Access Advocates: Making Shopping Easier and More Fun This Holiday Season


Holiday shopping should be a fun and enjoyable experience. In some cases it may be hard to get in the spirit if areas of your favorite shopping center is inaccessible. At Access Advocates, we want to remind you to always be mindful of your surroundings. If your local shopping center could use some improved wheelchair or disabled accessible platforms, take note and send Access Advocates the information as soon as you are able.

Here are the top accessibility concerns you should be looking for as you visit the shopping centers in your area:

  1. The parking situation: The handicapped parking and disabled access van areas must be relatively close to the main shopping center entrance.
  2. Proper signage: There should be a “VAN” sign and van parking at each handicapped parking area.
  3. Safety first: The handicapped parking spaces must be level, within 2.0%, and the handicapped access aisle to the store entrance should not direct users behind parked cars.
  4. The cross slope: The cross slope on the accessible route should be less than 2.0%
  5. The running slope: The running slope on the wheelchair curb access ramp should be less than 8.3%.
  6. Street access: When exiting the store, the accessibility are should branch off for those who would like to access the nearest public street.
  7. Easy access: All stores within the complex should be accessible using a properly designated route.
  8. Loading zone: The loading and offloading zone should be well maintained and also be close o the main entrance or exit of stores.
  9. Entrance safety: There should be a five foot square for accessibility at the main entrance of each store.

If you find any accessibility barriers at your favorite shopping center this holiday season or any time of year, contact Access Advocates. We are dedicated to helping individuals raise awareness improve their communities with better disabled access solutions.