Sunday, April 21, 2013

Improving accessibility

Here's a photo from the inside of the washroom in the COC Friend's Lounge at the Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts in Toronto:

(Sorry for the fuzziness. The light was really low and I was using my phone.)

The dampening arm at the top prevents the door from slamming - or maybe it's there to ensure that the door shuts itself - but it also makes the door very heavy to open. The Friends Lounge is largely used by elderly people, and it's difficult for some of them to open the door. I had to help someone today.

The typical solution would be to put a handicapped door opener on the door (with one of those big silver buttons). That's really expensive and it doesn't work when the power is out.

Instead of all those handicapped door openers, why not just remove the dampers and hang the doors so that they can be swung with a finger push? A stick could be added to make them pullable by someone with a walker.

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