Detectable Warning Surfaces Increase Safety, Ensure ADA Compliance

Detectable warning surfaces play an important role in our society’s efforts to improve safety and quality of life for men and women with disabilities. These truncated domes give sight-impaired people warning of hazards that may be present when they’re crossing streets or boarding trains or buses. A growing number of municipal governments and businesses are adopting them to meet Americans with Disability Act requirements and because it’s the right thing to do.

detectable warning surfaces truncated domes

 

Significant Sight-Impaired Population in the U.S.

There is a large population in the U.S. of the sight-impaired. The term “sight-impaired” is broad and covers a wide spectrum of people, including those who are legally blind and those who suffer from vision loss. According to the National Federation of the Blind, there are more than 7 million people in the U.S. who have significant vision loss. Worldwide, the World Health Organization estimates that 285 million people are visually impaired, and 39 percent of them are blind.

One of the major challenges of living with sight impairment is the impact it has on daily tasks that the sighted often take for granted. Tasks like walking to a nearby location or using public transportation become significantly more difficult—and even dangerous—when one cannot see obstacles and hazards in one’s path.

A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that blind people have significantly more difficulty in safely crossing streets when they had to rely on hearing alone to navigate the crossing. Truncated domes on ground surfaces provide a tactile warning to sight-impaired people that hazardous conditions or a change in conditions lies ahead, reducing the chance that these men and women will be injured.

detectable warning surface on sidewalk

What Are Detectable Warning Surfaces?

Detectable warning surfaces are ground surfaces that have a distinctive pattern of truncated domes that sight-impaired people can detect using their feet or a cane. Detectable warning surfaces notify sight-impaired people that street crossings or hazardous drop-offs are ahead.

For example, at a pedestrian street crossing where the pedestrian route transitions to the street route with a flush instead of a curbed connection, detectable warning surfaces would alert sight-impaired pedestrians to this change. At train stations or bus stops, detectable warning surfaces are used to indicate unprotected drop-offs along the edges of boarding platforms.

blind man with seeing eye dog

The ADA & Detectable Warning Surfaces

The Americans with Disabilities Act is the major piece of U.S. legislation dealing with access to facilities for the disabled. Originally passed in the 90s during the first Bush Administration, the ADA provides protections to people with disabilities, similar to those granted to various ethnic and religious groups under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The ADA is a complicated piece of legislation and covers many things, including accommodations at work for the disabled and how private and public facilities are designed. Making the legislation even more complicated is the fact that it is updated from time to time by the Department of Justice.

In general, when new ADA rules come down, facilities owners don’t have to tear up existing facilities to comply with the new regulations. Instead, when and if they upgrade their facilities, new construction must comply with ADA rules. This keeps business owners and municipalities from having to spend a lot of money to upgrade facilities every time new rules are announced.

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice released its 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which included new rules regarding facility design to improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities. The new guidelines were intended to improve accessibility to public and private spaces for people with disabilities, including the sight-impaired. The 2010 regulations revised regulations established in 2001.

yellow detectable warning surface next to sidewalk

The new guidelines created new rules regarding slopes for walking surfaces and slip-resistance for ground surfaces. In addition to these requirements, the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design also created new rules for detectable warning surfaces.

The 2010 revision created some more lenient technical requirements for truncated dome sizes and placement on detectable warning surfaces. According to the new rules, domes should have a diameter of 0.9 to 1.4 inches. Their center-to-center spacing should be between 1.6 to 2.4 inches. Dome height should be 0.2 inches. The new guidelines give builders and facilities owners a little more leeway regarding spacing and diameter.

The major impact of the 2010 revisions to the ADA Standards for Accessible Design concerned changes to where detectable warning surfaces are required. According to the 2001 standards, truncated domes were required on curb ramps, in front of doors to hazardous areas, at dangerous vehicular areas, at transit platforms, and around the edges of reflecting pools.

blind person crossing street

The new standards are less demanding. Detectable warning surfaces are now only required on curb ramps in the public right-of-way and on the edges of transit platforms.

For companies not sure about whether they’ll need to upgrade facilities with detectable warning surfaces, a conversation with the Department of Justice or a supplier of detectable warning surfaces may clear up any ambiguity in the matter.

