Closed doors

Local business lacks handicap-accessibility

I recently decided to treat myself to lunch at McDonalds. As I stood in line, I watched an elderly woman in a wheelchair struggle to get through a non-handicap-accessible door.

Though a number of customers could access the push handle, the doors lacked an automatic door opener allowing customers in wheelchairs to independently go through.

Thankfully, a young lady decided to hold both doors of the dining room open so the elderly woman could leave. Before I could even think to order food, the first question I asked an employee was “Why doesn’t your McDonalds have handicap-accessible doors?”

She looked puzzled before admitting that she honestly didn’t know. I went on to ask McDonalds’ staff, including managers, why an automatic door opener wasn’t installed in the dining area entrance for customers in wheelchairs. Every time I restated the question, I ultimately got the same “I don’t know” answer.

In an age of handicap accessible establishments, it seems a local business would be equipped to accommodate a diverse group of customers.

Though McDonalds is equipped with handicap parking and sidewalk ramps, both seem in vain if the restaurant lacks automated doors to assist wheelchair and scooter-bound patrons.

However, one of the biggest issues was the idea no employees considered the entrance an issue until witnessing a handicap customer struggling to open the door on her own.

We often avoid acknowledging community issues unless they individually affect us. I’m sure customers and staff that evening didn’t consider the door an issue because of their ability to easily push it open.

Until watching a handicap customer’s difficulty to exit the building, I’ll honestly admit to not considering the restaurant’s entrance a problem. The Americans with Disability Act protects the civil rights of Americans with cognitive and physical handicaps. As a company and community, let’s take the personal responsibility of amending circumstances that may discriminate against specific demographics. I believe it’s the responsibility of many to protect the rights of the few.


I feel like I’ve seen many handicapped push buttons on the sides of doors on McDonalds so they can let themselves in.  Maybe it was just that McDonalds?  That’s just what I see in my head when I walk through a McDonalds.

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