Public Spaces

Ramps and Curb Ramps

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

ADA Section 405 Ramps and 406 Curb Ramps

We all know that one of the ways that people in wheelchairs maneuver between changes in level greater than 1/2″ is by using a ramp. When an accessible route crosses a curb, it requires a “curb ramp”. There is confusion between requirements for ramps vs. curb ramps. Let’s see if we can make it more clear:

1. The first thing to remember is that curb ramps are also ramps. The main difference is that a “curb ramp” is located at a curb and a “ramp” is located elsewhere (like along the route to the front door, or on the interior of the building)

The curb ramp is the one that crossed a curb at the parking spaces. The ramp in the background is part of the entry and does not cross the curb

 

2. Both ramps and curb ramps require a maximum running slope of 1:12 and a maximum cross slope of 1:48 (per 405.2 and 405.3)

Cross slope

running slope

 

3. Both ramps and curb ramps require that the surface be stable, firm and slip resistant and should not have changes in level at ramp runs. (per 405.4)

 

4. Both ramps and curb ramps require a minimum clear width of 36″ (per 405.5). The width is measured inside the handrails if they are provided.

 

5. and Both ramps and curb ramps and their landings require that they do not accumulate water. (per section 405.10)

 

The curb ramp shows water accumulated

The curb ramp shows water accumulated

Those are the only requirements that they share. There are other requirements that only apply to Ramps and some that only apply to Curb Ramps.

ADA Section 405 Ramps

Besides all the items listed above, ramps have other requirements.  These requirements only apply to ramps and NOT to curb ramps:
1. Only a ramp cannot have a vertical rise greater than 30″ without a landing.  In other words, if a ramp rises more than 30″ it must have a landing before the next run begins (per section 405.6)
2. Only a  ramp requires flat landing at the top and bottom of the ramp run (per section 405.7).  Flat can be no steeper than 1:48 that is 60″ deep and the width of the ramp (like the figure shown above).  Only a ramp requires a 60″x60″ landing when it changes direction
 
3) Only a ramp ramp requires handrails on both sides (except if the rise is less than 6″).
4) Only a ramp requires edge protection if there is a drop off on either side of the ramp. So even if a curb ramp is higher than 6″ in vertical rise, it will not require handrails.

ADA Section 406 Curb Ramps

Curb ramps have the following unique requirements that regular ramps do not require:
1. Only a curb ramp requires that the bottom of the ramp have a slope no steeper than 1:20.  This is called a counter slope.  (Per section 406.2).  A regular ramp will require a landing at the bottom with a slope no steeper than 1:48 in all directions.
2. Only a curb ramp requires its side have flares if located along a walkway.  The flared sides are not required, but if they are provided they must comply with section 406.3
Flare sides are recommended if the curb ramp is located within a path of travel. This would prevent any tripping.  Since the flared sides are not “required” a parallel curb ramp is allowed to be used.

 

this curb ramp is parallel with the curb and no flares are required

3. Only a curb ramp requires a 36″ deep landing at the top.  The slope of that landing is not specified and it would depend on where is it located.  For example, if the curb ramp terminates at a sidewalk that is parallel to the ramp, then the slope could be as steep as 1:20 (5%).  But if it is located so that the ramp and the walkway are perpendicular, then the landing must not have a slope steeper than 1:48 since it will also be part of the cross slope of the sidewalk. (per 406.4)
4. Curb ramps and the flared sides cannot project onto a vehicular way or parking spaces and access aisles. (per section 406.5)

this curb ramp did not require the flared sides_ and the one_s provided project onto the vehicular way

5.  A diagonal curb ramp will require a counter close 48″ in length and located outside of the traffic area (per section 406.6)
6. When curb ramps are located in a traffic island or median, then the landing must not interfere with another curb ramp.  A 48″ space along the direction of travel must also be provided (per section 406.7)

Curb Ramps at Public Rights of Way

 If you are wondering why we haven’t mentioned detectable warnings (i.e. contrasting color and texture/truncated domes), it is because curb ramps do not require them anymore.  Some Departments of Transportation in different States have adopted a Public Right of Way Guidelines that give us a scoping for when the detectable warnings are required.
Basically any curb ramp located inside the property line will not require detectable warnings.
Any curb ramp that is located in the public right of way will require a portion of the ramp to have detectable warnings.  The bottom 24″ of the curb ramp must have the truncated domes and the contrasting color.
Check your municipality on what they have adopted to see if their curb ramps need it.