While many businesses don’t have to comply with ADA rules regarding detectable warning surfaces, compliance may be a good option, anyway. Having these surfaces in place could help businesses fight claims of negligence should disabled people be harmed on their properties. Installing infrastructure to make a property more accessible will also win a business the support of the disabled community in their area and will certainly be good public relations for that business.

Investing in making your facilities more accessible to people with disabilities can provide a nice return on your investment. The disabled community is growing in influence and wealth, and catering to this often-overlooked population can be lucrative. Nielsen estimates that one in three households in the U.S. has a member with a disability, representing more than $1 billion in spending power.

People can’t shop where they can’t go, so, by improving your facilities to make them more accessible for people with limited vision, you open your business to a group of customers with whom few other companies are doing business.

Recent Upgrades to Public Facilities

As municipalities upgrade and replace their sidewalks and other pedestrian infrastructure, many are adopting detectable warning surfaces to comply with ADA regulations and to receive grants linked to compliance.

For example, in Leetsdale, PA, the city government recently received funds from the Community Development Block Grant initiative, a federal program that aids low to medium-income areas. The funds are being used to renovate sidewalks on a major thoroughfare to be wider and to incorporate detectable warning surfaces. CDBG grants require sidewalk renovation projects to be ADA compliant.

Woodland Park, N.J. recently received $575,000 from the New Jersey Department of Transportation for upgrades to an often-traveled streetscape. The project will make a stretch of McBride Avenue more pedestrian- and bike-friendly and allow more convenient access to local merchants. A number of ADA renovations are being funded by the project, including the installation of barrier-free curb ramps, detectable warning surfaces, and more.

For municipalities and businesses considering making ADA-compliant changes to their facilities, partnering with a reputable maker of ADA compliant building materials can help ensure these projects are a success.

ADA Solutions is a leading manufacturer of detectable warning surfaces in North America. In business for 20 years, the company manufactures a variety of tactile dome and related products, including easy to install cast-in-place surfaces, durable surface applied panels for existing concrete or new construction, radius systems for curving surfaces, and more. If you’re looking to upgrade facilities and need an ADA-compliant ground surface, consult with ADA Solutions now for safe and reliable products.

Sources

  1. https://nfb.org/blindness-statistics
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3358127/
  3. http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2016/understanding-the-shopping-habits-of-the-disabled-consumer.html

 

The History and Evolution of Detectable Warning Surfaces

Detectable warning surfaces provide a valuable service for those individuals with visual impairments. They essentially serve as a warning that requires their attention ahead, such as entering a busy intersection, a rail platform dropoff, and so on. In addition, these warning surfaces alert non-visually impaired, yet distracted individuals of the same warnings.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), detectable warning surfaces are defined as a distinct surface with a pattern of raised domes that can easily be detected by the use of a cane or feet and serve to alert people of their approach to hazardous locations.1

ada detectable warning near escalator

Reasons Why There Are ADA Requirements

The ADA was initialed passed in 1990. The Act affords similar protections for those individuals with disabilities as found under the Civil Rights Act. There are several Title areas of the Act that relate to:

  • Title I: Employment
  • Title II: Public Entitles and Public Transportation
  • Title III: Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities
  • Title IV: Telecommunications
  • Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions

In regards to the requirements for detectable warning surfaces, Title II and Title III contain the information regarding the use of tactile warning surfaces. Title II focuses primarily on curbs, curb ramps, intersections, and other public areas where these surfaces are required. Title III focuses on altered/renovated or newly constructed places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.

Since the ADA was initially passed, there have been several updates to the regulatory compliances required for tactile warning surfaces. The most recent one was in 2010. It is the responsibility of facility managers, project managers, and others to ensure any existing, renovated or new construction meets the latest ADA requirements.

the americans with disabilities act

History of Detectable Warning Surfaces

Warning surfaces have gone through several generations since the ADA was first passed. Over the years, advancements have been made to ensure the truncated domes on the raised warning surfaces are durable and last a long time.

First Generation

The first generation solution was to simply stamp or score the concrete to create the elevated surfaces. It was a low-cost solution for contractors and builders since they only had to pour a new section of concrete in the required areas.

However, one major problem was that the concrete domes wore away quickly and could not easily be distinguished between cracks in the pavement and a warning surface. The use of this type of warning surface is not ADA-compliant under the current guidelines.

