The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created to provide people with disabilities easier access to public places. However, many people don’t realize the ADA does not apply to churches and other places of worship since it does not govern religious organizations or entities controlled by them, according to the Office of Legislative Research in Hartford, Connecticut. While it’s not a requirement to be ADA compliant, it could be a major benefit to the members of your place of worship if you had some accessibility tools like wheelchair ramps. Here are some ways you can improve accessibility in a few simple steps.
How To Improve Accessibility In Your Church
Most of the time churches don’t have to make major modifications to the existing structure to improve accessibility significantly. Wheelchair ramps today can be placed virtually anywhere and can be designed and modified to fit your needs. Installing wheelchair ramps near all entrances is the most common way to help people with mobility limitations enter the building.
If you have staircases indoors, you may also consider installing a stair lift or a platform lift. Walking up the stairs can be challenging for members of your organization, and a stair lift gives them an option to sit on a seat and be transported up and down the stairs safely. Different options of stair lifts are available, so having a professional come out to evaluate your space can ensure you invest in the right product to fit your needs.
Will Residential Accessibility Products Be Sufficient?
A common concern churches and places of worship have is the cost of making improvements. While it may seem tempting to invest in residential-grade accessibility products, it’s usually ideal to opt for commercial products instead. The high traffic volume could lead to quicker wear-and-tear and potentially fail easier also. To keep the members of your organization safe and stay in compliance with your local building ordinances and guidelines, be sure to work with a reputable company that installs quality equipment to meet all of your needs.
Where To Begin Improving Church Accessibility
When you’re ready to start improving accessibility in your church or place of worship, the first thing to do is find a trustworthy company to provide you with an assessment. They will look at everything from the appropriate location for wheelchair ramps, whether a stair lift could be beneficial, if grab bars could help in certain locations and much more. You don’t have to make one big investment to improve accessibility in all places at once if budgeting is a concern. You can start by installing a few grab bars in bathrooms and other locations and slowly invest in more when the time is right.
When you contact Next Day Access, we can help you schedule a free assessment for your church or place of worship and you’ll be on your way to having a more accessible environment for all of your members.