Tips for Dining Out with a Disability

Although some restaurants have accommodations for those with disabilities, you’ll find it can still be difficult to navigate these public buildings when you are using mobility equipment. In a perfect world, you’d be able to reach the any bathroom faucet with ease, make your way through every dining room on a mobility scooter or freely, and be seated at a table in your wheelchair at a comfortable height.

This is unfortunately not always the case. So what can you do to dine more comfortably with a disability? Take a look at these tips below to make dining out more convenient and enjoyable!

Check The Restaurant’s Yelp Page

Yelp is a fantastic tool for finding specific information about local businesses, from customer reviews to parking details. Most restaurants will have a section on the right hand side of the page with additional business information, as shown here:

They may not include as much detail as you need, but it’ll give you a general idea of the accessibility, at the least. Customer reviews might also be able to give you insight on your potential dining experience. Use the search function at the top of the Recommended Reviews section to find reviews using specific terms like ‘handicapped’, ‘accessible’, ‘wheelchair’, ‘spacious’, or ‘ramp’.

Additionally, some restaurants will have common questions answered in the Ask the Community section of their Yelp page, just above the reviews. Check here as well for accommodation information!

Make The Call

Calling ahead doesn’t take much time and can make a huge difference between a comfortable, relaxing evening out and a disastrous and constrained dining experience. If you’ve tried Yelp and didn’t find the right information regarding restaurant accessibility, give them a call and ask these important questions before heading there or making your reservation:

  • Can the entrance mobility scooter or wheelchair-accessible?
  • Is there a handicapped stall in the bathroom?
  • Can the tables fit a wheelchair comfortably?
  • How spacious is the dining room?
  • How far is the parking area from the restaurant’s entrance?

Know What You Need

It’s beneficial to know the specifics of your needs before calling the restaurant to ask questions. There’s a chance that the employee you speak to will tell you that the tables are the right height to fit a wheelchair or scooter comfortably, but you arrive to find that they were mistaken. The standard requirements that restaurants should meet in order to be deemed handicapped-friendly are as follows:

Entrance: Ramp present or available for placement prior to entry (if entrance is stairs-only or is raised more than a few inches from the ground)

Tables: 28”-34” surface height

Doors: 5lb. Force or less needed to open

Doorways: 32” or wider

Door Handles: 48” or lower (from the ground)

Pathways: 36” or wider

Bathroom Stalls: 5’x5′ or larger

Bathroom Walls: Grab bars present

Toilet: 17”-19” high (seat)

Your Best Resource for Scooter Rental in MD

Is your current mobility equipment too bulky? Do you have difficulty getting around in public spaces? Freedom Mobility has state-of-the-art scooter rentals and plenty of other mobility equipment that can be custom fit to keep you comfortable and enable easy navigation. Contact us today for more information!

Madison Wine December 7, 2023
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