Second Generation

The second generation aimed to make improvements to warning surfaces by using bricks with raised domes. While the concept was much better than the first generation, there were still some issues with bricks.

To set bricks in place, the area around the location where the warning surface was to be installed had to be prepared using concrete. In addition, the ground underneath the bricks had to be compacted to ensure the bricks were level once installed. Gaps in between the bricks also had to be sealed to ensure they remained in place in the ground.

detectable warning brick surface

One reason bricks were not very successful is that the domes would wear off from being constantly walked on and from exposure to the elements. Furthermore, the bricks could become uneven, if not installed correctly, and create a slip, trip, and fall hazard. As such, truncated domed bricks are no longer allowed under the current ADA guidelines.

Third Generation

The third generation saw the introduction of surface-applied rubber and plastic domed solutions. These offered a better solution over the previous generations because they could be applied directly over an existing surface.

Contractors and construction workers no longer had to tear out sidewalks or other areas where truncated domes were required by the ADA. One concern when this solution first came out was the quality of the rubber and plastic materials used. They did not stand up to changes in temperatures, direct exposure to UV sunlight, and heavy foot traffic.

Yet one major change was the ability to create warning surfaces in a variety of colors, from yellow and red to blue and gray. Unfortunately, even with color options, the rubber or plastic would rip, tear, fade, and crack.

Whenever this occurred, the old one had to be completed removed and a new one installed. This led to ongoing maintenance in areas where these solutions were being used. In addition, they were not always installed in the exact location as required by the ADA.

Today, the ADA still does allow surface applied warning surfaces. However, they must be made from quality and durable materials. For instance, ADA Solutions surface-applied solutions are constructed of an exterior grade, high-quality fiberglass polymer composite material which is durable, weather resistant, and slip resistant.

Fourth Generation

The fourth generation saw the introduction of concrete inserts. This was a marked improvement over the original stamped or scored concrete. However, these inserts had similar problems to those truncated domes made from brick. The dome would wear off, the inserts could crack, and they were not designed for heavy foot traffic.

concrete detectable warning surface

These initial concrete inserts are no longer ADA compliant. Rather, there is a different type of concrete insert that addresses the previous concerns and problems, which the ADA does allow, although they can still be prone to weathering.

Fifth Generation

The fifth generation built upon the concept of using inserts and plastic-based materials. These new plastic inserts are commonly referred to as “Cast-in-Place” because they are set directly into the concrete while it is still wet.

The quality of the plastic materials was superior to concrete inserts. In addition, there is a variety of color options one can choose from when color is not mandated by state or local ordinances. The color of the insert resists fading from UV sunlight and is not prone to weathering like concrete.

Sixth Generation

The sixth generation saw new detectable warning surfaces being made from various metals, most often steel. The problem with steel warning surfaces is they had to be coated because you cannot color steel throughout. Even though steel is very durable, if the coating comes off, it leaves exposed steel that will rust and which could bleed into the pavement.

Metal inserts are still allowed under the ADA guidelines, so long as they meet the light-on-dark or dark-on-light requirement, as well as any state or local ordinances.

metal detectable warning surface

Seventh Generation

The latest generation of tactile systems includes several new products and solutions. Building upon the success of our high-quality surface applied products, we introduced our “Cast-in-Place Replaceable” panels in 2006. These panels have been a huge success and game changer and, so far, we have installed over 18 million square feet of our replaceable panel systems.

The replaceable feature makes it easy to swap out panels without having to tear up the concrete. Rather, the upper portion of the panel is removable and a new one can be installed in its place. This style is also popular when graphic tile systems are used as part of the warning surface.

Graphic tiles are a great way to incorporate images, logos, brands, or text messages into the ground. For instance, railway platforms could add text that says “Stand Back” or “Wait for Doors to Open before Boarding.”

Another type of product that we recently developed is our cast iron warning surface. The surfaces are made of durable cast iron and do not require coatings like steel and other metal warning surfaces. Since the dark cask iron color is consistent throughout, it maintains its appearance with its natural, unfinished state.

Radius systems are also another solution that we have brought to market in more recent years. This system transforms the traditional square or rectangular warning surfaces into arched and curved designs. This solution is perfect for corners at busy intersections or other areas where a curved or arch pattern is desired.