Helping Houston

Abadi Accessibility will be donating 5% of the fees received in the month of September to help the victims of hurricaine Harvey.  Thank you for your assistance!
 
Need Barrier Free CEUs?
 
September 18-  TAID Day of Education: “Common mistakes in the Texas Accessibility Standards” at the Dallas Market Center
Save the dates: October 24 and 25th- “Barrier Free Design Room by Room” 2 hr Barrier Free HSW class at Inspire! 2017, Dallas Texas
Online courses:
Green CE On Demand webinar “How Accessible is Your work place?”
Green CE On Demand webinar “ADA and Residential Facilities”
or
If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:
book cover
If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.
Marcela Abadi Rhoads, FAIA RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714

The Requirements for Accessible Mezannines

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
When determine an accessible route between levels, a question frequently comes up about mezzanines or half levels.  The question is, do you need an accessible routes to mezzanines?
First we have to define what a mezzanine is. According to the 2010 ADA Standards a mezzanine is defined as:
An intermediate level or levels between the floor and ceiling of any story with an aggregate floor area of not more than one-third of the area of the room or space in which the level or levels are located. Mezzanines have sufficient elevation that space for human occupancy can be provided on the floor below.
So a floor or story that is only one-third the size of the area below it will be considered a mezzanine. Generally, an accessible route must connect each story and mezzanine.  But there are exceptions.
Generally, an accessible route must connect each story and mezzanine. However, there are exceptions.
In a privately owned multi-story building, per ADA section 206.2.3 an accessible route is not required if:
a) the building has less than three stories OR
b) if the building has more than three stories but each story is less than 3,000 s.f. per story.
This only applies if the building is not a “shopping center, a shopping mall, the professional office of a health care provider, a terminal, depot or other station used for specified public transportation, an airport passenger terminal, or another type of facility as determined by the Attorney General.”
 
In a publicly funded multi-story building, an accessible route is not required if it is a two story building and one of the stories has an occupant load of five or fewer persons.
 
But since a story is not a mezzanine, there is also an exception specifically for mezzanines: Per ADA section 206.2.4 exception 3,  If you have a one story building and it has a mezzanine within (per the definition of a mezzanine), then no accessible route will be required to the mezzanine.

The photo above shows a one story building, and even though it is a shopping center, the second story is actually a mezzanine and will not require an accessible route to it. It is advisable that a route be provided, since a person with disabilities might want to shop on the mezzanine and should not be denied access.
 
The second story in this “one story” fitness center shown in the photo above is less than one-third of the space below and therefore is considered a mezzanine. An accessible route to the mezzanine is not required
Mezzanines in Restaurants and Cafeterias
 
According to ADA Section 206.2.5  an accessible route shall be provided to all dining areas, including raised or sunken dining areas, and outdoor dining areas.  But if there is a dining area located on a mezzanine that contains less than 25% of the total combined area for seating, and if the same decor and services are provided in an accessible part of the restaurant, then an accessible route is not required to the mezzanine.
 
Mezzanines as part of a work area
 
A “work” area is where employees perform work.  Even though the work area is not open to the “public” it is not entirely exempted from the Standards.  According to the ADA a work area is required to have an approach, the ability to enter and to exit.
So what happens when you have a mezzanine within a work area that is used for work?  If it is a one story building and the work area on the second level is less than one-third the area below, then it will not require an accessible route up to it.
The photo above is a one story warehouse with a mezzanine for storage. Even though the space above is a “work” area, because it is a mezzanine it does not require an accessible route.
Note: A mezzanine that is used to house mechanical equipment is always exempted no matter how large it is.

Accessible Mailboxes

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Mailboxes and the ADA

Mailboxes found in public accommodations, according the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, are considered storage.  5% of the mailboxes must be within reach range.  These would be found in post offices and retail stores that offer mail box rentals for example.
In ADA the mail boxes could be approached either on a side approach or forward approach and follow the reach ranges shown on the figures below.
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In addition, they must also follow the section 309 and have hardware that does not require tight grasping and twisting of the wrist, no more than five pounds and must be able to be operated with one hand.  Since most of the time, mail boxes require a key to unlock, a special key could be provided that would allow for easier operation.
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Mailboxes and Fair Housing Act and ANSI A117.1

According to HUD, in a non-elevator building, where the only required or “covered” units are on the first floor, only the number of mailboxes for those units are  required. But in a building with an elevator where all units must meet the FHA requirements, then all mailboxes must be accessible. A letter was sent from HUD to the USPS that explains this ruling.  Click here for the letter.
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The FHA requirements for accessible mailboxes are as follows:
  1. The high reach range can be no higher than 54″ a.f.f. to the operable part of the mail box
  2. The lowest reach range can be no lower than 15″ a.f.f. to the operable part
  3. Mailboxes should be on an accessible route and have clear floor space in front of it.
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ANSI is similar to ADA and only 5% are required to comply.  The 5% should coincide with the Type A units.

