Ramp outside of a commercial building.

Accessibility in Warmer Weather: Four Considerations for Those With Mobility Differences This Summer

Summer is nearly here, which means it’s the season of heat, sunshine, and outdoor events! Staying safe in the hot weather is a priority, and for those with mobility differences, there can be added barriers. We’ll touch on four considerations around warm weather accessibility during the summer months!

Heat Susceptibility

Some medical conditions put a person at higher risk of being affected by hot weather. For those with mobility differences, there is the potential to be exposed to heat longer if they encounter mobility barriers. Imagine trying to get inside a building to cool off only to be unable to navigate the stairs with no wheelchair ramp available. When spending time outside, it’s important to be prepared with ways to stay cool and hydrated. Avoid prolonged time in excessive heat when able, and if attending an outdoor event, check in advance to see what their accessibility accommodations or policies are.

Access to Cooling Spaces

Many outdoor events such as festivals or fairs have tents and buildings marked as dedicated cooling centers to beat the heat. For those with mobility differences, if the space isn’t easily accessible, then it does not help them get a break from the sun. Event organizers should ensure quality access solutions are in place so everyone can stay cool and safe during these events, whether using a temporary or permanent structure. This includes access ramps to enter and space within the facility to maneuver with mobility devices easily. 

Drinking Water Accessibility

Being able to stay hydrated is key in the summer weather. Staying on top of water intake helps keep your body cool and healthy as the temperatures soar. When it comes to water fountains, those with mobility differences may have a difficult time using them. The height of the drinking fountain can be too low or too high to reach, especially if they are a wheelchair user. While the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements have rules around the height and structure of accessible fountains, these don’t always meet the mark. Keeping a water bottle on hand is a great move, and event organizers can help ensure water is easily available from vendors and temporary dispensers.

Home Egress When Cooling Malfunctions 

It happens—the air conditioning in our homes can fail, or the electricity powering them goes out. Homes quickly become too hot to stay in safely, and residents need to be able to leave for alternate locations. For someone using a mobility device, if the home hasn’t been made accessible with a residential wheelchair ramp or similar solution, they may be physically unable to leave. This can quickly become dangerous in a heat wave.

Summer should be a time of fun and adventure, and mobility shouldn’t be a barrier to all the season has to offer. Plan ahead for your outings to understand the accessibility solutions in place, and ensure your home has the right ones in place so you can safely enter or exit your home. If you need help with making a space accessible, turn to EZ-ACCESS®. Our industry-leading solutions and expert teams will ensure that you have the necessary accessibility ramps and features in place for a seamless experience. Contact us today!

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