Probably the greatest single benefit of automatic doors is the ability to offer easy access to anyone. Many disabled people experience problems using traditional manual doors due to the physical effort required. The situation is often made worse by poor door and access designs and the use of heavy door closers.
Currently most manual doors and hardware are designed with the average able-bodied person in mind and so can be difficult for the disabled, and elderly, to use. Replacing the manual doors with the automatic or low energy doors allows the opening and closing of doors without the need for physical effort and so eliminates the obstacle.
The growing awareness over the years of the need to improve the access and facilites for disabled people has led to the creation of new building regulations and improved standards of access to public buildings. For example, the introduction of The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 means that there is legal requirement for builging owners to ensure that there is appropriate access to all public buildings and rented accomodation. For this reason access problems are increasingly being addressed and in many situations automatic and low energy doors offer the solution to these problems.
For the 6.4 million disabled in the United Kingdom, the increased use of automatic doors can only be seen as a good thing.