Comment of the Day: The Details That Matter

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE DETAILS THAT MATTER “. . . The .5% grade, bathroom clearances and many of the other minutia of the ADA are the difference between a wheelchair bound person living a diginfied life (being able to go where everyone else can go and do what everyone else can do) and living as a second class citizen. Just try maneuvering a wheel chair around an ADA compliant bathroom or storefront. It is still a serious challenge. But if the door to a ADA stall is too close to the wall, it can be impossible. Poorly graded ramps can mean having to sit in the rain waiting for someone to give a push. And if you think the ADA requirements are an unfair burden that harms businesses, just try living with the burden of a disability. Anyone who wants to build a public building but doesn’t believe that they have a responsiblity to make the build accessible to everyone shoulnd’t be in the business.” [Old School, commenting on GHPA to Weingarten: We’ll Fix That Trader Joe’s Terrazzo Problem for You]

8 Comment

  • I can honesty say that this is way too true. It is amazing to see how many places don’t give enough space for a wheelchair. Went to a business the other day where the handicapped entrance was blocked by carpet samples and the door was locked. It also had a 2ft. unprotected drop on the other side of the ramp, that was already narrow. Businesses really don’t think about spacing, it’s more about having as much crap on the floor so they don’t have to restock. Looking at you Dillard’s-Galleria. It really jades an experience and makes you think twice about going to a business.

  • While I agree whole-heartedly that most public spaces are completely inept at providing adequate access for all, I have to disagree that the .5% excess at the Weingarten theater will keep a wheelchair bound or otherwise mobility challenged individual from entering. The slope of the entrance is very slight – probably 2.5%. To tear up the terrazzo simply to remove .5% of slope is a ludacris waste of $.

  • Arguing in the side of a small business–a grocery store or department type store is a different animal–the requirements are costly, consume valuable real estate and, in our case, after three years, we have NEVER had one customer in a wheelchair in our store. Effectively, we spent tens of thousands to comply and have yet to encounter anyone with a hardship. While I can understand accessibility in parking lots and venues with a tremendous customer base, it makes little sense for the average store.

  • Melanie maybe the reason you haven’t encountered such a person is the very reason you’re bitching about. Your business isn’t accomodating. I spent 3 days being schooled by our corporate lawyers about the ins and outs of the law. I went into it thinking “they’ve got to be joking”. After the second day the lawyers got out a wheelchair and asked me to perform a routine set of tasks which I thought would be easy. Believe me when I tell you that they weren’t. Our business was compliant to the letter of the law, but not the spirit. Cooperella, you think that gradiant of the floor isn’t such a challenge? Prove it…..Grab a wheelchair and go for it. Otherwise….put up or shut up.

  • Melanie,
    Have you looked into the tax credit that is available for small businesses that remove barriers? Here is some info on it

  • @ Hdtexan: 3 days with the lawyers learning about accessibiliy and you’re practically an accessibility consultant, eh? They must have skipped the chapter on what a .5% incline looks like.
    I based my opinion on my meager 13+ years of education & professional practice in designing accessible spaces. I’ve gone through the same WC exercises your corporate lawyers put you through, though I did it with the Universal Center of Design in Raleigh and my lesson lasted a smidge longer than 3 days. I’m familiar with the theater’s slope b/c I live nearby & often check it out when I walk by there. I guess you wouldn’t have known all of that before you suggested I “put up or shut up”… so no hard feelings. ;)

  • My only thought is that adding some type of textured glaze (that is clear) would preserve the terrazzo and add grip. It’s not completely the slope, the slickness is an issue as well – especially when wet.

  • Wow, this is unbelievable.

    I’m thinking how sad it is to lose one of the only artifacts we have in this city and y’all are whining about how hard it is to ride a wheelchair through a luxury grocery store, one of five in a mile radius.

    Every time ADA comes up, the entitlement attitude makes me sick. The building is already there!

    I agree that builders do have a responsibility to make accessible new buildings. But I think it’s absurd to rip up what seemed to working until now. It’s been there longer than you have! I didn’t hear these kind of complaints about Cactus…