When one asks about the “accessibility” of a place or service, one is asking about whether everyone, including people with disabilities or other special needs are able to get to, use, and benefit from their desired system or entity.
For AllGoEasy, we are currently only focusing on the physical accessibility of places for wheelchair users. This means a built environment that is barrier-free and seamlessly connected, that allows persons of varying degrees of mobility to move around with ease in a particular place.
What are some features to look for while assessing accessibility?
Practically speaking features include, but not restricted to, those such as:
- A level entrance with an automatic or a door easily operable from a wheelchair into the place.
- Paths that are level and wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair.
- Sufficient turning radius at corners and ends so that paths do not become a dead-end road.
- Tables that are low enough for a wheelchair user, and with space for a wheelchair to maneuver into.
For more information about the general accessibility of buildings, pls refer to the Building & Construction Authority’s Friendly Environment portal.
There are certain features that make a place physically accessible. For example:
- Is there a step at the entrance?
- Are there lifts to access all floors, and are the lift call buttons low enough to reach for someone sitting down on a chair?
- Is there space to accommodate wheelchair users, e.g. within a cinema theatre?
- Are there movable chairs in a restaurant, or is the service counter low enough to reach?
Other accessibility features that you might be important include:
- Entrance Step(s) – Whether or not there are steps at the entrance of the place
- Separate Accessible Route – Whether or not the place requires a separate route for the wheelchair users
- Entrance Door Type – the type of door at the entrance to the place, which could be: No Doors/Auto Swing/Manual Swing/Auto Slide/Button Operated Slide
- Entrance Ramp Type – the type of ramp at the entrance, which could be: No ramps/Small ramp/Normal ramp/Steep ramp/Very steep ramp
- Accessible Lift(s) – whether or not the place has accessible lift(s)
- Accessible Toilet(s) – whether or not the place has accessible toilet(s)
- Accessible Parking Lot(s) – whether or not the place has accessible parking lot(s)
- Even Floor – whether or not the place has even floor surfaces for easy wheelchair movement
- Spacious – whether or not the place is spacious for wheelchair navigation
- Crowded – provides a general indication of the crowd level at this place.
Do note that the list above is not exhaustive, as some categories of places have place-specific features. For example, some wheelchair users might want to know close the screen is from a wheelchair-accessible seat to the screen in a particular cinema.
How to Rate a Place
For AllGoEasy, the rating of a place gives a general overall indication of the accessibility of this place.
1 star: One or less wheelchair accessible features were observed, including major hurdles such as step(s) at the entrance. Location is mostly not wheelchair-friendly as majority of wheelchair users would find it hard to access this place.
2-3 stars: Wheelchair-users might face some difficulty in accessing this place. However, depending on the user, they may be able to overcome the barriers presented. Some accessible features can be found at the place to facilitate wheelchair users (about 50% of the place features are wheelchair-friendly).
4-5 stars: Most wheelchair users should find it easy to access this place. The place is very wheelchair friendly as it contains accessible features where necessary (around 90% and above of the place features are wheelchair-friendly).