North Texas Daily

ADA accessibility buttons should not be used unless necessary

ADA accessibility buttons should not be used unless necessary

ADA accessibility buttons should not be used unless necessary
September 19
17:30 2019

Using the ADA door button is something we are all guilty of doing, or at least guilty of thinking about doing, depending on the situation. 

However, most students do not really think about the negative implications that can occur from using the ADA button when it is not necessary.  

ADA stands for the “Americans with Disabilities Act,” which is an assistance program designed to prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities, and to require building accommodations to people with disabilities. One of the most common ADA requirements is having a ramp alternative to stairs, along with having an automatic door button.

The door button is unfortunately not a requirement, but a nice accommodation nonetheless. These help people who may not have the ability or strength to open up a door by themselves, along with allowing people in wheelchairs to open a door without needing any extra assistance.

It is great that some doors at UNT provides this accommodation for disabled individuals, however, many UNT students take advantage of this service. 

Look, I understand that we all have those days where we are carrying a million things at once and you don’t have the hands to necessarily open a door by yourself, so you just automatically press the button. However, using the door buttons for theatrics or just out of sheer laziness is uncalled for. ADA door buttons are sensitive in that there is only a certain number of times you can use it before it starts to break down. Wear and tear on the button may not seem like a lot to someone who truly doesn’t need it, but it means a lot to those who really need the assistance. 

Overuse of the door button could cause delayed opening or malfunctions in the overall swinging of the door. For an able bodied person, a malfunctioning door has a pretty easy fix: You can just open the door yourself. However, the door malfunctioning does not have as an easy fix for a person with disabilities. 

The cost of one door button alone usually ranges from $99-400. Once the buttons start to break down though, the costs start to build up with each consecutive repair or fix. There’s a pretty simple solution to this. Don’t use the button if it’s not meant for you. It may be tempting, but next time, save the button for someone who legitimately needs it.

As a caregiver of someone with a disability, I can say that using an ADA accommodation when it’s not needed is a big slap in the face for those who do actually require the assistance.

If you wouldn’t park in a handicap parking spot without an appropriate sticker, you should not take advantage of any other ADA accommodations provided to UNT students. There is no need for anybody to press the button when it is not a necessity, and to those who use the button due to their own laziness, just open the door.  

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas

About Author

Natalie Taylor

Natalie Taylor

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4 Comments

  1. Bhileman
    Bhileman September 19, 20:41

    Awesome article Natalie!

    Reply to this comment
  2. sv
    sv September 20, 00:59

    Such an insightful article. I look forward to reading more from this budding author.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Pnaghwai
    Pnaghwai September 20, 07:11

    Very nicely said. Great article!

    Reply to this comment
  4. MVO
    MVO September 20, 20:06

    Very informative and well written!

    Reply to this comment

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