US Postal Service requirements

To confuse the issue, the USPS has entirely different standards.  They wrote the USPS-STD-4C.  The reach ranges are higher than the Fair Housing.

  1. The top reach is 67″ a.f.f.
  2. the bottom reach is 15″ a.f.f.
These are not dictating accessible reach ranges, therefore the accessible mailboxes must still meet the ADA, ANSI and Fair Housing guidelines in order to comply.  The ADA reach ranges are a safe harbor since they are the most strict.
 Below is one example
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Need CEUs

If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:
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97c8a80a-9426-4c3d-88fb-ef6213d94712

They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Means of Egress Stairway

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Accessible means of egress exit stairway

The 2010 ADA Standards Section 207 references the International Building Code (IBC)-2000 (including 2001 Supplement to the International Codes) and IBC-2003  for means of egress, areas of refuge, and railings provided on fishing piers and platforms.
At least one accessible means of egress is required for every accessible space and at least two accessible means of egress are required where more than one means of egress is required. The technical criteria for accessible means of egress allow the use of exit stairways and evacuation elevators when provided in conjunction with horizontal exits or areas of refuge. While typical elevators are not designed to be used during an emergency evacuation, evacuation elevators are designed with standby power and other features according to the elevator safety standard and can be used for the evacuation of individuals with disabilities.
The IBC also provides requirements for areas of refuge, which are fire-rated spaces on levels above or below the exit discharge levels where people unable to use stairs can go to register a call for assistance and wait for evacuation.
 Last month we discussed the stairs and the railings.   This newsletter will focus on the requirements under the ADA for exist stairways.

Doorways

Entry doorways are subject to the ADA standards.  If the door is an entrance and a means of egress they must comply.  But a means of egress only door does not. According the the US Access board The ADA Standard requires the door entering into the egress stair to comply. It is technically considered an “entrance” to the exit stairway.
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This means of egress door is allowing entry into the exit stair and therefore will have to comply with door hardware, vision light location and maneuvering clearnaces among other things.

After entering compliance is required with  IBC thus the door maneuvering clearance is not required in the stairwell for re-entry but could be required by the  IBC. The door at the bottom at the stairs is also subject to IBC requirements.
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This photo shows a door maneuvering from the inside of the stairway leading back into the building.  It is not 18″ min., but since it is not an entry door into the stairway it only has to meet the requirements per the IBC.  Maneuvering clearances that the ADA dictate may not apply in this case.

Signage

Doors at exit passageways, exit discharge, and exit stairways shall be identified by tactile signs complying with ADA Section 703.1 which states that a visual and tactile characters must be provided; Section 703.2 which describes the raised or tactile characters required including braille (section 703.3) and how to mount it (703.4); and Section 703.5 which describes the requirements for visual characters.

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This sign shows raised characters and braille
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An exit passageway is a horizontal exit component that is separated from the interior spaces of the building by fire-resistance-rated construction and that leads to the exit discharge or public way. The exit discharge is that portion of an egress system between the termination of an exit and a public way.
Signs required by section 1003.2.13.6 of the International Building Code (2000 edition) or section 1007.7 of the International Building Code (2003 edition) (incorporated by reference, see “Referenced Standards” in Chapter 1) to provide directions to accessible means of egress shall comply with Section 703.5.
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Need CEUs

If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with  SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:

97c8a80a-9426-4c3d-88fb-ef6213d94712
6fc8cab3-4989-476b-b86b-d65fdc8c74cc

They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Employee Work Areas

Monday, May 2nd, 2016
A work place can be complicated to understanding as it pertains to the requirements for accessibility. Some spaces in work areas are exempted while some require full access.  Because the ADA requires that a person with disabilities is given the same opportunity to seek employment, an employer may not decide that his establishment will not employ persons with disabilities, and therefore will not make the work areas accessible. So what does the ADA require the employer to provide?
This newsletter will  give an overview of what requirements exist in the ADA about work areas and when the ADA Standards apply.

