Dining Out In A Wheelchair

Going out for dining in a wheelchair could be a real challenge, taking into consideration the accommodation offered by most of the restaurants and bars or, it will be right to say, what is not offered in many cases.

The accessibility item in eating houses continues to be far from perfectibility in the U.S, in spite of the regulations of American with Disabilities Act (ADA,1990), that has obliged all the new-built restaurants and other public caterings to organize the accommodations with all the applicable equipment for handicapped people.

The truth is that this ordinance is not always carried out in a full capacity, as it is instructed in guidelines. For instance, some restaurants are represented as disability visitors friendly, though, according to arranging, they may offer only a ramp to enter the building, with no mind of other staff needed to feel comfortable.

For all the reasons mentioned above, it is better to plan to dine out in a wheelchair in order to avoid discomfort visiting eateries that cannot provide appropriate service. A good way is to make a call to the place of the oncoming tour to get the information about the accessibilities they can assure. In addition to this, you can search over the Internet what restaurants are of a great favor for wheelchairs as well as learn how many positive feedbacks they have.

Most often, customers’ reviews can give you more useful and detailed info about the all-around staff than the restaurant workers may mention about, because of a simple reason of not having the real understanding about the accessibility meant for or look like. The negative views can protect you from bad experience, while the positive messages can guide you to the best place ever.

Unfortunately, completely perfect restaurants with all the accessibilities can be rarely found, though the situation is not too bad. Some places to eat can provide you with the courteous personnel that is willing to help in all situations, and even if some criteria of convenience are not appropriately followed, they will be able to create this space by their hospitality and kindness.

What should be provided in restaurants to be wheelchair accessible?


First of all, it is the entrance to be easy managed to get in. Very often door access is established in a way far from crisp width requirements. The ramps are frequently too high constructed or with an inappropriate level of a touchdown. Entrance look and availability is a primary thing customers see in the conception of the entire restaurant. At the first stage, such an unpleasant state of affairs may ruin the impression of the whole space the person with disabilities is visiting.

That’s why, the restaurants should follow the postulates of organizing the place hospitable to all people, regardless of physical disabilities.


In obedience to ADA regulation claims the entry door to a restaurant should be of at least 32 inches width interval. The wheelchair customer should have the possibility to open the doors on their own without any obstacles. In the case of some problematic situations, there should be trained restaurant employees who can assure urgent assistance. It doesn’t mean that the staff should specially have the duties of servicing the wheelchairs, but they must be always ready to help if the need occurs.

The main accommodations placed internally should include routes to get to the place for dining, handicapped restaurant tables, bathroom settlements and all it together with the friendly service provided.


The broadness of ramps must meet the standards of minimum 36 inches of pure stretch. The slope shouldn’t be harsh or extreme. It’s role is to provide a smooth way up and down with the help of handrails installed on both sides of the ramp.

Even when the threshold is almost of equal high with the ground surface, the ramp is needed either, as any gibbosity serves as a barrier for wheelchairs.


Wheelchair accessible dining tables should be available in every public eating-place, according to ADA strong requirements, composing 5% of all available. The measures of handicap tables for restaurants should be of no more than 34 inches and no less than 28 inches height beyond the floor. The clearance between the underside of the surface and the ground should be at least 27 inches high, 30 inches wide and 19 inches deep. Mobile chairs can be used to move aside when it is needed.


To make food ordering an easy action, the counter must be fixed not so high (no more than 36 inches) or have an additional section on one side to be simple to reach for the wheelchair client.


Getting to the bathroom must be guided with special signs and if it is situated on the upper or lower floor, the elevator must be of a good help to achieve the right place without a problem. In any case, the location has to be not far from the place of dining place, established for wheelchairs.

The entryway width should be no less than 32 inches to provide an easy pass through. The inner space must be broad enough to pull up freely to all bath accessories and to allow making 180-degree turns. The handles installed in the restroom should have the convenient to wheelchairs settlement.

Visiting the bathroom is not so easy at all. When some of these simple steps of accommodation are not well designed, it can create a lot of problems and discomfort for wheelchair users.


Despite of all the advantages and disadvantages of dining out in a wheelchair, the exact thing is to go out any way. Even though the first experience has not been a good one or as expected to be, it should not stop you from travelling to other restaurants. Every new knowledge gets you more informed, and you can demand to serve according to the American with Disability Act anywhere you visit.

By | 2018-10-16T17:05:46+00:00 July 17th, 2018|Blog|5 Comments

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