Make School Dining Halls More Accessible for Disabled Students
School dining rooms and cafeterias are more than just a re-fuelling station for hungry kids, they form a key role in your students’ social lives. Interaction with their peers outside of lessons is an essential part of their social and emotional development and should be treated as such. This is why inclusivity in the dining area is of such importance, so that children of all backgrounds and physical capabilities can interact with one another freely during their lunch breaks.
In this article, we will look at some simple ways to make your school dining area more accessible to disabled students.
There should be enough space between your canteen tables to allow access by wheelchair users and students with other mobility aids. More space also means fewer accidents among the rest of your students as it’s easier to avoid bumping into one another.
If you have self service shelves, chiller units, or dispensers for condiments and cutlery, ensure they are at a suitable height to be reached by students of smaller stature and those who are in wheelchairs.
Not everybody is able to carry a tray the length of the canteen service area. Make sure tray slides are fitted along the front for students to rest and push their tray while in line to be served. Since some students may be wheelchair users, ensure the tray slides are high enough to accommodate their knees underneath.
It’s important to install wheelchair accessible dining tables in your dining area. Students with mobility issues should be able to join their peer groups at the table of their choice, rather than being set to one side at a specially-modified table. Here at Versa Design, for instance, we have two types of mobile cafeteria tables available – our Hallmark range and our Benchmark range. Both models can be adapted in less than a minute to accommodate a wheelchair user, allowing them to sit with their friends at lunch times.
For information about our Hallmark and Benchmark range of tables, or to place an order, give Versa Design a call today. You can reach us on 0330 030 0330 to discuss you requirements or to receive a free, no-obligation quote.