.

 

Advantages

Priority 1: Accessible Approach and Entrance

  • Priority 1 of the ADA checklist indicates that there should be an accessible route from site arrival points and an accessible entrance should be provided for everyone. First and foremost, the parking, exterior route, curb ramps, ramps, and entrances meet the requirements of the ADA checklist. In reference to the parking, the Quest Center has 60 parking spots and 4 accessible parking spots, and two being van accessible. The accessible parking spots are identified with a sign that includes the symbol of accessibility. Secondly, the exterior route meets the ADA requirements of the checklist. The exterior accessible route is slip resistant and stable. There are no visible signs of cracks, bumps, or unevenness of the pavement. In addition, the exterior route is at least 40 inches wide. This accommodation makes it easier for individuals who are in a wheelchair to move easily, due to the amount of space. The running slopes and opening on the exterior are 1:20, which meets the ADA requirements and the openings are no more half of an inch. In reference to curb ramps, the running slope of the cur ramp is precisely 1:12 and meets the requirements of the ADA checklist. In addition, the curb ramps flare is no steeper than 1:10 inches wide. Furthermore, the ramps meet the ADA requirements of the ADA checklist. The ramps at the Quest Center is 36 inches and the surface is slip resistant and stable. In addition, the running slope is no steeper than 1:10 inches. The level landing is placed at the top and bottom of the ramps is longer than the Ada requirements, instead, it is 63 inches. This feature provides safe access for individuals in a wheelchair. Also, there are handrails placed on both sides of the ramps. The ramps are not obstructed and are flushed to the surface. Additionally, the handrails extend at least 12 inches horizontally. Last but not least, the main entrance of the Quest Center utilizes automated sliding doors. The automated sliding doors increase accessibility.

Priority 2: Access to Goods and Services

  • Priority 2 of the ADA checklist indicates that the layout of the building should allow people with disabilities to obtain goods and services and be able to participate in activities without assistance. First and foremost, the interior accessible route, ramps, signs, interior doors, seating, sale services, and food service lines are in compliance with the ADA checklist. In regards to the interior accessible route, the accessible entrance provides access to the main floor and lobby of the Quest Center (206.4). The route is accessible and 40 inches wide. In addition, all objects such as fire extinguishers and drinking fountains protrude at 3 inches. In reference to the ramps, the ramps are 36 inches wide and consist of handrails. In addition, the running slope is 1:10 inches. This makes it easier for individuals who use a wheelchair to move around safely. If the ramp was steeper than 1:12 inches, individuals would find it difficult to move up and down the ramp effectively and efficiently (405.2). Also, it would be considered dangerous because a steeper ramp would cause individuals to go down the ramp at a faster speed. The handrails on the ramp extend 12 inches horizontally at the top and bottom. In reference to the signs or tactile characters, are shown on room numbers, room names, and exit signs. The text characters’ contrast with their backgrounds, which helps individuals who are visually impaired, coupled with, braille. (703.5, 703.3). The baseline of the lowest character is 48 inches above the door. By the baseline being 48 inches, it makes it easier for individuals to utilize the signs effectively (703.4.1). The interior doors open with a width of 48 inches between the face of the door and stops when the door reaches 90 degrees (404.2.3). In addition, there are at least 20 inches of maneuvering. When it comes to the hardware that is equipped on the door, there is a knob with a lever and does not require tight grasping. Also, the door has a closer, which enables the door to close by itself. The door takes approximately 8 seconds to close which is longer than the ADA approval (404.2.9). In regards to the room and spaces, the pathways are 40 inches wide (403.5.1). When it comes to seating at dining surfaces, there are 8 seating spaces and measures at 42 inches wide. This feature helps individuals who are in a wheelchair have access while eating (226.1).

Priority 3: Toilet Rooms

  • Priority 3 of the ADA checklist indicates that toilet rooms should be accessible to people with disabilities when they are open to the public. First, the route, signs, entrance, and toilet rooms meet the requirements of the ADA checklist. All entrances of the toilet rooms are accessible. The entrances of the front door contain a front approach to the pull side and 22 inches wide. The threshold is ¼ inches thick, therefore, individuals who use a wheelchair will be able to maneuver themselves efficiently without having a barrier that would hinder them from getting in and out of the toilet rooms. Each toilet room is designed for each sex, as well as unisex. There are no signs that indicate inaccessible toilet rooms because all of the toilet rooms at the Quest Center is deemed accessible (216.8). The signs of the toilet rooms have text that contrasts with their background (703.5), text characters are raised (703.2), and braille (703.3). This is beneficial for individuals who have visual impairments. Not to mention, the signs have braille. In addition, the door is equipped with a knob with a lever which makes it easier to operate with one hand. Also, the door can be opened easily because it contains closers and the doors are not heavy to open. In the toilet room, there are no obstructions. The toilet rooms contain a clear path of 40 inches of the lavatory, hand dryer, and napkin dispenser (403.5.1). The lavatory has a forward approach of 30 inches wide and 48 inches long (606.2). There are 20 inches of clear floor space that extends under the lavatory so that a person who uses a wheelchair can access the sink (306.2). The height of the toilet seat from the top to the bottom measure 17 inches (604.4).