Last, this generation has seen the introduction of our Glow-Dome™ panels. These panels illuminate in lower light conditions to help provide non-visually impaired individuals with a distinct visual warning, as well as help guide them to emergency exits.

detectable warning surface on sidewalk

As you can see, detectable tactile warning surfaces have evolved quite a bit since 1990. Today you have numerous options to choose from that best suit your needs, from surface applied to cast-in-place and replaceable panels.

To learn more about our tactile dome systems and solutions or assistance in selecting the right warning surface products for your project, sidewalk, building, or another area, please feel free to contact ADA Solutions at (800) 372-0519 today!

Sources

  1. https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/streets-sidewalks/public-rights-of-way/guidance-and-research/detectable-warnings-update
  2. https://www.ada.gov/ada_title_II.htm
  3. https://www.ada.gov/ada_title_III.htm

 

All You Need to Know About ADA Curb Ramp Requirements

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) includes requirements to make public areas accessible to wheelchairs, walkers, and motorized scooters through the use of ramps.1 These requirements are based on specific guidelines, depending on the type of ramp in use, its location, and other such factors.

Without curb ramps, curb edges and accessibility would create hazards for those people with disabilities. There are increased risks of falling out of a wheelchair or scooter or tripping while using a walker when going over an elevated curb. In addition, restricting access in public areas under current federal laws could be construed a form of discrimination against such individuals.2

ADA Wheelchair ramp sign

 

To help you have a better understanding of the ADA ramp specifications and requirements, we will look at some of the more commonly asked questions by business owners, building managers, and construction companies.

Where are curb ramps and ramps required by the ADA?

A facility must install curb ramps or ramps in public areas along accessible routes where there is a change in levels greater than one-half inch. However, in lieu of installing curb ramps and ramps, a facility may provide accessibility using elevators or platform/chair lifts.1 Furthermore, any accessibility routes which have a slope steeper than five percent have to be treated under the ADA ramp guidelines.

What is the minimum width requirement of curb ramps and ramps?

According to the ADA requirements, curb ramps and ramps must have a minimum width of at least thirty-six inches.1 If handrails, indentations, or other features are incorporated into the ramp’s design, they must not reduce the width below the thirty-six-inch requirement.

What is the maximum allowed rise for curb ramps and ramps?

The maximum allowed rise—the overall height of the ramp at its highest point—cannot exceed thirty inches. For heights that will exceed thirty inches, it is perfectly acceptable to install several smaller ramps with landing places in between each one.

handicapped curb ramp

Is there a maximum length curb ramps and ramps can be?

The ADA requirements do not have any restrictions on the length of curb ramps and ramps unless they exceed thirty inches in height. Then one must break up the ramp through the use of landings. However, excessively long ramps can be tiresome for those in wheelchairs or using walkers. In these cases, a chair/platform lift might be a much more appropriate solution.

What are the slope requirements for curb ramps and ramps?

The slope is directly related to the rise (height) and length of the ramp. The ADA curb ramp slope standards require the slope to be no more than a maximum of a 1:12 ratio or 8.33%. The slope must be uniform from one end of the ramp to the other, with a few exceptions for slight variations in the materials used to create the ramp. The only other exception is in regards to cross-sloped ramps, where the cross slope maximum is a ratio of 1:48. Furthermore, side flares used with certain curb ramp designs can only have a maximum of a 1:10 ratio.1

Are landings required as part of the curb ramp or ramp design?

Landings are required at the top and bottom of ramps, while curb ramps only require landings at the top. Landings should provide a minimum of sixty inches long and at least thirty-six inches wide for single ramps.1 Ramp landings may overlap door opening clearances so long as the door does not open into the landing area. It is highly recommended, when overlaps occur, for the door to swing open in the direction opposite the landing.

In ramp configurations that have multiple landings, each landing section has to be sixty inches long and sixty inches wide to allow for easier maneuverability. Curb ramps and ramps must also be designed to prevent the accumulation of water on the ramp itself, on landings, and at the bottom of the curb transition to the lower surface.

Benefits of Handicap Ramps

Where can built-up curb ramps be used?

Built-up curb ramps are ramps that are added off of a curb to allow for access. These are perfectly acceptable alternatives to use in certain locations, such as parking lots. However, they cannot project into vehicle traffic lanes, bus lanes, or bike paths. Nor can they project into parking spaces or restrict access to aisles.

