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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: Thomp85 on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:17 a.m.

I thought this clip was a very good illustration of problematic issues that arise when new buildings are created without input from someone who is familiar with universal design or accessibility. Choosing to put the switch in a different location could have easily prevented the "blooper".

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Posted by: gmp28 on Wed Dec 03, 2014 at 11:13 p.m.

This was a very eye opening clip at how something so simple would ruin a good thing. Just by the height and placement of that button can make the door inaccessible to someone who may be in a wheelchair. This could have been easily avoided.

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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