Work Areas

According to the ADA the definition of an employee work area is:
Employee Work Area. All or any portion of a space used only by employees and used only for work. Corridors, toilet rooms, kitchenettes and break rooms are not employee work areas.
Work Area Equipment. Any machine, instrument, engine, motor, pump, conveyor, or other apparatus used to perform work. As used in this document, this term shall apply only to equipment that is permanently installed or built-in in employee work areas. Work area equipment does not include passenger elevators and other accessible means of vertical transportation.
Per the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design:
203.9 Employee Work Areas. Spaces and elements within employee work areas shall be designed and constructed so that individuals with disabilities can approach, enter, and exit the employee work area.
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An example of a work area that only requires an approach, enter and exit would be a janitor’s closet.  Elements within the janitor’s closet such as the faucet for the mop sink will not be required to comply.
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An exam room is partially a “work” area and partially a “patient” area.  The area that is only used by the doctor (the sink) will be exempted from having to comply.
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Employee work areas, or portions of employee work areas, other than raised courtroom stations, that are less than 300 square feet and elevated 7 inches or more above the finish floor or ground where the elevation is essential to the function of the space shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route.
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This toll booth is less than 300 s.f. and elevated more than 7″ a.f.f. and therefore do not require an accessible route to it or the ability to approach it and enter it.

The Standards sometimes provide additional guidance through “advisories”.  These are NOT requirements, but they are suggestions that might make your design a better one.  Below are some of the advisories on work areas:

Advisory 203.9 Employee Work Areas. Although areas used exclusively by employees for work are not required to be fully accessible, consider designing such areas to include non-required turning spaces, and provide accessible elements whenever possible. 

Under the Title I of the ADA, employees with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations in the workplace; accommodations can include alterations to spaces within the facility. Designing employee work areas to be more accessible at the outset will avoid more costly retrofits when current employees become temporarily or permanently disabled, or when new employees with disabilities are hired. 

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In addition to approach, enter and exit, the employee work area shall also comply with the following sections of the ADA Standards: 206.2.8, 207.1, and 215.3. These will be explained in detail below.

206.2.8 Employee Work Areas. Common use circulation paths within employee work areas shall comply with 402.

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The circulation path should meet the requirements for ADA Section 402 which includes a minimum 36″ width along the circulation path.

EXCEPTIONS: 

1. Common use circulation paths located within employee work areas that are less than 1000 square feet (93 m2) and defined by permanently installed partitions, counters, casework, or furnishings shall not be required to comply with 402.2.

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This employee work area is less than 1,000 s.f. and therefore the step is allowed

Common use circulation paths located within employee work areas that are an integral component of work area equipment shall not be required to comply with 402.3.
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This commercial kitchen has equipment that is an integral part of the work area.  The 36″ min. circulation path in this space is not required to comply due to the location of the work area equipment.

Advisory 206.2.8 Employee Work Areas

Exception 2. Large pieces of equipment, such as electric turbines or water pumping apparatus, may have stairs and elevated walkways used for overseeing or monitoring purposes which are physically part of the turbine or pump. However, passenger elevators used for vertical transportation between stories are not considered “work area equipment” as defined in Section 106.5.

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An accessible route/circulation path up to the elevated walkway used to monitor work area equipment is not required to be provided.

Common use circulation paths located within exterior employee work areas that are fully exposed to the weather shall not be required to comply with 402.

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A dumpster is considered an extension of a work area.  Although a circulation path within the work area might be required, because the dumpster is located on the exterior and fully exposed to the weather, a circulation path will not be required.

Advisory 206.2.8 Employee Work Areas Exception 1. Modular furniture that is not permanently installed is not directly subject to these requirements

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The modular furniture in an open office is not required to be installed so that there is a minimum 36″ width is provided.  They are essentially exempted from having to comply (unless they are permanently attached to the ground or wall)

207.1  Employee work areas are required to have an accessible means of egress per the requirements in the IBC

215.3 Employee Work Areas. Where employee work areas have audible alarm coverage, the wiring system shall be designed so that visible alarms complying with 702 can be integrated into the alarm system.

Employee Areas that are not work related

The requirements thus far have been for areas that are considered part of the “work” areas in a space.  But there are other areas that are also part of an employee area, but are not related to the work they perform.  Those areas that are NOT related to their job description will not be exempted and must comply.  Below are a few examples of areas that might be for employees only, but must be fully compliant with the Standards:

Break Rooms

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The sink in this break room and the height of the counter are required to comply.  The microwave shown in this photo is not permanently attached and therefore the reach range is not required to comply.

