If you own and operate a small brick-and-mortar store, you’ve likely already got a million things on your mind right now. On the top of this priority list most likely wasn’t what you could do to make your establishment accessible to those in wheelchairs. But if you want to be compliant with the laws and you want to welcome anyone and everyone into your store, you’ve got to do what you can for those in wheelchairs. So to help you find some ways that can bring your store up to this level, here are three tips for making your business more wheelchair accessible.
Get The Entrance Right
Before anything else, you’re going to want to ensure that those in wheelchairs will be able to enter into your store just like anyone else. To do this, the ADA shares that those in wheelchairs need to be able to get into your store from the public sidewalks or other access points. This means that you might have to install a ramp or even a lift. While this will bring some additional costs to you, being a business that is accessible to all will not only help you to follow the laws, but it will also help your reputation with people in your community and make it possible for you to get business from everyone in your area, regardless of their physical disabilities.
Pay Attention To Your Aisles
Once someone is a wheelchair has been able to get into your store, you now need to make it easy for him or her to maneuver their way around. As part of this, Tiffiny Carlson, a contributor to the Huffington Post, shares that you should do everything in your power to keep your aisles and walkways clear so that people in wheelchairs can get to where they need to go. This means that each aisle should be at least 32-inches wide all throughout your store. You don’t want anyone to get stuck or not be able to get to where they need to simply because their wheelchair won’t fit down the aisle.
Have An Accessible Bathroom
Another area that you might have to make some changes to is the restrooms in your store. According to Ben Lobel, a contributor to SmallBusiness.co.uk, about 40 percent of restaurants and one-third of department stores don’t have bathrooms that are easily accessible to those in wheelchairs. To ensure that your bathroom is up to the standard, try to lower the toilet so that transferring from a wheelchair to the seat will be easier. You should also make sure there’s enough space to get a wheelchair in there.
To be able to serve all those in your target market, consider using the tips mentioned above to help make your store more accessible to those in wheelchairs.