Wheelchair Accessibility of Public Buildings: A Review of the LiteratureBy Welage, Nandana; Liu, Karen P.Y.; Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 1-9
Publication Date: January 2011
Paper reviews and discusses published research evaluating wheelchair accessibility in public buildings. Of the 85 originally identified publications from a search of major electronic bibliographic databases, 12 studies relating to wheelchair accessibility in public buildings were selected. Of these studies, 7 were conducted in the United States. The remaining 5 were carried out in Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Zimbabwe. A total of 831 buildings were examined, with 6 of the studies focusing on common public buildings such as government buildings, banks, educational and social centers, hospitals, and retail business buildings, while the other 6 focused on specific public buildings including shopping centers, restaurants, physical fitness facilities, and grocery and convenience stores. Wheelchair accessibility was evaluated in different building areas including parking, common access pathways, ramps, entrances, restrooms, phones, water fountains, and elevators. All 12 studies conducted a survey-type assessment based on checklists developed from the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) or adopted from previous accessibility studies. No study reported 100 percent wheelchair accessibility despite the enforcement of existing laws and regulations. Parking had the lowest compliance rate among all facilities in terms of accessibility, while entrances had the highest. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Limited (Website:http://taylorandfrancis.org)
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )