Most of the dimensions found in the ADA are for adults. There are a few technical requirements that are for children. One of them is for drinking fountains. What gets confusing is that the requirements listed are for adults. So how do we incorporate the children’s drinking fountains in our design?
The requirement for drinking fountains are found in the ADA section 211. They pertain to drinking fountains located on the exterior as well as the interior of the facilities
The minimum number of drinking fountains that must be provided are two. One of them must be for a person in a wheelchair and one must be for a standing person, or a person that cannot bend down.
these two drinking fountains are located so that the spout of one is at the height for wheelchairs and the spout of the other is for standing persons
There is an exception that allows us to use a single drinking fountain that has a low spout and a high spout can be used instead of two separate ones.
This clarification tells us that the two drinking fountains required to be provided do not have to be in the same location. So as long as you have the proper number in the facility, you are compliant.
Drinking fountains are required to have a 30″x48″ clear floor space with a forward approach knee space and centered on the unit.
The 30″ width must be centered on the drinking fountain
the clear floor space must be provided as a forward approach and the drinking fountain should have a knee and toe clearance so that the clear floor space can be located under the unit
There is one exception for children. A parallel approach is permitted at units for children’s use where the spout is 30 inches maximum above the finish floor or ground and is 3½ inches maximum from the front edge of the unit, including bumpers.
a 30 inch x 48 inch clear floor space positioned for a parallel approach as long as the spout is no farther than 3 1/2 inches from the front of the unit and the spout is no higher than 30 inches a.f.f.
This exception gives us guidance that it is allowed to use a children’s height drinking fountain instead of an adult height wheelchair drinking fountain. So if you are providing the two minimum number of wheelchairs required in the scoping, one must be for an adult standing and one can be for a child. You are not required to provide a third drinking fountain for an adult in a wheelchair.
These drinking fountains would be acceptable for both children and for standing people. The spouts would have to be at the proper heights, but no additional adult wheelchair accessible drinking fountain would be required
It is recommended that you do provide an adult wheelchair drinking fountain if your facility will have both adults and children as the primary users. But if you have a pre-school with drinking fountains for children in the classrooms, these can be counted as your 50% of the required drinking fountains.
Shower seat installation, location and the effects of shower controls and other elements
Seats are not always required at bathing facilities, but there are some situations that will require showers seats to be added. For instance, a transfer shower always requires a seat. Also, in transient lodging facilities (hotels, halfway houses, dorms), a seat is required not only in transfer showers but also in roll-in showers.
The shower must be permanently attached to the shower and not be movable. The one exception will be at residential facilities which require blocking for future seats.
This article will explain how the seat should be installed and how it affects the location of controls and other elements.
Shower Seat: Scoping
There are two types of showers: Transfer showers and roll in showers. Transfer showers are one’s people with mobility impairment will “transfer” onto. Roll-in showers are the ones that a person in a wheelchair will roll their wheelchair into.
ADA Section 608.4 requires permanent shower seats in transfer showers.
- These must be either folding or not folding seat.
- The only exception is for residential dwelling units required to comply with ADA (not Fair Housing). Reinforcement in the wall for the future installation shall be provided instead.
Roll-in showers are not required to provide a shower seat per section 608.4. There are two exceptions where seats are required to be provided in roll-in showers:
- In social service establishments (i.e. homeless shelters) with more than 50 beds. (per DOJ’s Subpart D of 28 CFR Part 36) AND
- In transient lodging guest rooms with mobility features
- If a seat is provided in a roll in shower, either by choice or because it is required as stated above, the seat must be permanent and folding. This allows a person to either use the shower as a transfer type with the seat or as a true roll-in-shower without the seat in the way.
- The same technical requirements must be provided as in a transfer shower with a seat (see next entry)
This photo shows a folding seat mounted on a roll in shower. The controls are located in the correct location, but there is a grab bar above it. A grab bar should not be provided where the seat is located.
This shower was intended as a roll in shower, but the seat provided is not “folding”, therefore a person in a wheelchair could not roll in and use it easily.
Shower Seats: Technical
Sections 610.3 describes the types of seats allowed at showers. There can be a rectangular seat or an “L-shape” seat:
1) Where a seat is provided, the seat shall extend from the back wall to a point within 3″ of the compartment entry.
This seat did not extend from the back wall to 3″ of the entry
The seat is 9″ away from the entry
Sometimes, the seat is located around a gyp wall and the shower sits back a few inches. So do we consider the wing wall part of the shower when measuring the location of the seat? According to the Texas Department of Licensing, the shower begins at the shower pan and therefore the wing wall is not counted as part of the shower.
|This shower seat is located 3″ away from the shower pan which is technically where the shower entry begins. The gyp wall extension is not technically part of the shower. We recommend that if at all possible, you make the shower pan flush with the wall.
2) The top of the seat shall be 17″-19″ above the bathroom finish floor.
3)They can be rectangular meeting figure 610.3.1
This seat is 4″ away from the end wall rather than 1 1/2″ max
4) Or they can be “L-shape” meeting figure 610.3.2
5) The structural strength should be able to sustain 250 lbs of applied force on the seat, fastener, mounting device or support structure.
There are two types of roll in shower configurations allowed by the ADA. The shower seat location in these showers will dictate where the controls and grab bars will be located.
The Standard Roll-in shower with seat:
The alternate shower with a seat. An alternate shower is a combination of a transfer shower and roll in shower, so it is larger in depth than a standard roll-in shower.
The photo above shows an alternate roll-in shower
Depending on where the seat is located, the controls must be located no farther than 27″ away from the seat.
Clear Floor Space
In order to transfer onto the seat, there should be a clear floor space that meets the requirements at 305 parallel to the shower seat. The requirements include the size to be 30″x48″ and that the slope is not steeper than 1:48.
|This shower has a ramp transition up to the entry which creates a slope steeper than 1:48 at the clear floor space of the seat
|This shower entry into a transfer shower has a sloped entry which would have been acceptable if the clear floor space would have been 30″ deep. The slope begins with that 30″ making the slope steeper than 1:48.
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