“We all need to get to work,” said Ms. Amari, a supervisor at the Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled. The subway has pledged to add enough elevators by 2025 that no rider would be more than two stops from an accessible station.
Inclusion means removing barriers that prevent people from participating fully in society.
The goal of opening our communities to everyone has been around for decades. However, with advances in medicine affording us longer lifespans, accessibility must go even further. We must focus on building an accessible future to make our world equally available to everyone.
It’s time we think outside the BCA box, and identify barriers to access from a range of occupant perspectives. This is second nature to OTs, but it can be easily applied by designers and building owners too, all we need is an open mind.
At the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society’s latest annual meeting in Las Vegas, a case was presented that found that the Washington, D.C. Metro system, although a work in progress, still has many barriers for handicapped riders. This is contrary to Metro spokesman Dan Stessel, who claimed that after pouring a significant amount of investments into the Metro system, it is now ADA-compliant.
Two ergonomics consultants from California assessed both the Takoma Park and Dupont Stations, and found quite a bit of features that weren’t accessible, including entrances, vending machines, gaps between the trains and the platforms, fast-closing doors, and more. These inaccessible features would either make travel more tedious for, or totally eliminate a person with mobility hindrances from using the service all together.