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Automatic Door Blooper

This short video demonstrates a poor application of automatic door accessibility considerations. The placement of operating buttons may fall within the minimal ADAAG standard, but is it really accessible? A service dog cannot "nose" the button to open the door. If a dog uses a paw to attempt to operate the button his nails scrape on the background surface (which in this case is metal), leading to scrape marks. How will a person with musculo-skeletal fare with this button?

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

Automatic Door Blooper  (YouTube Video) (Closed captioned)

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Posted by: debdeb808 on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 4:04 p.m.

This made me laugh. A cute example of how even though you put a button to make things accessible, it is not always the best design. Planning must happen before making things accessible or universally designed.

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It took me several years of struggling with the heavy door to my building, sometimes having to wait until a person stronger came along, to realize that the door was an accessibility problem, not only for me, but for others as well. And I did not notice, until one of my students pointed it out, that the lack of signs that could be read from a distance at my university forced people with mobility impairments to expend a lot of energy unnecessarily, searching for rooms and offices. Although I have encountered this difficulty myself on days when walking was exhausting to me, I interpreted it, automatically, as a problem arising from my illness (as I did with the door), rather than as a problem arising from the built environment having been created for too narrow a range of people and situations.

Susan Wendell, author of
The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability