For most people, opening a manual door is a combination of gripping and depressing a lever handle, pulling/pushing whilst ‘side stepping’ the arc of the door and then moving forwards or backwards with the door.
To carry out this exercise is much harder if the user has, for example, poor grip, reduced muscle power and balance. Getting close enough to, or reaching for, the handle can be difficult. Harder again, if one has to move ones body or mobility aid out of the path of the door as one is trying to open it, and indeed hold it open whilst trying to pass through.
This is compounded, yet again if the hands are needed to hold a cane or crutches, move a wheelchair or frame. Other factors increasing the degree of difficulty include door closers, small lobbies, narrow corridors and small clear opening widths.
Little wonder that, to many people – a door is a significant barrier. The Portman Pocket Door System reduces some of the typical swing door barriers presented to disabled people, thereby making buildings and dwellings more independently accessible or ‘inclusive’.