Accessibility isn’t just an important part of a civilized society… it’s the law. No matter what someone’s mobility is, they should be able to access and enjoy public spaces with ease.
From wheelchair ramps that resemble a skateboard ramp to a wheelchair-accessible bathroom with a set of stairs in front of it, you might be surprised just how crazy offensive some of the accessibility designs on this list are.
Adding accessibility signs isn’t enough, poorly designed ramps, crosswalks, and bathrooms send a message to the public – “We had to add this feature, so we did, but we put no thought or consideration into it.” RUDE.
Even in the US, where there are strict building codes and regulations to ensure everyone has a fair shot at enjoying a public space, it’s not all rose gardens and level ramps. People with disabilities are constantly waging campaigns for accessibility rights.
Sometimes, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry – and that’s exactly what the following design fails are causing us to do.
Remember, if you see poor accessibility designs in your neighborhood, or anywhere, report it to the local city council or government representative. In addition, take to social media or Yelp to report the offensive design fail. Our friends, family and neighbors who rely on accessibility features deserve better.
1. This man was invited to talk about accessibility…
According to Julienne, a spokesperson for abilities.com, businesses are constantly making poor attempts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design.
“Unfortunately, accessibility is just a burr under the saddle of many business owners,” she told Bored Panda in an interview.
“It is an expense they don’t think they can afford because they don’t view the wheelchair community as the over $1 Trillion aggregate income market that it is. Their businesses aren’t accessible so they don’t see people in wheelchairs, so they don’t think they are important in their market. A classic Joseph Heller: Catch-22.”
2. If you weren’t in a wheelchair before using this ramp, you will be after!
Businesses around the world need to realize there are far better ways to cut costs than to cut out an entire population of people. It’s offensive, dangerous and inconvenient.
The best way to teach businesses a lesson is to publicly shame them for their poor design flaws.
3. When being in a wheelchair turns into an extreme sport
“People with disabilities and their supporters have to speak up,” Julienne presses.
She suggests posting pictures on Yelp, sharing it on social media and simply find ways to “peer pressure, shame them, and most of all, vote with your wallet.”
4. A crazy wheelchair ramp in Cabo San Lucas
Julienne jokes that the real winner here is Amazon who “saw the need of people who can’t/don’t want to leave their houses and have exploited it superbly.”
5. No one has ever actually used this bathroom…
Businesses should ask people in wheelchairs about their experiences getting around their facilities. This is the best way to learn how to improve.
As of now, the main problem is that people who are not in wheelchairs are usually the ones designing wheelchair-friendly ramps, doors, and so forth.
“If they had someone in a wheelchair try to bump up a steep grade, for example, and then hold themselves in place with one hand on a wheel while trying to open a heavy door with a handle too high, that swings OUT, they never would have built it that way.”
Better yet, “Put all owners, designers and employees in a wheelchair for a day and let them try it.”
6. A lift on top of a step, hmmm…
It all begins with awareness. If you don’t know, how can you do better? You can’t.
That’s why you should never hesitate to speak with someone about their disability and experiences. The more you know, the better we can do as a society.
7. Crosswalk FAIL
8. Good luck with these stairs
We aren’t talking about a small group of people here. There are over 6.8 million Americans who rely on assistive devices for mobility.
9. Watch your step
Furthermore, the population of people who use wheelchairs and walkers doubled from 1980 to 1990. This is far more than just a larger senior citizen population. It’s also in part due to medical advancements that allow for improved survival rates amongst trauma patients.
11. Inspector Gadget arms required
12. Looks like a wild ride
13. There’s actually a hospital out there with these “wheelchairs” for patients
14. The Portuguese parliament added this joke of a ramp for their deputy in a wheelchair
15. Thanks for nothing…
16. A little limbo with your wheelchair ramp
17. When code carelessly meets regulation… code says you need a banister and regulation says you need a ramp
18. This wheelchair ramp… yikes
19. Just needs a little extra ramp