How to Build ADA-Compliant Bleachers and Grandstands
If you are a venue owner, manager, or operator, you know how important it is to provide safe and comfortable seating for your spectators. But did you know that you also have a legal and moral obligation to ensure that your seating is accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities?
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), public facilities such as stadiums, arenas, and auditoriums must comply with certain accessibility standards to accommodate the needs and rights of people with disabilities. Failing to meet these standards can result in lawsuits, fines, and damage to your reputation.
GT Grandstands recognizes this imperative. With our commitment to quality and inclusivity, we specialize in crafting custom bleachers for stadiums, ensuring every seat aligns with ADA standards, and guaranteeing an inclusive environment for all attendees.
In this article, we will explain how you can build ADA-compliant bleachers and grandstands for your venue, and why it matters for everyone.
Understanding ADA Accessibility Standards
The ADA is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life, including employment, education, transportation, communication, and access to public services and facilities.
But have you ever wondered, why do these standards matter so much?
The ADA accessibility standards are based on the principle of universal design, which means that the design of products and environments should be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. The goal of universal design is to create inclusive and equitable spaces that benefit everyone.
The ADA standards cover various aspects of accessibility, such as dimensions, clearances, slopes, surfaces, signage, lighting, etc.
GT Grandstands, recognizing the profound importance of these standards, specializes in crafting bleachers that not only meet but exceed ADA requirements. Our commitment ensures that every event is a shared experience, enjoyed equally by all attendees.
Key Components of ADA-Compliant Bleachers
Building ADA-compliant bleachers requires careful planning and attention to detail. You need to ensure that your bleachers meet the ADA accessibility standards without compromising safety or aesthetics.
Here are some key components that you need to consider when designing and installing ADA-compliant bleachers and grandstands:
- Wheelchair spaces: These are spaces that are designed to accommodate a wheelchair user and provide a clear view of the event. Wheelchair spaces must be at least 36 inches wide and 48 inches deep. They must also be dispersed throughout the seating area to provide a variety of choices for viewing angles and ticket prices.
- Companion seats: These are seats that are located next to wheelchair spaces to allow people with disabilities to sit with their companions. Companion seats must be equivalent in size, quality, comfort, and amenities to the regular seats in the same seating area.
- Accessible routes: These are routes that connect wheelchair spaces and companion seats to the entrance/exit, restrooms, concessions, and other amenities. Accessible routes must be at least 36 inches wide and have a maximum slope of 1:12. They must also have handrails, guardrails, curb ramps, landings, etc., as required by the standards.
- Entry points: These are points where spectators can enter or exit the seating area. Entry points must be level or have ramps with a maximum slope of 1:12. They must also have doors or gates at least 32 inches wide and easy to operate.
The number of wheelchair spaces and companion seats required for bleachers and grandstands depends on the total seating capacity of the facility. The table here shows the minimum number of required wheelchair spaces for different seating capacities
Designing ADA Accessible Grandstands
Designing ADA-compliant grandstands requires a holistic approach:
- Layout Considerations: Spaces must be tailored for wheelchair users and those with other mobility aids, ensuring unobstructed movement.
- Access Features: Incorporate ramps and elevators to facilitate easy access to all seating levels.
- Signage and Guidance: Implement clear and intuitive signs to assist spectators with disabilities in navigating the venue.
GT Grandstand offers a variety of ADA-compliant bleachers and grandstand models, ensuring venues can choose the perfect fit for their specific needs while upholding inclusivity standards.
Creating Custom ADA Compliant Spectator Seating
Custom bleachers are a great way to meet the ADA requirements and enhance the spectator experience.
Custom bleachers can be tailored to fit the specific needs and preferences of the venue, such as size, shape, color, and style. You can also match them easily with your existing venue infrastructure.
More stadiums and arenas are recognizing the value of bespoke seating solutions. Hence, there's a growing surge in demand for custom bleachers..
Choosing a renowned bleacher manufacturer for your stadium like GT Grandstands, ensures you're not just in the game but leading it. With the right seating, every event becomes a memorable experience for all attendees.
Best Practices for ADA Accessible Bleachers
You want everyone to enjoy your stadium events. That's why you have ADA compliant bleachers for your spectators with disabilities. But you also need to take care of them and use them properly. Here are some tips:
- Check and fix your bleachers regularly for any damage or malfunction. Clean and sanitize them regularly too.
- Train your staff on the ADA standards and how to use and assist with your bleachers.
- Listen to your spectators with disabilities and their feedback on your bleachers. Invite them to share their opinions and experiences. Make any improvements or changes that can make your bleachers better for them.
The Future of ADA Compliant Seating in Public Venues
Public venues that host events and activities for people of all abilities need to have ADA compliant seating. ADA compliant seating ensures accessibility and safety for spectators with disabilities. Technology and society are constantly evolving and improving ADA compliant seating.
Venue operators and event organizers should stay alert to these changes, ensuring they remain at the forefront of providing an inclusive experience. In essence, the future of ADA-compliant seating is a blend of cutting-edge technology and a renewed commitment to making public venues accessible and enjoyable for all.
Public venues are spaces where memories are made, where communities come together, and where everyone, regardless of their physical abilities, should feel welcomed and valued.
For venue owners, this means more than just meeting a set of standards. It's about creating an environment where every individual can have a seamless and enjoyable experience.
Prioritizing ADA compliance isn't just about adhering to regulations; it's about embracing a vision of inclusivity and ensuring that vision is embedded in every aspect of venue planning and operations.
Thinking about elevating your venue's seating game? GT Grandstand is here to assist. Our expertise goes beyond just meeting ADA standards. We're here to ensure your seating arrangements are not only compliant but also perfectly aligned with your venue's unique vibe and needs. Dive into a world of possibilities and explore our diverse bleachers collection. Let's create spaces where everyone feels right at home.