View Full Version : dealing with handicap

03-16-2007, 12:08 PM
Most haunted houses I checked with are not handicap assessible due to various reasons. Although I would love to be able to make this happen for our guests our building size limits us, so is their certain laws that exempt haunted attrations from having to be hanicap assessible? If so where can I find these. A few people told me this past week that if your offering a service to the general public your building has to be assessible to handicap people.

thoughts and input would be appreciated!



03-16-2007, 12:58 PM
General rules of thumb:

1) All passageways should be 48" wide, at minimum.
2) No stairs. ADA ramps should be used instead, with 1" of rise for every 12" of travel.
3) If an effect requires a tight space (such as the "Claustrophobia" hallway), make sure there is an alternate passageway for wheelchairs.
4) Ceilings should be no less than 8', and if there is a "doorway", it should be 7'6" minimum.

It really doesn't take much work to be accessible. There's not many good reasons not to be. Hell, half the rules above are building code for occupancy greater than 50 people.

-- I

03-16-2007, 01:55 PM
Hey Sean,

I did a simple internet search and found a site for the disability act.
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/smbustxt.htm Go to page 10 and they talk about passageways.

Last year I checked with the local handicap assn and they said, all my aises had to be was 36" as most chairs are about 30 wide.
Last year I made almost all my width 48" per industry standards however I did make a few 40" for artistic purposes. I had 2 people go through with chairs and one with a scooter. I followed each one and went out of my way to be their personal escort explaining to all of them I wanted them to be able to enjoy their visit and be there if there were any problems. Each one had no problem navigating their way. I also had one person email me thanking me for the fact that I made my haunt accesible for them as they were HUGE haunt fans before some ahole broadsided thier car crippling them for life. They also thanked me for personally meeting them and going out of my way to make them feel like a guest. This year I think each passageway will be 48 as it seems just esier to do it that way....

Hope that helps. Ron

03-16-2007, 02:29 PM
thanks for the info guys. It seems like it just may be possible to redesign a few of our areas to make it wheel chair assessable. If anyone else has imput or comments let me know.

03-16-2007, 03:42 PM
Actually, before my Dad died last year I had thought about borrowing his wheelchair for an afternoon and talking it through the haunt to make sure all my halls would work.

03-16-2007, 04:13 PM
nice topic maniac,i thought 36 inches was standard.i learned something.oh and pm me your addy,your prop came yesterday

03-16-2007, 06:27 PM
At one of the first haunts I ever did a young girl in a wheel chair showed up. She asked if she could make it through. This was before I knew better, and I wasnít 100% sure she could make it through. We were really busy that night, so I told her if she came back at the beginning of the next night that I would personally take her through for free. I knew that I could navigate her around any obstacles. Unfortunately, she never came back, and I felt horrible that I couldnít just send her through we she was threre. Now, I make sure anyone in a wheel chair can go through. If there is a room or effect that excludes the use of wheel chairs we always have a way around. Regardless of what the codes and laws are, it is just the right thing to do, and it isnít that difficult to achieve.

Karl Fields
03-16-2007, 07:53 PM
Besides the 36" aisle width (and turning radius of a chair in an emergency) we need MAXIMUM of 36" counter height, handicap parking and toilets. Don't forget that ADA is not just wheelchairs, but sight impaired and a whole litany of other impairments, hence strobe horns and, and, and...

03-16-2007, 08:32 PM
MY haunt the USS Nightmare is hadicap accessable for 1/2 of the way through.

03-16-2007, 10:00 PM
lol, sight impared. You just reminded me that I had a blind person go through the haunt last year. All I kept thinking was WHY!!!

Jim Warfield
03-16-2007, 10:38 PM
And deaf people wanted a discount.
My wife scared the one deaf guy without even trying , she was just standing there and I think he forgot about her because he had seen her.
One time my Uncle was in a small, busy restaurant when a man walked in and began going from person to person showing a small card that said ."I am deaf, please pray for me, God Bless you."
My Uncle watched with no small amount of fascination, finally the man got to my Uncle and my Uncle said, "Hi Gene, how's it going?"
Gene wasn't deaf, he was a scam artist and a former classmate of my Uncle's!
Gene should have been scamming further than just 65 miles away from home!

Karl Fields
03-16-2007, 10:59 PM
MY haunt the USS Nightmare is hadicap accessable for 1/2 of the way through.

Perhaps a silly question, but what happens to them at that point??

Jim Warfield
03-16-2007, 11:15 PM
They are cured.
Crutches and wheeled chairs abandoned, thrown overboard later.
Why else would they have paid $10,000 for a haunted boat tour and show?

Kevin Dells
03-17-2007, 03:56 AM
lol, sight impared. You just reminded me that I had a blind person go through the haunt last year. All I kept thinking was WHY!!!

Remember Ron when one losses one sense the other senses become stronger, to a blind person just hearing the screaming of their group and im sure his group explained what was happening was probably a cool experience to the blind person regardless.

Just one more reason to offer sinister scents,that guy would have probably really appreciated that.

If i was blind i would still want to experience all of lifes pleasures wether i could see them or not.

By the way the next time you talk a wheelchair through your haunt,call me i want to see this ! Go back and read your post i laughed when i saw your typo so i just had to stick it to you!LOL

:: Ron walking behind a wheelchair:: Ok Mr wheelchair take a left here and check out my graveyard, what do think cool huh!

How long did you guys take to go through and look at things you and your wheelchair freind?

03-17-2007, 06:12 AM
Well altough I would love it if our guests were cured. We have a hidden door that launches them into the water.lol just kidding we have a hidden door that takes them to the exit. we usualy have security wheel them around

Raycliff Manor
03-17-2007, 06:34 AM
Kevin, you were reading my mind! LOL I was thinking the same thing... Sinnister Scents!

The building we're in was required to be brought up to new code, including sprinklers emergency lights, etc. and we were required to be 100% handicap accessible, which we were happy to do. We also had some people come through last year with a son in a wheelchair. We met them at the exit to make sure the trip through was without obstruction and to see if they had any feedback on how we could improve it for people in wheelchairs. They said it worked out perfect and went on to explain that this is the first time in years they have been able to go through a haunted house as a family. The whole family are Halloween and haunt enthusiasts. They thanked us profusely. I let them know that having a brother who had recently become paralyzed from the chest down had opened my eyes to the challenges people in wheelchairs face and it had given me a whole new understanding and respect for them. That one family made the extra effort worth it!

By the way, our local codes require a 36" clearance throughout, but we also went with 48". If allows for a bit more wheelchair maneuverability. :wink:


Jim Warfield
03-17-2007, 08:17 AM
Remember the post on here once about a wheelchair bound customer who got knocked to the ground and broke a bone by other customers as they fearfully reacted to something? A stampede victim!
Something else to think about.....
The wheelchair stampede victim still said they had a great time!
We have had some very sick (physically) people come here to see the house and we got pretty choked up after they left because we felt so sorry for them and their totally uphill struggle they are going through, this hits one especially hard when they are young kids who are diagnosed to not see too many more birthdays.
It is incredible what some of them have already been through and they desire with which they still approach life. It is very inspiring.
"Who? Me?, Naw, I guess I sure don't have any problems."
It's all "relative", isn't it?