LEED Showers for employees

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Some showers that are accessed through a private office have less requirements.  But if it is a common use shower for all employees to use, then they must comply with section 608

Employee Restrooms

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All restrooms including employee restrooms must comply with the requirements in Sections 603-606

Employee Locker Rooms

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The lockers as well as the bench in this locker/dressing room must comply with the Standards

Employee dining counters

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5% of the dining counter is required to be between 28″-34″ a.f.f. and provide a knee space like the photo above.
Employee parking
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Parking that is designated for employees should have accessible spaces as well.
Vocational schools where they teach how to use certain “work area equipment” is not exempted.  Because it is considered a “public accommodation” , the equipment or access to it will have to be provided.  Sometimes that is not reasonable, and at that situation, the school will have to get a variance from TDLR or provide reasonable accommodations for the students with disabilities
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Barrier Free Day in Dallas Texas

Experience what it is like to have a disability and be in a work space.  The AIA Dallas Codes and Standards Committee is having their annual Barrier Free Day this May 5th.  If you would like to participate, please sign up today.  If you would like to just get a 1 hr. Barrier Free CEU, join us at the happy hour where participants will share their experience of their day with a disability.
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Need CEUs

May 5th- Barrier Free Day Panel Discussion  5:30-7:30 at the Eberhard 2107 N. Henderson Dallas Tx 75206 1 hr. HSW Barrier Free CEU
May 23-27th  Building Industry Professionals: University of Texas at Arlington 416 Yates Street Arlington, TX 76010
May 24th: Legal and ADA issues of Practicing Architecture at Building Industry Professionals Conference, Arlington Texas
If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:
97c8a80a-9426-4c3d-88fb-ef6213d947126fc8cab3-4989-476b-b86b-d65fdc8c74cc

They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Fair Housing

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Which projects have to comply?

The Federal Fair Housing Act covers newly constructed multi-family housing projects that are first time occupancy residential.  The projects must also have more than four dwelling units.  In an a building with elevators, ALL dwelling units must comply with the guidelines.  In a building without an elevator, only the first floor units must comply.  If the building is only two story units, then none of them must comply.
In addition to the Fair Housing Act, some municipalities have also adopted the ANSI A117.1 for their residential dwelling units.  These dictate that a certain percentage must be built as with mobility features (for the mobility impaired) and a percentage with communication features (for the hearing and visually impaired)
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Seven Requirements

The Fair Housing Act Guidelines have seven requirements for the covered residential dwelling units.  Here is the definitions.  This newsletter will just give an overview and will not describe all the details for each requirement.  We will plan to explain in more detail in future newsletters:
REQUIREMENT 1
Accessible Building Entrance on an Accessible Route:
Covered multifamily dwellings must have at least one building entrance on an accessible route, unless it is impractical to do so because of terrain or unusual characteristics of the site. For all such dwellings with a building entrance on an accessible route the following six requirements apply.
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REQUIREMENT 2
Accessible and Usable Public and Common Use Areas:
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REQUIREMENT 3
Usable Doors:
All doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises must be sufficiently
wide to allow passage by persons in wheelchairs.
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REQUIREMENT 4
Accessible Route Into and Through the Covered Dwelling Unit:
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REQUIREMENT 5
Light Switches, Electrical Outlets, Thermostats and Other Environmental
Controls in Accessible Locations:
All premises within the dwelling units must contain light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls in accessible locations.
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REQUIREMENT 6
Reinforced Walls for Grab Bars:
All premises within dwelling units must contain reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars around toilet, tub, shower stall and shower seat, where such facilities are provided.
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REQUIREMENT 7
Usable Kitchens and Bathrooms:
Dwelling units must contain usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual who uses a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.
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Inspector’s Corner

Requirement 1 of the Fair Housing Act states that an accessible entrance is required to the dwelling units.  This photo shows three steps up to the stoop which leads to the entrance, and no ramp or lift to get them to the stoop.  This unit does not meet the requirement.

