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Greatest Accessibility Fails of All Time

Everyone wants to be able to say that their establishment is accessible to handicapped individuals. Not everyone is willing to put in the right amount of budget planning and execution needed to get it done properly.

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When people don’t give accessibility enough thought, accessibility then becomes purely symbolic, something designed to show that we care, but has no practical purpose. Sadly, disabled people encounter this kind of attitude and poorly thought-out structures all too often.

Read through to see some of the worst accessibility fails of all time


Really? Watch your step?

Accessibility sign showing a wheelchair user on stairs

This is blatantly insulting and not thought through. I do hope this is a photoshopped image though, because there is no justification for this type of fail.


Extreme wheel sport!

Narrow inaccessible bridge marked for wheelchair users

Except this is a training arena for some kind of extreme wheelchair games, this doesn’t make any sense. As well as being inaccessible, wheelchair users who attempt to use this deathtrap risk drowning.


Attention seeking?

Tree situated in the middle of an accessibility ramp

That’s the only thing I can think of, attention. Why else would anyone build a ramp around a tree?! If people don’t want their establishments to be accessible, they should just say so. This is a far cry from any acceptable accessibility standard.

Perhaps the tree has some spiritual significance, or has someone lost a bet? Well, we’ll never know.


Rollercoaster to the great beyond

Steep winding accessibility ramp leading to a wall

Wow! Just wow! I’m not even going to ask what the people who conceptualized and built this insane contraption were thinking because obviously, they weren’t thinking. What’s even scarier is the thought that the geniuses behind this ramp of death expect disabled people to use it.


How? What? Why?

Accessibility ramp obstructed by railings

Someone, please help me out here. I have so, many, questions! How is one supposed to gain access to the ramps? Are they controlled by some computer somewhere? Does a wheelchair user need to pay to have the guarded ramp rails receded? What genius designed this? Why hasn’t it been restructured? So many questions!!!


For the health of all?

Wheelchair user in front of a shut elevator with the inscription “Today is the day we take the stairs”

Really?! I’m trying so hard to understand the motive behind this. It seems to be a hospital or at least some health organization. Aescepulus would be really sad if he could see what “health” measures this facility has put in place.

To make people exercise, you force them to walk? Not considering wheelchair users, the elderly, children, pregnant women, and everyone who has the right to choose whether or not they want to exercise! This has to be the most insensitive of them all.


Ironic, isn’t it?

Ramp interrupted with large sign saying “keep clear for wheelchair users”

Reserving a ramp for wheelchair users by placing a sign that stops wheelchair users from gaining access. That’s some wizardry at work.


To leave or not to live?

Poorly designed wheelchair ramp partitioned by stairs

Leave, please. That’s my advice to any wheelchair user who encounters such a thoughtless and dangerous design. Leave and report to the authorities, because why? Why would anyone do this?



 Well designed wheelchair ramp with supporting railings on either side

I’ll wrap this up with a simple and thoughtful design. This is a great model to copy.

Let’s try to invite people with disabilities to consult on projects meant for them. That’s the only way you’ll create something usable and convenient.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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