The South African government aims at treating every citizen equally. One of the strategies that the government chose to use to enforce the rights of the physically handicapped is by enforcing laws that highlight wheelchair friendly requirements in public buildings. The requirements of the structure are stipulated on the Disability info South Africa. All the designs of public accommodation should cater to individuals with mobility impairments.
According to the South African National Standard for Building Regulations, a public building is required to have facilities that allow for the movement of individuals using wheelchairs. These facilities include ramps or wheelchair lifts. Such facilities also have a set of regulations that they are expected to meet. The requirements of the body states; “People with disabilities should be able to safely enter the building (Ramps) and be able to safely use all the facilities within it – specifically toilets.” (Disabled Toilets).
Wheelchair friendly design features
The government is not only pushing for the design and implementation of the wheelchair friendly design features in public buildings, but it has stated the design criteria for each one of these features. For instance, these are some of the key features of wheelchair ramps that one should take into consideration during construction.
Wheelchair friendly ramps and their design criteria
The design of handicapped-friendly features should meet the needs of the mobility impaired. One of the most basic requirements is ensuring that the ramp is comfortable for use by those on wheelchairs, or by those pushing trolleys. Apart from that, the ramps should be comfortable enough for use by those who are handicapped and those who do not prefer using stairs.
Handicap accessible apartment features
Just like in public buildings, installing wheelchair ramps, handrails, wheelchair lifts, and grab bars in apartments is advantageous since it will reduce the chances of accidents happening because of people falling off. The features will also improve the accessibility of the building.
The other features that are friendly to the handicapped include accessible doors, accessible windows, accessible bathrooms and bedrooms, light switches, and other controls.
For use at home, the size of the ramp should not always comply with the requirements of the public buildings. You can have smaller ramps, depending on the amount of space that you have left. You could also build the ramps out of wood, cement, or metals. Alternatively, you could go for ready-made ramps. Their convenience depends on the way you choose to place them. For instance, you could go for the temporary one that you can remove at a later stage, on the permanent ones.