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Need CEUs

February 24th: “How Accessible is Your Work Space” at Herman Miller Showroom in Dallas, Texas
If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:
97c8a80a-9426-4c3d-88fb-ef6213d94712
6fc8cab3-4989-476b-b86b-d65fdc8c74cc

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Overlapping in Restrooms

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015
There is a lot of confusion in the ADA on what clearances and elements are allowed to overlap each other.  The main idea for restrictions to having elements overlap is the inability for a person in a wheelchair to use the element or the space efficiently.  The amount of clearance that we design by translates to the amount of space that should be provided for one wheelchair.  Floor clearances are not fixed elements and if they overlap each other it does not impede the usage of the clearance.  But if a fixed element overlaps the clearance, that  might reduce the clearance and prevents a person from using the element.
This newsletter will explain which elements can overlap since they don’t impede the usage of the space or element, and which ones may not overlap.  All the rulings are taken from the 2010 ADA Standards

Door Swings

The ADA allows a door to swing into the turning space.
304.4 Door Swing. Doors shall be permitted to swing into turning spaces.
The turning space is not a fixed object.  It essentially can move anywhere in a space.  Therefore the door swing is not required to avoid it.  It can swing into it as much as it needs to.
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The ADA 
The plan of the restroom shows a door swinging into the turning space.  
and TAS allows this.
But a door may not swing into the clearance of a plumbing fixture or any fixture within the toilet room.  This ensures that if a person in a wheelchair is washing their hands at a lavatory near the door that swings into the toilet room, that person will not get hit by the door.
603.2.3 Door Swing. Doors shall not swing into the clear floor space or clearance required for any fixture. Doors shall be permitted to swing into the required turning space.
There are a couple of exceptions.  If the the toilet room is a private office or a single user restroom, it is assumed that the person inside will lock the door behind them and therefore the chances of getting hit by a door while using a fixture that is located within the door swing is unlikely.
EXCEPTIONS:
1. Doors to a toilet room or bathing room for a single occupant accessed only through a private office and not for common use or public use shall be permitted to swing into the clear floor space or clearance provided the swing of the door can be reversed to comply with 603.2.3.
2. Where the toilet room or bathing room is for individual use and a clear floor space complying with 305.3 is provided within the room beyond the arc of the door swing, doors shall be permitted to swing into the clear floor space or clearance required for any fixture.
In addition, there might be two doors within a restroom.  It could be a second entry door, but also a toilet compartment door.  The clearances for each door may overlap each other, but also they may overlap the turning space.  As long as they meet the maneuvering requirements, they may also overlap fixtures.
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The plan above shows a swing door and a sliding door in the same restroom.  The rules for sliding doors are the same as a swing door.
In a toilet compartment, the door swing cannot overlap the floor clearance of the water closet.  If the door swings into the clearance of a water closet inside the compartment will impede maneuvering inside the compartment.
604.8.1.1 Size. Wheelchair accessible compartments shall be 60 inches (1525 mm) wide minimum measured perpendicular to the side wall, and 56 inches (1420 mm) deep minimum for wall hung water closets and 59 inches (1500 mm) deep minimum for floor mounted water closets measured perpendicular to the rear wall
604.8.1.2 Doors.  …….Toilet compartment doors shall not swing into the minimum required compartment area

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The clearance of the water closet in a compartment should be either 56″ for a wall hung or 59″ if it’s floor mounted.  The door can swing out and can also swing in, but the door may not swing into that minimum clearance.

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The toilet compartment door shown in the drawing above is swinging into the clearance of the lavatory.  Toilet compartment doors must also meet the requirements for section 404 for maneuvering, but there is no restriction to swinging the door into the facing fixtures.  That requirements is for the entry door to the toilet room.

What is allowed to overlap in a restroom?

In a toilet room, the floor space and other clearances including the turning space can overlap each other.
603.2.2 Overlap. Required clear floor spaces, clearance at fixtures, and turning space shall be permitted to overlap.

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604.3.2 Overlap.

The required clearance around the water closet shall be permitted to overlap the water closet, associated grab bars, dispensers, sanitary napkin disposal units, coat hooks, shelves, accessible routes, clear floor space and clearances required at other fixtures, and the turning space. 

No other fixtures or obstructions shall be located within the required water closet clearance.
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The photo above shows a floor clearance of 60″ at the water closet, but there is a paper towel dispenser that is within.  That dispenser is not allowed to overlap the clearance.

