The Accessibility of Apple’s Campus

Published by @xarph


The Apple Park Visitor’s Center is a demonstration of an accessible building when cost is no object. Every exterior door has *motion-activated* auto-open triggers that can trigger on both wheelchair and foot height, placed away from the door. Usually, the button is mounted to the frame and is awkward to press from a wheelchair:

Extremely wide open spaces on the interior. There are no “alternate paths” for wheelchairs or assist devices. If you can walk there, you can roll there.

A second set of bathrooms specifically for disabled guests. All fixtures in these rooms seem to be mounted lower than in the other restrooms, surpassing ADA requirements. Stalls are all wider than in most multiple-occupant bathrooms.

Floor-mounted rails so people who are using canes don’t stray into low-overhead areas.

The rooftop deck also has these railings with integrated lighting. If these aren’t primarily meant to help the blind figure their geography out, it’s a pleasant accident.

All of the visitor center merchandise is stored on shelves at wheelchair height. No racks with stuff hanging above your head.

Instead of ramps, the entire structure is built on the exact level as the parking lot. Usually, buildings are a curb-height higher since it’s cheaper to use an elevated concrete pad than get the earth at the site completely flat for the foundation. Money was no object here.

The only case of a facility that could not be used by both able-bodied and disabled people was the water faucet at the coffee bar. It’s mounted too far back to reach from a wheelchair. Disabled folks have to use one of the standard water fountains near the restrooms.

A very subtle thing: the fire extinguishers are mounted at wheelchair height and behind a door that is not secured with anything more than some magnets. No glass to break.

Same with the AED. I usually see these mounted around 5 feet above the floor so it is eye level with an upright adult. If this is not intentional, it’s a happy accident.

Basically, go to the Apple Park Visitor’s Center if you want to see how to design a building for maximum disabled access when cost is no object.




Like it? Share with your friends!