California Science Center
About ASTC
About Science Centers
Annual Conference
Exhibition Services
Professional Development
Resource Center
  Accessible Practices
Museums' Legal Obligations
Disability Rights Movement
Access Advisors
Access Survey
Access Plan
Best Practices
Behind the Scenes
Links & Publications
Photo Album
Equity and Diversity
Making the Case
Science Center Planning
Visitor Studies
Youth Programs
Products and Services
Older Adults in Science Centers

Accessible PracticesWorkshopsPhoto Album
Nine men and women stand in the sunny parking lot, counting parking spaces.

Photo Album for Southeast Facilities & Visitor Services Workshop, September 2000

Parking and Drop-Off Areas and Accessible Approach/Entrance

The team pictured above started in the parking lot of the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science (NCMLS), where they counted the total number of parking spaces available to visitors. They then consulted the checklist to determine if an adequate number of accessible parking spaces were available to visitors with disabilities.

Two women crouch on either side of a parking space with a yellow tape measure spanning the pavement between them.

Next, team members measured the dimensions of the accessible spaces intended for lift-equipped vans and checked to see if accessible spaces were marked with the international symbol of accessibility. They noted the need for new signage saying "Van Accessible" at van spaces.

Ednetta Ellis pauses with the front wheels of her purple wheelchair in the curb cut where Dean Briere crouches as he measures.

A museum visitor using a wheelchair should be able to enter the building as freely as everyone else. Ednetta Ellis (foreground), vice chair of Universal Disability Advocates, demonstrated the need for curb cuts at drop-off points leading to accessible entrances.

According to the ADA guidelines, approaches to accessible entrances must be firm, stable, slip-resistant, and at least 36 inches wide. Also, if there is a slope leading to the accessible entrance, it should be no greater than 1:12. This means that for every 12 inches of approach, the height should increase no more than one inch.

Dean Briere crouches holding a measuring tape that extends horizontally along the length of the walkway, while Jan Glenn holds a tape vertically to measure the slope's height.

Using two measuring tapes and a level, Dean Briere, NCMLS vice president for education and programs (left), calculates the slope of the walkway leading to the museum's accessible entrance with Jan Glenn, exhibit support assistant, Catawba Science Center, Hickory, NC.

Return to Accessible Practices Workshop pages
return to top
About ASTC | About Science Centers | Annual Conference | Exhibition Services
  Professional Development | Publications | Resource Center | ASTC Home  

ASTC Home Find a Science Center