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Reevaluate Your Restaurant

Case holding beverages. This photo shows a large case containing cold beverages. Because of the lack of toe and knee space, customers like me who use wheelchairs have only one option--a side approach. But that's not why we took the photo. What I want to show is the difficulty of reaching drinks on the top rows. When I pointed out to a salesperson that arranging beverages vertically rather than horizontally would make for greater access to the variety of beverages offered--both for me and other customers--she readily agreed. In fact, she seemed to think the vertical arrangement an easy solution and, within a week, the change was made! Beth, Washington, DC


Lower counter for fixing coffee. Here's a way to make fixing coffee accessible. I assume this idea can be used elsewhere. The photo is from the ADA Guide for Small Businesses S, Washington, DC


These two drawings were taken from the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards Retrofit Manual, published in 1991. For me, they reiterate several key points. The first shows a man in a wheelchair seated at a table. I think he may be at work, but he could also be at a museum café enjoying a cup of coffee while using his laptop. In addition to noting the minimum or range for knee space (19 inches minimum),and table bottom (27 inches minimum above the floor) and top (28 to 34 inches above the floor), it shows the importance of choosing a pedestal that allows for ample toe space.

Drawing of man in wheelchair at table.

When possible, outdoor furnishings should be located adjacent to an accessible route on a level, firm surface which provides ample maneuvering space. Outdoor furnishings should be designed so that water drains from all surfaces. Furnishings should be constructed of materials that do not splinter, peel, or retain excessive amounts of heat or dampness. S, Washington, D.C.

Drawing of man in wheelchair at picnic table.

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