Toolkit to Assess for ADA Compliance
Denis Arson, director of research for the Assistive Technology Research Institute (ATRI) at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania has created a toolkit for assessing areas and public facilities for American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, making what once was a complicated process much simpler.
The tool kit is called ADA-CAT (ADA-Compliance Assessment Toolkit) and is like an ADA Compliance for Newbie’s guide. The toolkit is a two-part all-encompassing guide for anyone in the field of assessment, those who own or run a public facility of all types, and even prospective renters.
The first part of the tool-kit is the physical items: the “StoryStick,” “Magic Slope Block,” “MultiTool,” “Door Force Tool,” “FontGuide,” “Key Torque Tool,” sound and light levels and a measuring tape. The second part is the website, which does require a subscription if the toolkit is not purchased or after the purchase year.
The StoryStick is useful for finding barriers that many able bodied persons would step over, almost automatically, but would present complications for those in a wheelchair or on crutches. It also provides measurements for things such as toilet height and outlet height. The Magic Slope Block takes the math out of the equation for making sure ramps are at ADA-levels. The Door Force Tool measures how easy a door is to open or close and the Key Torque Tool assesses how easy it is to turn a key for those with hand use difficulties. The FontGuide is for assessing signage. Many sign makers are unsure of the ADA guidelines and how to figure them out and this tool makes it easy. The MultiTool helps one figure things out such as is the fire extinguisher out too far from the wall or does the height of the water from a fountain measure up to standards.
The website contains information on what to measure and how to measure it. According to its creator, “The website gives an objective measure of accessibility, and saves your results for future use.” It is important to remember that the ToolKit is a two-part kit and the parts work in tandem.
The price? 500 US dollars. That may seem a lot but for those professionals who work in this field, the time savings alone pay for the toolkit. Independent Living Centers would especially benefit with this toolkit and save them the cost of having to hire out for a professional assessment. For those that take care of disabled or elderly persons, they, too, may want to make use of this toolkit to assess a patient’s home for safety.
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