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Creating accessible environments ­for people with vision loss

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Home > Design Needs > Exterior Design Elements > Exterior Doors > Automatic Sliding Doors

Automatic Sliding Doors

Automatic sliding doors at a building entrance with a colour-contrasted strip on the glass doors.

Where possible for building entrances, use automatic sliding doors activated by a motion detector. These doors also provide an audible cue for people with vision loss to the presence of the entrance. Automatic sliding doors don’t impede traffic flow in any way, don’t require guardrails for protection (as automatic non-sliding doors do) and are universally accessible.

If there’s an emergency or power loss, it should be possible to open automatic sliding doors in the direction of exit using a manual force of 66 N or less.

Overhead motion activated sensors are preferred over floor-pad door activation sensors, as the floor-pads are prone to malfunction in winter. If floor-pad door activation sensors are used, they should be installed with the surface of the pad no more than 13 mm above the surrounding ground surface.

If push buttons are used for automatic swing-type doors, each button should open only one door. Push buttons should never open both leaves of a pair of doors. A person should be able to open or stop an automatic swing-type door with a force of 66 N or less.

Where used, push-button or push-plate activated power door operators should be consistently located at all entrances. They should be colour contrasted to the background environment to enhance visibility for people with vision loss. Position push buttons/plates so that the opening door doesn’t hit the person opening the door or their guide dog.