Hinged Door Stop Brings Back Business

| July 12, 2014


Visitors Bureau announces Guide for People with Disabilities

Chapel Hill, NC (July 11, 2014) – The smallest details make a difference when it comes to getting business in your door. As the “boomers” age, and sophisticated equipment allows people with disabilities more freedom, something as simple as an attached door stop on a self-closing door can mean the difference between a customer returning or never darkening a doorway again.

The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau is preparing a visitors’ guide for people with disabilities and seeks to encourage any interested visitor to make a stop at local shops and restaurants.  According to Laurie Paolicelli, director of the Visitors Bureau, businesses need to ask themselves a few questions.

“You have a restroom that meets ADA requirements, but can someone in a wheelchair really get into it? Think about trying to open a heavy entry or restroom door from the vantage point of a chair on wheels, or even as an assistant to someone in a wheelchair. An attached, hinged doorstop at the bottom of the door means a less hassled entrance and says to the shopper that you care about people with disabilities,” said Paolicelli.

Paolicelli added that we must all consider that people with baby strollers encounter many of the same struggles entering, exiting and cruising aisles as someone using a walker, crutches, or with a sight impairment.
According to the Visitors Bureau, the average age of the Orange County visitor is 49, and many people well over that age move here for the area’s exceptional retirement communities. More than 50 million Americans – 18% of our population – have disabilities, and each is a potential customer.  Approximately 72 million baby boomers will be over age 65 by the year 2030 and will be demanding products, services, and environments that meet their age-related physical needs. “We are responsive to demands in travel and the requests that UNC and the Visitors Bureau are getting from baby boomers is growing. It’s important to us that people with disabilities who live or visit here have the opportunity to experience everything our towns have to offer. This guide will be an invaluable resource as we encourage visitors to enjoy our three towns, the UNC-Chapel Hill campus and our surrounding Orange County farms,” said Paolicelli.  Additionally, according to a travel market study commissioned by Open Doors Organization out of Chicago, Il, American adults with disabilities spend approximately $13.6 billion on travel
 on an annual basis.

The bureau has hired author and former news columnist Valarie Schwartz to write the guide, with disabilities activist Ellen Perry consulting. They may visit area shops this summer, making suggestions that will help establishments be more accessible. 

The 2015 Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Guide for People with Disabilities will be available in print format; and online as a mobile responsive site in November 2014.      


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