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The photo above shows the lavatory within the clearance of the water closet, but in addition there is a fixed trash can and paper towel dispensers within the floor clearance.  This is not acceptable.
There is one exception, and that is in residential dwelling units.  But this is not for a Fair Housing or ANSI Residential unit.  This is the residential dwellings that are scoped in the ADA such as faculty and director apartments in places of education and sleeping quarters in emergency personnel faciliities.
EXCEPTION: In residential dwelling units, a lavatory complying with 606 shall be permitted on the rear wall 18 inches (455 mm) minimum from the water closet centerline where the clearance at the water closet is 66 inches (1675 mm) minimum measured perpendicular from the rear wall.
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Need CEUs

If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:
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If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Fitness Centers

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

In the 2010 ADA Standards and the 2012 TAS, certain elements that are associated with fitness centers and recreation centers were added to the requirements for accessibility. Some of these elements were exercise equipment, saunas, swimming pools, and even team player seating.

Most of the time when I am inspecting the project, the owners will inquire the reasons why their facility must be accessible since fitness centers typically for able bodied patrons. What they sometimes don’t understand is that there are different levels of ability that persons with disabilities possess. There are some very active people that use wheelchairs, walkers, crutches or canes. Just because they are in a wheelchair or may have other mobility issues does not mean that they also should not enjoy going to a rec center or fitness center.

This newsletter will explain a few of the requirements and attempt to clarify some of the misconceptions.

Exercise equipment

ADA 1004.1 Clear Floor Space. Exercise machines and equipment shall have a clear floor space complying with 305 [30″x48″ and no changes in level] positioned for transfer or for use by an individual seated in a wheelchair. Clear floor or ground spaces required at exercise machines and equipment shall be permitted to overlap.

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Each type of equipment must have the clear floor space next to it, but two pieces of equipment can share the space.

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It is not necessary for the clear floor space to be located adjacent each piece of equipment. One of each type is all that is required. The photo above shows several tread mills but only one is required to have the clear floor space, and it is also being shared with the stationary bike.

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The clear floor space of this treadmill was narrower than 30″. This is a simple fix of just moving over the equipment to achieve compliance.

Amenities

Rec Centers and fitness centers typically have a reception desk where they will check people in. This is considered a “service counter” and therefore must meet the requirements for ADA Section 904. A portion of the counter must be at 36″ a.f.f. maximum and be no shorter than 36″ wide.

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This reception counter does not have an accessible portion at the public side. The lower counter where the attendant is seated is part of the work area, and could possibly be used as the accessible counter if it was 36″ long.

5% of lockers that are provided must have the proper hardware that does not require tight grasping and twisting of the wrist to operate. In addition, those accessible lockers must be within reach range.

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This locker is mounted higher than the required 48″ a.f.f. and the operable part (the key) is the type that requires tight grasping and twisting of the wrist to open.

Fitness Centers also have locker rooms and toilet/shower rooms that are provided. The locker rooms must have accessible lockers (within reach range and type of operation) as well as an accessible bench per section 903

 

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Showers and other restroom facilities will also require access.  I did a newsletter about this shower seats.  Click here for the archive.
Swimming pools and spas are also sometimes provided at rec centers/fitness centers.  I discussed swimming pools in a separate newsletter. Click here for the archive

No Limits!

So when they ask you, why are you designing golf courses, tennis courts, rec centers and swimming pools for the disabled, remind them that there are some awesome athletes that do things just a little differently!
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Upcoming Continuing Education Opportunities

November 5 and 6: “Texas Accessibility Standards: A Success story of inclusion for over 20 years” TxA convention in Dallas, Texas

November 17th: “Applying the ADA on Existing and Altered Buildings” provided by Green CE

On Demand Webinar: “Understanding the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design”

If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes

If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:

“The ADA Companion Guide”  “Applying the ADA” published by Wiley. 

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6fc8cab3-4989-476b-b86b-d65fdc8c74cc

They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com

www.abadiaccess.com

Useful Links
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Public Right of Way

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

The ADA and TAS have requirements for building entrances.  The building code also has requirements for means of egress.  Both ADA and the building code connect entrances and means of egress to either a public way or a public street.  This newsletter will explain the difference between a public way and a public street and will give examples of how these can be applied to our accessible designs.

Definition of Public Way

The ADA defines a “Public way” as follows:
Public Way. Any street, alley or other parcel of land open to the outside air leading to a public street, which has been deeded, dedicated or otherwise permanently appropriated to the public for public use and which has a clear width and height of not less than 10 feet (3050 mm).
 If you notice the  definition, in addition to the public way being a street or alley, it also speaks about “other parcel of land open to the outside air leading to a public street” .  