Another alternative when a built-up curb ramp is not feasible and there is limited space is to install parallel curb ramps. This design is where there are ramps which run parallel to the sidewalk and that have landings which are a minimum of forty-eight inches wide at the base of each ramp.3

Can raised crossings be used instead of curb ramps?

Raised crossings are allowed under the ADA guidelines in locations where the entire crossing is raised to the elevation of the curb. For specific requirements, you need to review your local requirements in regards to the width, height, appropriate markings, and so on.

intersection curb ramp

What are the requirements for curb ramps used at intersections?

The ramp section, excluding flared sides, must be within the allowed space for the crosswalk, regardless of the markings used in the intersection. Curved curbs should have ramps placed so they are perpendicular around corners while still within the crosswalk space.1

Diagonal curb ramps are allowed to be used in place of two separate ramps for each crosswalk. However, the ramp must still transition at the bottom into the street inside the marked crossings for both crosswalks.

Please keep in mind, it is your responsibility to fully review the latest requirements, as there are regular updates made to the ADA. The most recent ones were made in 2016.

Detectable Warning Systems and Ramps and Curb Ramps

Aside from specific requirements for ramps and curb ramps, the ADA also includes a section regarding the use of detectable warning systems. The use of tactile raised domes at the top and bottom of ramps is not always required, except when used in public transportation areas, such as subways, train stations, and bus stations.

It is worth noting, both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Transportation (DOT) have their own requirements in regards to the use of detectable tactile warning systems. These requirements can be in addition to those contained within the ADA.

detectable tactile warming systems

For curb ramps, the DOJ and DOT require that raised domes are used in areas that receive funding from the Federal Highway Administration, as well as in federal, state, and local government facilities.

However, since visually impaired individuals tend to use ramps and curb ramps for access, it is highly recommended that, even when there is no federal, state, or local requirement, facilities should still install truncated dome panels at the top and bottom of ramps to indicate a change in surface.

When the use of tactile warning curb ramps is required by federal, state, or local laws, they must comply with specific guidelines in regards to spacing, size, and contrast with the regular pavement surface. For instance, California laws have adopted the use of yellow as the only allowed color, with a few exceptions.

Furthermore, the placement of the warning surfaces can and does vary based on the location where it installed. For instance, in subway and rail stations with elevated platforms, the truncated domes must run the entire length of the platform.

ada compliant painted sidewalk

For more information about ADA sidewalk requirements and assistance in selecting the appropriate tactile warning systems, please feel free to contact ADA Solutions today at (800) 372-0519! We offer a variety of solutions, from cast-in-place replaceable to radius systems in a variety of colors and cast iron, as well as photoluminescent systems.

Sources

  1. https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/buildings-and-sites/about-the-ada-standards/guide-to-the-ada-standards/chapter-4-ramps-and-curb-ramps
  2. https://www.ada.gov/pcatoolkit/chap6toolkit.htm
  3. https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/titleII_2010/titleII_2010_regulations.htm#subpartd

How Detectable Warning Surfaces Work

Detectable warning surfaces are designed to help Americans with disabilities, or about 40 million individuals, safely navigate sidewalks and other public spaces. They are particularly useful for those with visual impairments and who use canes, wheelchairs, or other mobility aids.

The Purpose of Detectable Warning Surfaces

With a significant percentage of the population facing physical challenges, public spaces must accommodate everyone. A detectable warning surface provides tactile feedback about a person’s location. They can, for example, recognize the edge of a crosswalk, change in surface conditions, and where there may be oncoming road traffic.

When Did They Become Mandatory by the ADA?

The ADA mandated detectable warning surfaces in 1991. While the law differs by location, they’re required in all public areas where pedestrians are present. These include curb ramps, handicap ramps, in train and bus stations, and in other locations where preventing injuries can avoid physical harm and personal injury lawsuits.

How They Help the Visually Impaired or Those with Disabilities

Detectable warning surfaces alert people about changes in their environment. At a crosswalk or intersection, traffic may be ahead, or the elevation may change significantly. The products are also useful at bus stations and on train platforms, and anywhere a visually impaired person may otherwise not sense potential danger ahead.