Priority 4: Additional Access

  • Priority 4 indicates that amenities such as drinking fountains and public telephones should be accessible to people with disabilities. The drinking fountains and fire alarm systems are in compliance with the ADA checklist and standards. The drinking fountains at the Quest Center has adequate floor space in front of it for a forward approach (602.2). This enables a person in a wheelchair to gain access to the drinking fountain. The control of the drinking fountain can be easily operated. For instance, individuals can use one hand and apply pressure of no more than 5 pounds (309.4). In addition, the spouts are adjusted accordingly at a reasonable height. This accommodation enables individuals to reach the drinking fountain. Furthermore, the fire alarm system is equipped with flashing lights and audible signals. The flashing lights can alert individuals who are hard of hearing and the auditory signal can alert individuals who are visually impaired.

Barriers

  • In regard to Priority 2, people with disabilities need access to the facility’s services including access to front desks, check-outs, or aisles. The barriers that were shown while completing the ADA checklist is that the general seating such as in the main office did not possess adequate space that was at least 36 inches wide by at least 48 inches long. This barrier will prevent a person who utilizes a wheelchair or electric wheelchair. In addition to Priority 2, the check-out aisle is only 30 inches wide and does not meet the ADA standard of 36 inches. Therefore, the space should be altered, and equipment and furniture should be moved to provide the necessary space that is needed to provide adequate space. In regards to Priority 3, there should be accessible toilet rooms, if toilet rooms are provided for other patrons. Not to mention, there are no visible signs at inaccessible toilet rooms that give directions to accessible toilet rooms. Thus, individuals would find it challenging to locate the nearest accessible toilet room.

 

 

Accessibility Recommendations

  • Under Priority 2, when it comes to lack of space in the general seating area such as the main office, the facility can make sure that there is ample space to move around, especially with spaces that acquire desks and file cabinets. Also, there should be enough space for individuals in a wheelchair, as well as, enough room for the person transporting them. An accommodation would be rearranging the furniture. In addition to proving the accommodation, electrical wires should be mounted properly so that it would not be exposed and free from paths. In addition to Priority 2, accessing aisles, checkouts and front desks would be a challenge due to the fact that there is a lack of space. An accessibility accommodation would be rearranging any obstructions of furniture or widening the space of the aisle that would measure at least 36 inches wide or more. Under priority 3, as mentioned before, there are no signs that indicate the nearest accessible toilet room. Where existing toilets and bathing rooms are not made accessible, there should be directional signs specifying the location of the nearest accessible toilet room should be provided. The accessibility signs should comply with standard 3.2 and should include the International Symbol Accessibility.

Global Review of Disability and Accessibility

  • First and foremost, the Americans with Disabilities Act impacted society the most, especially individuals with disabilities because the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The country that was chosen for the Global Review is Tanzania. First and foremost, in the country of Tanzania, there are 3 Disability Acts. The disability acts consist of National Employment Promotion Service Act, 1999, which states that arrangements for registration, employment, and placement of a person with disabilities; The Disabled Persons (care and maintenance) Act No.3 of 1982, states that a person, due to an injury, old age, disease, congenital deformity, or substantially handicapped while obtaining a job would be suitable for their age, experience, and qualification and The Disabled Persons Employment Act No.2 of 1982, states that 2 percent (50 employees) of the workforce in companies must be persons with a disability. The country of Tanzania compares to different areas I have read because there are laws in place that prohibit discrimination and promotes inclusion. In addition, the country of Tanzania has demonstrated a commitment to the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities in a variety of ways. First, Tanzania signed and ratified The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Second, Tanzania has integrated people with disabilities in national poverty reduction strategies. Third, Tanzania has recently enacted the Persons with Disabilities Act. Last but not least, Tanzania’s commitment to disability rights was proclaimed in 2004 National Policy on Disability. When it comes to being compared historically, I believe that the country of Tanzania is up to date. For instance, Tanzania passed the enactment of the Persons with Disabilities act of 2010. This enactment exhibits a concrete policy that will foster societal integration and the human rights of people with disabilities. As of today, they are still implementing laws and creating Acts that will be beneficial for people with disabilities. Although the United States may have a plethora of laws and Acts for people with disabilities, Tanzania is increasingly demonstrating a commitment to disability. The accomplishment society has made in overcoming barriers for the rights of people with disabilities and on inclusion, in general, is by protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities the main priority by enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act. This law prohibits discrimination against an individual on the basis of disability nationwide including health care facilities, parks and places of recreation, stores, hotels, and restaurants. The roles of recreation and sports services have in helping society overcome such barriers in the future and enhancing the rights, independence, and inclusion for people with disabilities around the world by providing community-based recreation activities and leisure services that are designed for individuals with who have a disability. Also, recreation facilities provide sports and activities for individuals with disabilities. Some disabilities may include physical impairments, visual impairments.

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