While the Americans with Disabilities Act is meant to benefit and protect the physically and mentally disabled, curb cuts are often regarded as an ADA compliant change that benefits every pedestrian, regardless of mobility.
Curb cuts are the gentle slopes that bring sidewalks down to street level instead of having a 4-6 inch drop-off. This not only allows people in wheelchairs to move on and off of the sidewalk without difficulty, it also aids cyclists, rollerbladers, small children, parents pushing strollers, and people who just may be too frazzled to notice a sudden plunge to street level.
Though curb cuts initially caused a problem for the visually impaired who could not detect the change from sidewalk to street and were unknowingly ending up in traffic-ways, ADA compliant requirements for detectable warning systems transformed curb cuts from hazards to safety features for the visually impaired.
Most people see curb cuts every day of their lives without even realizing that they were initially put into place because of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The integration with becoming ADA compliant was so seamless that itís hard to imagine a time when curb cuts werenít in place.
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