Call ADA Solutions Today for Compliant Tactile Warning Surfaces
We offer Cast-in-Place Replaceable, Surface Applied, Cast-in-Place, and Radius System warning surfaces, featuring truncated domes and a strong fiberglass polymer composite, to meet a wide range of applications. Cast-iron, replaceable graphic tile, photoluminescent, and wayfinding surfaces are also available.

Read on for more about our ADA-compliant detectable warning surfaces online or call us toll-free at 800-372-0519.

How Detectable Warning Surfaces Work

Benefits of Handicap Ramps

Benefits of Handicap Ramps

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed into law in 1990. The act makes it illegal to discriminate against those with individuals with disabilities in all areas of life, including transportation and public and private places.

While there are all sorts of accommodations that can be made to ensure a home or business is accessible, the use of handicap ramps is extremely common. If you’re considering having an accessible route installed at your home or business, there are some benefits you’ll want to know about. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of an ADA walkway.

It’s the Law

If you’re a business owner, you know all about the laws that apply to you. While you may know all about balancing the budget and keeping your inventory well-stocked, chances are you don’t know the ins and outs of the ADA. This law makes it illegal to discriminate against those with disabilities. Included in this law is the need for ADA compliant wheelchair accessible ramps.

There are also set guidelines that must be followed, including:

  • 1:12 ramp slope (8-degree slope)
  • Handrails on both sides of the ramp
  • Minimum width of 36 inches (48 inches in some states)
  • Flat, unobstructed area at the top and bottom

Ramps should also use an ADA detectable warning surface. These surfaces are brightly colored and textured to provide a visual and physical contrast from normal ground surfaces.

By having a properly constructed wheelchair ramp, you can have peace of mind that your business isn’t at the risk of an ADA lawsuit.

Minimized Risk

The fact is that stairs can be dangerous. According to Reuters Health, more than one million Americans hurt themselves on stairs each year. We’ve all had a near miss of falling down the stairs or missing a step. By having an accessible route available, you can minimize risk and increase mobility for people of all types.

Beneficial for Everyone

While handicap ramps are meant for those with disabilities, the fact is that we’ve all benefited from the availability of an ADA walkway. Chances are you’ve chosen a ramp over stairs when carrying groceries, navigating with luggage, or pushing a stroller.

Making ADA Compliance Easier

Accessible ramps also tend to be safer, especially in less than ideal weather conditions. For example, ramps often use ADA flooring that makes them less slippery, especially in wet weather.

The bottom line is that having a wheelchair ramp makes life much easier and convenient for everyone. The elderly, those using scooters, or even people who want to walk hand-in-hand benefit from the existence of a ramp.

Making ADA Compliance Easier

Once you decide that having a handicap ramp installed is the best decision for your needs, the next step is to find a company that’s experienced in providing products that are ADA compliant. For a name you can trust, look no further than ADA Solutions.

Our engineers are experienced in installing ramps on a variety of ground and floor surfaces. We look forward to making your home or business more accessible! Contact us today at (800) 372-0519 for a free quote.

Source

1. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-injuries-stairs/injuries-on-stairs-occur-in-all-age-groups-and-abilities-idUSKBN1CE1Z4

How Detectable Warning Surfaces Save Lives

Tactile paving isolated

You may wonder what detectable warning surfaces are and how they work. Detectable warning surfaces are unique, textured tiles that provide a physical warning that a person is nearing an area that is dangerous in some way. Sighted individuals may recognize these panels as the bumpy, often yellow tiles that line the curbs of public roads and the edges of rail and subway platforms. These surfaces indicate to the visually impaired that they should use caution, guide them along a safe path, and provide a textured area for good traction.

Tactile panels can be made from a variety of materials, but ADA Solutions’ tactile warning surface tiles are crafted from a reinforced fiberglass, carbon, and homogeneous glass composite material for superior durability. Our tiles are also manufactured in a variety of colors for different applications and contrast needs.

Tactile Warning Surfaces Can Be Life-Saving

Because those who are in some way visually impaired cannot see potential hazards as a sighted person can, the unique texture of a detectable warning surface provides the physical feedback that their eyes cannot. ADA tiles also save lives by providing a slip-resistant surface that prevents individuals of all ability levels from slipping and falling in slick areas.

At one time, the height difference between roadways and curbs was more pronounced, giving impaired individuals a fairly strong indication of where it was safe to walk. Many curbs have now been lowered significantly, in large part to reduce the tripping hazard posed by tall curbs. As an unintended consequence, however, this has made it more difficult for those with limited or no vision to determine where the edge of the roadway begins. This new hazard makes using detectable warning tiles more important than ever.

