While the provision of access in dwelling units is very important in enhancing the mobility of persons with disability, in Canada it is the law. The main entrance doors of a house are significant in planning the access for resident’s Canadians as well as in forming the house design taking into consideration people with the disability. This article looks at why the external doors become an essential part of the house to Canadian occupants, factors to consider to ensure the doors are universally designed and various solutions that can be adopted.


**Processes Related to Legal Regulation and Accessibility Standards**


An accessibility standard in Canada is defined under provincial and federal laws with references to such acts as the AODA and the Canadian Human Rights Act. They require that public, and private bodies ensure their facilities are accommodating for persons with a disability, including way into buildings and doors.


The exterior doors in Canada received much attention from the assessment of accessibility designs since it is used as access and exit points for residential structures. The higher the accessibility standards by CCMH, both the quality of life of the residents and the legal guidelines are met.


Here, the key considerations for management of exterior door accessibility are outlined:


  1. **Width and Clearance**: More to it, passage doors leading outside must be wide enough to allow for wheelchairs and even walkers where necessary. Regarding the minimum width of doors to make structures accessible, it ranges from 36 inches (Gesler & Mars, 2009) which may however vary depending on the need at hand. However, alcoves or clearances around doors must be sufficiently large to admit easy movement in or out of that area.


  1. **Thresholds and Transitions**: This study identified that access barriers are typical and that the main access barriers can be categorized by the following obstacles; doors, ramps, steps, and thresholds. Other door recommendations included that exterior doors in Canada must either have a low or non-existent threshold to enable ease of movement between areas that are inside and outside the building. Stairs can be replaced by ramps or gradual slopes that can help in the establishment of barrier-free learning environments by mitigating tripping hazards.


  1. **Door Hardware**: There are various types of door hardware and the right ones need to be selected for proper accessibility. Lever-style handles are also slightly easier to operate compared to round doorknob handles particularly to those that experience restricted movement of the hands. Additional measures may include push buttons for opening the doors; this allows for hands-free automatic/ electronic doors.


  1. **Visual and Tactile Cues**: In regards to doors that open to the exterior, people with the disability of low vision should be able to fully appreciate the design through the sense of touch. This may involve use of contrasting hues and shades on doors and handles alongside other features such as braille on doors or other raised design motifs.


  1. **Lighting and Visibility**: Proper illumination of exterior doors from inside the house enhances visibility and the chance to avoid accidentally opening the wrong door by those people with vision problems. If you are the resident you will agree with me that at certain times of the day especially in the evening, it becomes quite difficult to locate the doorbell or mixing into the compound, an element, such as the motion lamp or the lit doorbell could assist.


  1. **Security Features**: Although safety will always be critical in any apartment, the exterior doors should also have an easily accessible lock system that serves all the occupants. These include dead bolt and keyless electronic systems which employ large buttons or roller touch pads to enable the doors be secured without restricting ease of use.


**Solutions That Will Change How We Approach Exterior Door Access**


Advancements in design and technology have led to innovative solutions for improving accessibility in exterior doors:Advancements in design and technology have led to innovative solutions for improving accessibility in exterior doors:


  1. **Smart Locks and Access Control Systems**: Some lock systems which provide residents with a level of control within their home derived from smartphones or key fobs. These systems can also be closed linked to home automation platforms for additional inputs.


  1. **Adjustable Thresholds**: Certain exterior doors may have a built-in low-profile that may be permanently dropped to a certain position or it has a variable low-profile which can be set permanently at a particular level or can be temporarily disengaged. This flexibility helps to facilitate resident mobility aids to negotiate their way easily and efficiently with out any hitches.


  1. **Automatic Door Openers**: Accessibility for anyone with physical disability: Automatic door openers, also those with, additional switches such as a motion detector control and a push-button control, allow people with disabilities to gain access without having to push doors open manually.


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