If you work with people with disabilities, you realize just how important it is that your transportation equipment lives up to accessibility standards. Legal standards pose a particular challenge, but can be relatively straightforward to understand, if you read legal documentation. But beyond legal requirements are the accessibility requirements of your clientele as well as standards that go above and beyond what is simply necessary from a legal point of view. Here are a few ways that you can ensure that your bus is meeting high accessibility and mobility standards.
Buy a Specialty Bus
The first way to ensure your bus meets accessibility standards is to invest in a bus that is made specifically to serve clients with special mobility needs. Specialty buses are expensive, but for good reason. They are required to meet legal requirements and should have options for more comprehensive accessibility standards as well.
Understand Your Clientele
Whether you provide mobility specifically for groups that require a specialty bus or your services are provided to a range of potential clients who may have mobility issues, it’s possible to keep an eye on what the clients need from a specialty bus. Not every bus will need a wheelchair lift, but some form of wheelchair accommodation should be installed.
Making a bus wheelchair accessible is no small feat, as a number of things need to be carefully thought through to ensure ease of use for both the wheelchair-bound patron, and for the operator. Boarding options need to be planned out, including whether there will be frontward boarding, backward boarding, or both options available. Also, the wheelchair needs to be able to fit within the aisle and potentially turn around to reach it’s designated spot – this requires careful space planning and calculations to ensure that the space around the wheelchair designated spot will be adequate. A designated wheelchair spot in the bus needs to be addressed. Often this area is placed behind the driver’s seat to allow for ease of boarding and disembarking. Other things need to be considered, such as – will attachment security belts be required or available if needed? Attachment belts typically fit best when the wheelchair designated spot is placed behind the driver’s seat. When making a bus wheelchair accessible, it’s important to keep in mind that a wheelchair-bound customer should: have the ability to maneuver safely and effectively, have safe and effective mobility aids, and should have an attendant available to help them board or exit the bus when needed. It is important to also think about potential issues at hand: is there an option for more than one wheelchair on the bus? Where will the second designated spot be? These things all need to be considered, especially for public bussing systems. In order to make a bus safe and effective for patrons in wheelchairs, there are a number of considerations to be made. At the top of the list is ensuring safe and effective transport for any patrons requiring use of a wheelchair while on the bus.
Work with an Experienced Bus Customization Company
If you are unsure and feel that you are not experienced enough if accessibility standards, you can easily get great advice and assistance from a customization company. A company like Dynamic Specialty has years of experience customizing specialty buses to meet the needs of mobility challenged clientele. We can help you to determine what you need to do and we can provide the services required if you should choose to move forward with a customization.
Accessibility standards have changed a lot over the years. We’ve kept up with every change. You can depend on us if you need help with a specialty bus.
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