Inclusivity and Accessibility for Students and Teachers with Disabilities

June 11, 2024

a student on a wheelchair in front of the school
School administrators are significantly concerned about inclusivity and accessibility for students and teachers with disabilities. If you’re in a decision-making position within a school building, you must make decisions that reflect your commitment to making students and staff feel welcome. Your goal is to create a welcoming environment for students, families, and staff without sacrificing safety or security.

Why Is It Important to Create Inclusive and Accessible Environments for Students?

wave-to-open.pngAutomatic doors ensure that schools meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They also provide more access to the school building, classrooms, and restrooms for those who have difficulty pushing and pulling on manual doors.
Doors that meet ADA guidelines might include features such as:
  • Touchless technology for easy opening and closing
  • Space for wheelchairs, walkers, or other assistive devices
  • Ability to open and close doors even when carrying books or other school supplies
  • No need to be able to lift anything heavy to enter or exit

Everyone you want to welcome into your school building should be given an equal opportunity to learn and contribute. Installing doors that allow easy access for everyone creates an environment accommodating people from all walks of life, including those with disabilities.

Automatic Doors Meet Requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act

As a school administrator and decision-maker, you have ethical and legal concerns. You should create the most welcoming environment for everyone attending your school, but your responsibilities go beyond that. In many areas, you are legally required to make reasonable accommodations to ensure access to anyone with disabilities in your school.

Compliance with the ADA protects the rights of students and teachers and promotes a culture of fairness and justice within the educational community.

ADA-compliant doors must:

  • Be large enough in width to allow access to wheelchairs and other walking devices. This means a door width of at least 32 inches that can open at 90°.
  • Be able to be opened or closed with less than a 5 lbs. opening ability or be an automatic door if the weight requirement is higher.
  • Close in no more than 5 seconds after opening to ensure safe traversing.
  • Feature levers instead of knobs for easy grasping.
  • Feature vision lights on doors and panels surrounding doors for easy visibility.

Do All Buildings Require ADA Compliance?

Whether or not you must upgrade your building depends on its age and other government requirements. Generally, at least 60 percent of public entrances in a newly constructed building must be accessible and meet ADA requirements.

Existing commercial buildings also have ADA requirements, but some lessen the extent of additions or renovations you’ll need to make. But this doesn’t mean you should ignore or disregard making your school building accessible to everyone.

You might have students or family members in your school right now who require assistance accessing your building or cannot do so because of the current structure. It’s your responsibility as a school administrator to make sure all people in your school community feel welcome in your building.

Many buildings in the US public school system are currently not in compliance. This is because so many buildings were built before the requirements were developed. Many school facilities and classrooms built before 1992 may not be ADA-compliant with state, local, and federal building codes.

The goal should be for all communities to bring their school buildings up to standard so everyone feels welcome. Installing automatic doors is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to improve accessibility in your school.

How Do ADA Commercial Doors Improve Schools?

ADA-compliant automatic doors offer many features that make building access user-friendly, reliable, and safe. Using advanced technology, Door Services Corporation, a part of Doors Services Corporation, provides you with doors that improve the security of a building without sacrificing school accessibility. Our doors feature:
  • Automated operation using push buttons, key cards, or other technology that removes the need to open and close doors manually
  • Automatic locks to create a more secure environment even when nobody is available to lock a door manually 
  • Slowed closing time to ensure wheelchairs, scooters, and people moving at less-than-average speeds have plenty of time to enter and exit safely
  • Ample space to make for easy passage even in crowds or with assistive devices
  • Smooth flooring for simple, safe movement through doors
  • Hands-free operation that reduces the spread of germs

ADA-compliant doors offer security, health protection, and easy access so everyone in your school building feels welcome.

What Types of Doors Are ADA-Compliant?

School administrators can choose from several different types of ADA-compliant doors. A Door Services Corporation  technician can evaluate your existing building and help you make the best decision based on your needs and concerns. 

You’ll choose from:

  • Automatic sliding doors
  • Folding doors
  • Swinging doors with operators
  • Bullet-resistant doors
  • Fire security doors

In some cases, multiple features are available in the same door.

Why Call Door Services Corporation for ADA-Compliant Commercial Door Systems?

Embracing inclusivity and school accessibility can lead to improved educational outcomes and greater societal benefits. When students with disabilities feel welcomed into mainstream educational settings, they are more likely to develop the skills and knowledge needed to excel. They’ll have what they need to enjoy future academic and professional success.

When you need an ADA-compliant commercial door system installed that you can count on to keep you in regulation and keep your customers happy, we can help. We can also help maintain and repair existing doors in your building. We offer a wide range of door options, features, and services to customize your experience while working with us. Our expert staff has plenty of experience installing automatic door opener systems and will ensure all codes and regulations are followed as required. 

This is an article in the series Summer Maintenance for Automatic Doors in Schools.

Our next article describes how automatic doors help create energy efficiency in schools.


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Your expert partner for pedestrian door service and installation, our company was built on quality products and long-term customer partnerships. We are a member of the American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers. Our AAADM certified technicians have over 50 years of product knowledge. We service and repair all doors and windows models of all automatic door manufacturers.

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