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Platform lift and stairlift

Where it is impracticable to provide a passenger lift or a ramp, a platform lift or a stair lift is used as an alternative for wheelchair users.

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Accessible parking lot for persons with disabilities at parks and open spaces

  • Accessible parking lots for persons with disabilities that are located near adequately sheltered information points or pedestrian entrances allow easy movement for physically or visually challenged persons.

Ample seats near children play area

  • Ample seats provided near children’s play area enable parents to supervise their children and further ensure child safety during play.

Audible service in lift car

  • A momentary audible announcement in the lift car will enable the blind or partially visually impaired to be aware of each registered call and the storey reached.

Blinking light in lift

  • Blinking lights connected to the emergency bell in the lift car allow persons with hearing impairment to know when the emergency bell has been activated.

Braille markings on lift control buttons

  • Braille markings on lift control buttons facilitates usage for the blind or partially visually impaired.

Child protection seat

  • A child protection seat provided in one of the water closet compartments in both male and female toilets allows parents to seat their baby safely in the restroom.

Colour contrast

  • Ageing and sight loss diminish colour perception. Strong contrasting colours to someone with normal vision may be less distinguishable to a person with low vision.

Contrast and interior space

  • Safe and independent use of internal spaces can be greatly enhanced by incorporating effective contrast between building elements, particularly by emphasising elements that need to be identified, operated or interpreted.
  • Walls and ceilings should be finished in plain colours (not complex patterns, which can be confusing) of light tones (to help diffuse light around the room) and matt finishes (to avoid unwanted glare or reflection).
  • Floors should also be relatively plain (both to avoid confusion and to allow easy location of dropped objects), not glossy and a mid-tone to contrast with walls (for example when viewed through an open doorway).

Cushioned or shock-proofed floor surface for children play area

  • Cushioned or shock-proofed floor surfaces for children’s play area ensure child safety. Outdoor or indoor play equipment for children of various ages should also be provided.

Design of controls for older persons

  • Older persons may also experience difficulty in seeing and understanding how to operate certain controls. To address these issues, contrasting colours and larger numerals or letters are recommended during design.

Design to prevent accidents

  • Even with the best-designed home environment, accidents may happen. If they do, sensitive design may prevent an accident turning into a tragedy.

Detectable surfaces along accessible routes, corridors and paths

  • Textured surfaces assist in giving a secure foothold to ambulant disabled persons while detectable surfaces with a change in plane will assist the blind or partially visually impaired.

Diaper-changing station

  • Diaper-changing stations provided in both the male and female toilets or in individual washrooms for persons with disabilities will enable both fathers and mothers to use the facility.

Double-switching for light

  • Double-switching means that an occupant does not have to cross the room in the dark to turn the lights on or off. Bedside switching is also recommended as a high proportion of older persons will need to use the toilet during the night.

Fixed seats at eating outlets

  • Where fixed seats are provided at all eating outlets and establishments such as hawker centres, food courts or centres, fast food outlets and restaurants, empty spaces are provided between the seats to accommodate wheelchair users.

Flexible Arrangement of Tables and Chairs

  • A variety of table and chair arrangements or the flexible arrangement of tables and chairs in food establishments will help cater to groups of different sizes.

Floor surfaces

  • Highly polished or reflective surfaces should be avoided the resulting glare will cause discomfort for the blind or partially visually impaired.
  • Shiny and reflective floors using granite, marble, glazed tiles and similar materials are not recommended as they could be hazardous when wet or greasy, or if they have been highly polished.
  • Open-jointed pavers or aeration concrete blocks should be avoided at external open spaces or vehicle parks where pedestrian traffic is expected as the voids in aeration concrete blocks may cause injury or a fall to ambulant disabled persons or the elderly.
  • Strongly patterned carpets should not be used for stairs as they obscure the definition of tread edges, posing a significant danger to users.
  • Floor surfaces of kitchen, bathroom and toilet are particularly hazardous, as these may be slippery when wet. Non-slip floor surfaces are safer for use and should be included in building specifications.

Forward reach ranges for person on wheelchair

  • The maximum forward reach, without obstruction, is 1200 mm from the floor and the minimum forward reach is 400 mm from the floor.
  • The maximum forward reach over an obstruction 500 mm deep is 1100 mm from the floor.

Furniture at parks and open spaces

  • All park furniture such as seats, dustbins, advertising boards, artworks, etc. should be carefully sited to avoid posing an obstruction or a hazard to pedestrians.
  • Pavilions provided along pedestrian routes at designated areas allow users to pause and rest, or to seek shelter from the weather. There should be ample space for wheelchairs or pushchairs alongside the seating arrangements at pavilions. Seating with armrests and backrest also give support to people when rising.


  • Excessive luminance contrast between interior elements can create glare. Windows, light fittings and reflective surfaces can all impact negatively on vision if not designed appropriately.
  • Direct glare can be minimised by ensuring that strong light sources, such as windows and light fittings are effectively screened.
  • Reflected glare can be reduced by eliminating reflective surfaces especially on floors and walls and by paying attention to the location of light sources relative to mirrors, glazing and materials with similar finishes.

Graduated difficulty of access at parks and open spaces

  • A good signage system should enable one to choose for oneself the type of experience or degree of challenge desired. It also possesses the advantage of not always segregating the able-bodied from those who are physically challenged.

