In today´s society, universal accessibility is gaining strength and special importance because it is necessary to meet with this primary requirement if we want to achieve the real equality for everyone, whatever their physical or mental condition.

People with reduced mobility or vision are limited in numerous occasions by all kinds of architectural barriers such as curbs, parking spaces, narrow doors, steps in streets and buildings, lack of acoustic signals, etc., so their daily lives are much more difficult in some cases, because of the lack of the necessary adaptations.

To ensure universal accessibility, we have to eliminate or minimize as much as possible the above-mentioned architectural barriers:

  • Stairs: it remains one of the aspects where we have to put more emphasis, because these are the main barrier in buildings and public places, especially those of cultural interest. Normally we try not to damage the ancient buildings or break the aesthetics, so people with reduced mobility lose the opportunity to visit such points. The solution is given by the installation of ramps that comply with the current laws regarding slope and width, and even the installation of lifts if the high of the monument or building cannot be overcome only by ramps.
  • Doors: although in new shops or buildings doors are adapted to the current regulations respecting the specified step width, they are still an important barrier for all those people with reduced mobility or vision. The ideal solution here is to install automatic doors. Automatic doors facilitate the free people´s flow regardless of their physical condition. Thanks to its automatic opening the difficulties arising from traditional doors disappear, thus avoiding open or hold them, and they are also ideal for those who have visual problems. The width of the automatic doors allows the people´s flow of all of them that need to use crutches, canes or wheelchairs and others. In addition to its automatic opening, audio and lighting systems can be installed in this type of doors to give greater visibility at shops, businesses, hospitals, etc.
  • Parking lots: this is one of the most widespread solutions because we can find them almost anywhere (shopping centres, hospitals, airports, etc.). The only problem is that many times the ones for disabled people are not respected, forcing people who really need them to park in other places, narrower and further from the main entrance of the building. We must make the society aware that lots for people with reduced mobility should not be occupied whatever the reason, under any circumstances.
  • Acoustic signals: many cities have incorporated acoustic signals at pedestrian crossings, but still many places need to implement them (lifts, medical centres, shops entrances…). Thanks to audio warnings, people with visual problems could perform routinely tasks in a total autonomous way.

It is essential to eliminate or minimize architectural barriers in order to achieve a just and egalitarian society and that all people can develop a fully independent and autonomous life.