The Importance of ADA Furniture in the Classroom
By Ben Jones, Spectrum Industries Vice President - Sales
Several states now require that furniture in all new educational buildings be ADA compliant. In response, there has been a growing emphasis on providing height-adjustable lecterns in today' classrooms and labs.
Education is a student-focused enterprise. So it's understandable that the needs of students, be they kindergartners or Ph.D. candidates, are the primary consideration when it comes to designing and furnishing classrooms and laboratories.
Since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 and its subsequent updating in 2010, a particular focus has been placed on overcoming the challenges that students with disabilities face in the educational environment.
But teachers, if they are to be successful in their key role in the learning process, also deserve consideration in regard to the environment in which they work. This is especially true for teachers with disabilities.
In response to this important educational need, Spectrum Industries has put an emphasis on creating lecterns to meet ADA requirements. So what are important aspects to take into consideration when looking at an ADA furniture? Let's explore.
Access to Integration
Largely overlooked, access to controls for persons with disabilities is a large factor in today's integrated classrooms. Reach Range must be taken into consideration when it comes to classroom AV control. It's not enough to only consider wheel chair clearance for tables, lecterns, credenzas, and workstations. Schools must take into account unobstructed and obstructed reach to allow access to every user.
From surface mount room controls, to touch screen access...Ensure you are allowing access to your integrated spaces to every user.
Mobility Needed For Classroom Flexibility
With a growing emphasis on collaborative learning, often there is no true "front of the room" in today's classroom. It is important to find a lectern that is equipped with high-quality, durable casters to give it the mobility necessary to adjust to shifting classroom configuration needs.
Another benefit of the mobility in lecterns is that they can easily be moved away from walls so that wheelchairs can maneuver around and behind them.
Instructors who use wheelchairs often find they have better sight lines and can more easily make eye contact with their students when the front of the lectern can be set at an angle rather than facing directly towards the students.
Height Adjustments to Fit All Users
It's important that school administrators recognize that ADA requirements need to be applied to faculty members and staff. Several states now require that lecterns in all new educational buildings be ADA compliant. In response, there has been a growing emphasis on providing height-adjustable lecterns in today's classrooms and labs.
Being able to adjust a lectern's height is an obvious advantage for instructors who use wheelchairs. But an overlooked benefit for all instructors is that height-adjustable lecterns can help to relieve or prevent such common ailments as back pain and carpel tunnel syndrome.