But what does that mean?  My very smart client Josh Williams from D2 Architecture pointed out to me that  “other parcel of land” could be a parking lot that is located within the property line as long as it is open to the outside air and connected to a public street.  A parking garage would not meet that definition.

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Public Way and Accessible Means of Egress

When designing an accessible means of egress, you are required to create a continuous and unobstructed path of travel to a safe area for a person with disabilities to reach in case of an emergency.
The definition of this path of travel is:
Accessible Means of Egress. A continuous and unobstructed way of egress travel from any point in a building or facility that provides an accessible route to an area of refuge, a horizontal exit, or a public way.
An accessible means of egress can terminate at a public way.  As we saw on the previous section, the public way can be a parking lot.
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This parking lot is an acceptable “public way” for the purposes of providing a route for an accessible means of egress from the shopping center to the right.

Public Way and Accessible Route

Although, as we read in the previous section, an accessible means of egress is only required up to the “public way”, an accessible route has to connect the buildings or facility to a site arrival.  A site arrival would also include public sidewalks and public transportation stops even if they are outside the property line.
206.2.1 Site Arrival Points. At least one accessible route shall be provided within the site from accessible parking spaces and accessible passenger loading zones; public streets and sidewalks; and public transportation stops to the accessible building or facility entrance they serve.
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Even though this bus stop is not within the property line of the shopping mall that we see behind it, it must have an accessible route from the bus stop to the mall entrance.
EXCEPTION:
1. Where exceptions for alterations to qualified historic buildings or facilities are permitted by 202.5, no more than one accessible route from a site arrival point to an accessible entrance shall be required.
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2. An accessible route shall not be required between site arrival points and the building or facility entrance if the only means of access between them is a vehicular way not providing pedestrian access.
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 This photo shows a building but no pedestrian access.  This would not require an accessible route all the way to the street.

Upcoming Continuing Education Opportunities

November 5 and 6: “Texas Accessibility Standards: A Success story of inclusion for over 20 years” TSA convention in Dallas, Texas (pricing for the convention go up on September 2nd)

If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes

If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:

“The ADA Companion Guide”  “Applying the ADA” published by Wiley. 

 

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6fc8cab3-4989-476b-b86b-d65fdc8c74cc

 They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)
If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Useful Links
4211966d-1763-427b-b22d-635a5a5536d8
23e5e0af-7846-472b-b702-19386acb4fca0e98de4a-47d4-412d-9302-b0212a4b2b0d

Disney Impresses with Accessibility

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

My family and I just finished our first vacation to Disney World! We had such an incredible time riding all the rides, eating all the junk food and navigating our way around the various theme parks. My children did have to endure a few embarrassing “mom” moments, however — more than most kids usually have to put up with on a family vacation. In addition to enjoying our first Disney adventure, I made it my mission to document some of the new amusement park requirements in the 2010 ADA, which meant standing in line a few extra minutes to wait for any accessible seats, photographing complete strangers without their knowledge, and a few other tasks that completely shamed my children. Isn’t that what most parents do when they take their family to the happiest place on earth?

The Results Are In

The results of my undercover mission were quite impressive. It was truly amazing to me how accessible the entire Disney system was. There were so many people using wheelchairs and other mobility aids, not to mention people who had temporary mobility issues and even baby strollers. I was very impressed with Disney for how sensitive and accommodating their parks were for persons with disabilities.

Common Areas

As with any public accommodation, an amusement park has common areas that are open to the everyone and therefore must be in compliance. Disney succeeded in all areas, from the transportation system to restrooms to accessible ramps throughout every park. Take a look for yourself:

Designated loading areas at every bus stop and on every bus.

 

Accessible restrooms throughout every park.

Ramps along all routes.

Lifts and other means of entry in the swimming pool areas at each of the resorts.

 

Accessible dining surfaces and seating at the attractions in abundance.

Accessible Rides

The 2010 ADA devotes an entire section to creating accessible amusement park rides. With special spaces designated for people in wheelchairs, companion seats, accessible loading areas and ramps, Disney passed with flying colors.

Dreams Come True…For Everyone

I’m pleased to share that our first family trip to Disney World was a rousing success. Disney has created an accessible place where everyone can enjoy a magical experience, including my family, who, I’m proud to say, survived the entire vacation with their “crazy mom on a mission.”

Because the standard requirements for amusement parks are very detailed, I encourage you to study the 2010 ADA. You may also read more in my books:

“The ADA Companion Guide”

“Applying the ADA” published by Wiley.

They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)