Meeting Accessibility Guidelines for Public Safety

Tactile paving texture

The accessibility guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are intended to make public and private spaces safer and more accessible for those with various physical and mental challenges. In addition to keeping people safe, obeying these guidelines also protects you as a property owner from facing costly accident lawsuits.

ADA accessibility guidelines require that all transition areas (e.g., sidewalk curbs, edges of railway platforms, etc.) have textured warning surfaces that can be felt with the feet through the soles of most types of shoes. These surfaces must also be a color that contrasts sufficiently with the surrounding area so that they can be easily seen by those with some level of vision. ADA Solutions’ detectable warning tiles feature easy to feel truncated domes and high-contrast color options to meet ADA accessibility guidelines and protect those at risk.

Find Durable, High-Quality Tactile Warning Tiles at ADA Solutions

Whether you need to update an old property to meet legal accessibility requirements or simply need to replace old, worn surfaces with new materials, ADA Solutions’ can help. Our durable, slip-resistant tiles are available in cast-in-place, surface applied, and replaceable options to suit any customer need.

Browse our product selection online or call us at (800) 372-0519 for a free quote.

4 Questions to Answer That Will Improve Your Public Access Systems in 2018

train station with warning tile

Features to Look for in Detectable Warning Surfaces

Blind floor tiles on train station platform

Whether you have a new construction project or a retrofitting project, selecting the appropriate detectable warning surfaces is important. You need to ensure you are compliant with the current ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements.1 Since the ADA first went into effect in 1991, there have been several changes, and it is your responsibility to verify the current requirements.

Read more

A Path for Improved Safety: Glow Dome Detectable Warning Tiles

tactile_floor

The city is a jumble of access ramps, train platforms, bus stops, sidewalks, curbs, and intersections. While a non-disabled person finds these challenges pretty easy to navigate and deal with, for people with disabilities and visual impairments, this can be more of a struggle. So much so, moving around a big city could truly be a hazardous experience.

People with visual impairments and disabilities need additional help to ensure their safety while navigating through the busy city streets, sidewalks, subway and rail platforms, bus stops, and so on. To help ensure people with disabilities get that help, the Americans with Disabilities Act mandates certain measures to make accessing different areas easier and more accessible to everyone.

One such requirement is the installation of detectable warning panels in the surface area of sidewalks to serve as a warning for upcoming dangerous changes. These changes could be a busy intersection, a ramp, an edge of a platform, curbs, or steps. The warning panels help to keep everyone safe, including people without visual impairments or disabilities.

For instance, many people walk around these days looking down at their smartphones. This leads to distractions that could result in their walking out into a busy street, off a curb, or, worse, falling off a rail platform down onto the tracks. Luckily, the change in the dome surface can be felt and alerts people to potential dangers and hazards.

Detectable warning systems are essentially a “stop sign” to let people know they need to do something. The raised surfaces on the warning panels are designed to be detected by a walking cane as well as be able to be felt through the soles of boots and shoes. People might need to stop and prepare to cross a busy street or wait for their train. It could also indicate the need to look up from your smartphone to see what attention is required.

Even though detectable warning systems are great, you also have to consider lower light conditions and situations that could result in complete darkness. While visually impaired people will still be able to easily navigate using the tactile surfaces, non-visually impaired people will be the ones at a disadvantage.

Detectable Warning Panels

This is where our Glow-Dome™ product can help. Glow-Dome™ panels do not rely on any power source and are charged by ambient light. They provide emergency visual cues in reduced or no light situations. The panels can be integrated into tactile warning systems to help provide a distinct visual cue. They are offered in retrofit transit, paver, and replaceable tile options.

In addition, certain building codes and regulations could require the use of photoluminescent tiles to help mark the path to exits during emergencies, reduced or no-light conditions, and other such situations.

  • Fun Fact: Glow-Dome™ panels can help you earn LEED credits toward earning a green building rating.

To learn more about detectable warning tiles, tactile warning systems, and Glow-Dome™ panels, please feel free to contact ADA Solutions at (800) 372-0519 today!

How to Make Public Transit Safer, One Situation at a Time

how to make public transit safer-title