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Making Your Outdoor Restaurant Accessible for People with Limited Mobility


Posted on July 31, 2020

In most areas of the country restaurants have been allowed to open for outdoor dining. Some parks and recreation areas are open as well.

People normally enjoy outdoor dining but after COVID-19, your customers are very appreciative and looking forward to be able to enjoy a meal outside of their homes.

Chalkboard reading "outdoor seating open, sanitized, socially distanced"

While there are some sanitizing and social distancing restrictions that you need to accommodate, please remember there are also accessibility concerns to make sure your restaurant, park or recreation area is accessible for people of all abilities. Just because the tables and chairs are outside doesn’t mean that the facility is accessible.

Here are some tips to make outdoor facility more enjoyable for everyone:

Sidewalk Dining

Some urban areas have closed off streets to allow for restaurants to add tables and chairs on the sidewalks or streets.

Make sure some of tables are near curb cuts or have small ramps available so people using wheelchairs, scooters, walkers or other assistive devices can maneuver to the tables. Tables should be spaced out to accommodate walkers, scooters and wheelchairs.

Outdoor seating tables and chairs.

Tented Areas

Some restaurants are putting up large tents on lawns or parking lots of the restaurants.

The outdoor pathways should be smooth and level, without grass, pavers, sand, wood chips or pebbles, for customers to be able to maneuver walkers and wheelchairs to the dining areas. A 5-foot square level space should be available to the entryway for a wheelchair to maneuver and turn around.

Widen the doorways and outdoor walkways to accommodate walkers, scooters or wheelchairs.

Outdoor seating at a restaurant

Decks

Some outdoor dining areas feature spectacular views from an elevated outside deck. Stair lifts or platform lifts allow access to an outside upper deck. Lifts can be rented as well as purchased.

Rest Rooms

You will also need a clear, accessible path to the rest rooms. If you are using portable rest rooms, they will need to be wheelchair accessible.

The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) regulations apply to outdoor facilities the same way they apply to your indoor facilities.

Amramp is a supplier of commercial and residential accessibility equipment including wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, vertical platform lifts and other accessibility modifications – coast to coast and parts of Canada.

Amramp’s accessibility experts are available coast to coast and parts of Canada. They are Certified Aging in Place Specialists with knowledge of the ADA and International Building Codes and can evaluate your facility to determine what changes are needed to make your outdoor space accessible. Take advantage of Amramp’s FREE evaluation to review your needs by calling 888-715-7598 or send an email to info@amramp.com.

Tags: #OutdoorDining, #wheelchairramps, accessible events

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