Handrail extensions at ramp or staircase

  • Handrail extensions shall extend horizontally for a distance of not less than 300 mm beyond the top and bottom of the ramp or staircase to provide sufficient support for elderly persons, expectant mothers, or persons on crutches.

Handrails and grab bars for children

  • Handrails and grab bars for children with or without disabilities should be between 580 and 700 mm measured vertically from the ramp surface or pitch line of the stairs to the top of the handrails.

Illumination for older persons

  • An older person will normally require about 2 to 3 times more illumination than a younger person while other aspects of eyesight may also become less reliable with age.

Illumination on signs

  • The minimum level of illumination on signs is 200 lux.


  • Contrast can only be of assistance to people with vision disabilities if there is an appropriate quantity and quality of illumination with which to view the contrasting elements. At low light levels, the perception of contrast diminishes.

Location of signs

  • Persons with disabilities may experience limitations in head movement or a reduction in peripheral vision – they will find it easier to read signs that are positioned perpendicular to their path of travel.

Locker Provision for Pram and other heavy belongings

  • Pram depository service or large lockers that accommodate prams allow families to deposit their pram and other heavy belongings while using shopping centre facilities and other recreational or entertainment areas.

Maintenance of family-friendly facilities

  • Well-maintained family-friendly facilities ensure a clean and hygienic environment that is safe for young children.

Manoeuvring space allowances

  • The minimum clear floor space for a wheelchair to manoeuvre is 1800mm by 1800mm.

Material for nosing strips

  • Do not use bright stainless steel or polished brass for nosing strips as glare reflection may cause disorientation to the blind or partially visually impaired.

Mirrors in lift car interior

  • Mirrors in the lift car interior allow visual feedback for wheelchair users when reversing backwards into the lift lobby.

Motion-sensor lights

  • Motion-sensor lights that reduce the need for the elderly to manually to turn on the lights can be considered as an alternative lighting option.

Platform lift and stairlift

  • Where it is impracticable to provide a passenger lift or a ramp, a platform lift or a stair lift is used as an alternative for wheelchair users.

Prevention of falls

  • When older persons trip over a small obstacle or slip on a wet or smooth floor they may not be able to recover their balance. If there is no handrail or grab bar to provide support, they might fall and seriously injure themselves..

Ramps and steps

  • Ambulant disabled persons (E.g. persons on crutches) negotiate steps more easily and safely, thus accessibility by both steps and ramps is preferred.

Seats with armrests or grab bars

  • Seats should be provided with armrests or grab bars to facilitate the movements of persons on crutches, expectant mothers, and the elderly.

Side reach ranges for person on wheelchair

  • The maximum side reach, without obstruction, is 1300 mm from the floor and the minimum side reach is 250 mm from the floor.
  • The maximum side reach over an obstruction 860 mm high by 500 mm deep is 1200 mm from the floor.

Space allowances

  • The minimum clear floor space required to accommodate a single stationary wheelchair and occupant is 900mm by 1200mm.

Space standards

  • For bathrooms and toilets, consideration should be given to allowing space at the side of the water closet for older persons to transfer from a wheelchair or to be assisted by their caregiver. Grab bars should be installed to facilitate transfer.
  • Adequate legroom should be provided under tables, worktops, wash basins and sinks for wheelchair users, giving consideration as to how they may be able to use the kitchen.

Structural strength of handrails and grab bars

  • Handrails and grab bars shall be installed to resist a vertical or horizontal force of at least 1.3 kN for maximum safety.

Switches and socket outlets

  • To facilitate easy access for wheelchair users, switches and socket outlets shall be provided at a height of between 450 mm and 1200 mm above floor level.

Tactile warning strip at stairs

  • Tactile warning strips at the top and bottom of stairs serve to alert the blind or partially visually impaired that they are approaching steps and to be extra careful.

Toilet doors

  • Toilet doors should be designed to open outwards to facilitate the rescue of a fallen person who may be lying behind the door.

Treads and risers of stairs

  • A flight of stairs shall have uniform risers of maximum 150mm and treads of minimum 300mm.

Typical individual washroom

  • An individual washroom is used by persons with different disabilities. It is especially suitable when persons or children with disabilities and their respective care-givers or parents are of the opposite sex.

Vanity counter for wheelchair user

  • The depth of the vanity counter should be kept to a minimum so that the controls and faucets are easily within the reach of a wheelchair user.

Vision panel at lift door

  • Vision panels at lift doors allow persons with hearing impairment to signal for help or assistance in the event of an emergency.

Walkway widths for persons on crutches

  • Although persons who use walking aids are able to manoeuvre through door openings of 900 mm clear width, a wider passageway or walkway is generally needed for a comfortable gait.

Wardrobes or cupboards at home

  • Wardrobes or cupboards located at high or low levels may be hazardous for the elderly to safely. Any shelf at a height that would require a person to stand on a stool or chair to access must be avoided.

Wheelchair parking spaces in cinemas

  • Wheelchair users usually sit higher and their viewing positions should be arranged so that the view of fellow moviegoers who may be seated behind them will not be obstructed.

Width of accessible routes, corridors or paths

  • The width of accessible routes, corridors or paths shall be no less than 1200mm to facilitate the passage of both a wheelchair user and a walking person at the same time.

Width of doorway for wheelchair user

  • In order to allow for the smooth passage wheelchair users, doorway widths shall measure no less than 850 mm (between the face of the door and the face of the doorstop).