Drop the High Tops: A campaign by PUSHLiving.com to end the trend of using high top tables in drinking and dining establishments that result in the exclusion of people with disabilities.
Our feature, High Top Table Trend: How restaurants and bars exclude post-ADA on PUSHLiving.com, a lifestyle website specializing in wheelchair accessible living, generated a lot of support and encouragement that sparked our passion to take on a campaign to resolve this issue.
Here are just some of the responses we received from people who have been excluded due to high top tables:
“I am not in a wheelchair, but when I came in with a walker and needed to sit on a regular chair (as high stools not safe); it took 30 min before they found a chair!! They seem oblivious in many ways to the challenged community.”
“I just went through a year-long battle with the Apple flagship store in San Francisco to get lower tables. They too are using the taller tables. I got them to lower ALL their tables where they hold workshops, etc. instead of just one table. This was done without a lawsuit but required extreme perseverance.”
“Seriously annoying! I actually was out with a group where we were slated to be seated at the high tops around the bar and I said they needed to move us”
“I am not in a wheel chair, but after six back surgeries and two neck, I find the high tables more than just uncomfortable… they hurt… and you are right, they seem to be everywhere.”
“Good grief, this is awful! I must also say that I am not a wheelchair user but still HATE high top tables. The stools or chairs are usually very uncomfortable to me as a plus size person and my legs go numb from my feet and legs hanging down instead of resting on the floor. If I see any restaurants with primarily high top tables, I will not only say something to them but I won’t patronize them. Thanks for the article.”
While codes exist for table heights and the percentage of tables that need to be made accessible, it is still incumbent upon those affected to enforce this. In addition to the high tables, it has also become a trend to use picnic-style tables with attached benches, which have a similar effect of excluding many patrons.
Instead of meeting percentage requirements, we advocate that “Universal Design” becomes the standard and the norm when making decisions about seating. Universal design involves “designing products and spaces so that they can be utilized by the widest range of people possible. It is a design process that not only addresses the needs of people with disabilities, but acknowledges the wide spectrum of human abilities that exists. Even the most able-bodied person passes through childhood, periods of temporary illness, injury and old age. By factoring this human diversity into the design, we can create things that will be easier for all people to use.” (Source: www.universaldesign.com)
So, we have now embarked on a proactive campaign to gain public support and to educate the owners, franchisers and franchisees of these public venues so that they will stop choosing to use these high top tables. We are also asking those who already have them to remove them and bring back standard height tables.
We are very determined to end the proliferation of these tables with our Drop the High Tops campaign and we need your help by sharing and supporting this cause. To spread the word, use #DropTheHighTops all across social media.
To learn how else you can join this movement, visit our Drop The High Tops campaign page for resources, updates and more!
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