A SAFER WORLD FOR THE DISABLED
Everything is more difficult if you have a physical disability: doors, stairs, restrooms, sidewalks and curbs all present challenges for those who aren’t able-bodied. As if taking 15 minutes to tie your shoe laces or button your shirt isn’t insult enough, the world outside your home presents a host of sometimes insurmountable obstacles. For the disabled, getting around is never going to be without its difficulties, but under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, sweeping modifications to the “public” world have eased the burden.
Under the new laws, America’s disabled are legally protected from suffering discrimination; employers are required to provide “reasonable accommodations” for workers with disabilities. All new construction and alterations to public accommodations and commercial facilities must be built in compliance with the ADA’s requirements for accessible design.
When the ADA went into effect in 1992, construction companies were busier than ever, retrofitting entryways and doorways, installing ramps, adding handicapped parking areas, and revising plans for new-builds. Buildings with more than three stories are now required to have an elevator. For transportation projects that fall under the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) control, the agency is responsible for ensuring that the project planning, design, and construction programs provide pedestrian access for persons with disabilities.
A major portion of ADA enhancements are designed to safeguard the disabled that use city sidewalks and cross city streets. Of particular concern is what the ADA defines as “trip hazards” - any vertical change of over 1/4 inch or more at any joint or crack. Curb ramps built to specific guidelines are required for wheelchairs, scooters and walkers, wherever a sidewalk intersects with the road. Ramps must be sloped to meet ADA guidelines. Contractors can be penalized for not adhering to the rules.
Construction crews are still seemingly ubiquitous in cities from coast to coast, removing old street corners and pouring new concrete, bringing outdated sidewalks and curbs up to ADA code standards. In addition to curb ramps, the guidelines require that a “detectable warning” surface begins six to eight inches from the back of a curb, extending two feet in the direction of travel. This warning surface alerts visually impaired persons of the street ahead, and is also navigable for those in wheelchairs. After 10 years of researching which is the most viable warning surface, truncated domed tiles are now the standard, required on all new curb ramps.
ADA Solutions has installed more than 7 million square feet of their brightly colored, domed tiles. Manufactured in America, their tiles are made of compression molded, fiberglass reinforced material. The tiles channel away water, reducing slippage, and are easy to replace. They can accommodate any curb design, and have a life span of 10 – 15 years.
Ace Cutting carries ADA Solutions tiles, including retrofit, radius systems, cast-in -place and replaceable cast-in-place tiles. We have the product sheets, installation guides – everything you need – for the only 100% replaceable Detectable Warning product on the market. We’re proud to be making cities safer.
For more information about ADA tiles, call 888-283-2597 or visit Acecutting.com.