CODI: Cornucopia of Disability Information

Appendix to Part 1192 -- Advisory Guidance

Appendix to Part 1192 -- Advisory Guidance

This appendix contains materials of an advisory nature and provides additional
information that should help the reader to understand the minimum requirements
of the guidelines or to design vehicles for greater accessibility.  Each entry
is applicable to all subparts of this part except where noted.  Nothing in
this appendix shall in any way obviate any obligation to comply with the
requirements of the guidelines themselves.

I.    Slip Resistant Surfaces -- Aisles, steps, floor areas where
      people walk, floor areas in securement locations, lift platforms, ramps.

Slip resistance is based on the frictional force necessary to keep a shoe heel
or crutch tip from slipping on a walking surface under conditions likely to be
found on the surface.  While the dynamic coefficient of friction during
walking varies in a complex and non- uniform way, the static coefficient of
friction, which can be measured in several ways, provides a close
approximation of the slip resistance of a surface.  Contrary to popular
belief, some slippage is necessary to walking, especially for persons with
restricted gaits; a truly "non-slip" surface could not be negotiated.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends that walking
surfaces have a static coefficient of friction of 0.5.  A research project
sponsored by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
(Access Board) conducted tests with persons with disabilities and concluded
that a higher coefficient of friction was needed by such persons.  A static
coefficient of friction of 0.6 is recommended for steps, floors, and lift
platforms and 0.8 for ramps.

The coefficient of friction varies considerably due to the presence of
contaminants, water, floor finishes, and other factors not under the control
of transit providers and may be difficult to measure.  Nevertheless, many
common materials suitable for flooring are now labeled with information on the
static coefficient of friction.  While it may not be possible to compare one
product directly with another, or to guarantee a constant measure, transit
operators or vehicle designers and manufacturers are encouraged to specify
materials with appropriate values.  As more products include information on
slip resistance, improved uniformity in measurement and specification is
likely.  The Access Board's advisory guidelines on Slip Resistant Surfaces
provides additional information on this subject.

II.  Color Contrast -- Step edges, lift platform edges.  The material used to
provide contrast should contrast by at least 70%.  Contrast in percent is
determined by:

		       Contrast = [(B1 - B2)/B1] x 100

where B1 = light reflectance value (LRV) of the lighter area
and B2 = light reflectance value (LRV) of the darker area.

Note that in any application both white and black are never absolute; thus, B1
never equals 100 and B2 is always greater than 0.

III.  Handrails and Stanchions.

In addition to the requirements for handrails and stanchions for rapid, light,
and commuter rail vehicles, consideration should be given to the proximity of
handrails or stanchions to the area in which wheelchair or mobility aid users
may position themselves. When identifying the clear floor space where a
wheelchair or mobility aid user can be accommodated, it is suggested that at
least one such area be adjacent or in close proximity to a handrail or
stanchion.  Of course, such a handrail or stanchion cannot encroach upon the
required 32 inch width required for the doorway or the route leading to the
clear floor space which must be at least 30 by 48 inches in size.

IV.   Priority Seating Signs and Other Signage.

A. Finish and Contrast.  The characters and background of signs should be
eggshell, matte, or other non-glare finish.  An eggshell finish (11 to 19
degree gloss on 60 degree glossimeter) is recommended.  Characters and symbols
should contrast with their background -- either light characters on a dark
background or dark characters on a light background.  Research indicates that
signs are more legible for persons with low vision when characters contrast
with their background by at least 70 percent.  Contrast in percent is
determined by:

		       Contrast = [(B1 - B2)/B1] x 100

where B1 = light reflectance value (LRV) of the lighter area
and B2 = light reflectance value (LRV) of the darker area.

Note that in any application both white and black are never absolute; thus, B1
never equals 100 and B2 is always greater than 0.

The greatest readability is usually achieved through the use of light-colored
characters or symbols on a dark background.

B. Destination and Route Signs.  The following specifications, which are
required for buses (Section 1192.39), are recommended for other types of
vehicles, particularly light rail vehicles, where appropriate.

      1. Where destination or route information is displayed on the exterior
of a vehicle, each vehicle should have illuminated signs on the front and
boarding side of the vehicle.

      2. Characters on signs covered by paragraph IV.B.1 of this appendix
should have a width-to-height ratio between 3:5 and 1:1 and a stroke
width-to-height ratio between 1:5 and 1:10, with a minimum character height
(using an upper case "X") of 1 inch for signs on the boarding side and a
minimum character height of 2 inches for front "headsigns", with "wide"
spacing (generally, the space between letters shall be 1/16 the height of
upper case letters), and should contrast with the background, either
dark-on-light or light-on-dark, or as recommended above.

C. Designation of Accessible Vehicles.  The International Symbol of
Accessibility should be displayed as shown in Figure 6.

V.  Public Information Systems.  There is currently no requirement that
vehicles be equipped with an information system which is capable of providing
the same or equivalent information to persons with hearing loss.  While the
Department of Transportation assesses available and soon-to-be available
technology during a study to be conducted during Fiscal Year 1992, entities
are encouraged to employ whatever services, signage or alternative systems or
devices that provide equivalent access and are available.  Two possible types
of devices are visual display systems and listening systems.  However, it
should be noted that while visual display systems accommodate persons who are
deaf or are hearing impaired, assistive listening systems aid only those with
a partial loss of hearing.

A. Visual Display Systems.  Announcements may be provided in a visual format
by the use of electronic message boards or video monitors.

Electronic message boards using a light emitting diode (LED) or "flip- dot"
display are currently provided in some transit stations and terminals and may
be usable in vehicles.  These devices may be used to provide real time or
pre-programmed messages; however, real time message displays require the
availability of an employee for keyboard entry of the information to be

Video monitor systems, such as visual paging systems provided in some airports
(e.g., Baltimore-Washington International Airport), are another alternative.
The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board)
can provide technical assistance and information on these systems ("Airport
TDD Access: Two Case Studies," (1990)).

B. Assistive Listening Systems.  Assistive listening systems (ALS) are
intended to augment standard public address and audio systems by providing
signals which can be received directly by persons with special receivers or
their own hearing aids and which eliminate or filter background noise.
Magnetic induction loops, infra-red and radio frequency systems are types of
listening systems which are appropriate for various applications.

An assistive listening system appropriate for transit vehicles, where a group
of persons or where the specific individuals are not known in advance, may be
different from the system appropriate for a particular individual provided as
an auxiliary aid or as part of a reasonable accommodation.  The appropriate
device for an individual is the type that individual can use, whereas the
appropriate system for a station or vehicle will necessarily be geared toward
the "average" or aggregate needs of various individuals.  Earphone jacks with
variable volume controls can benefit only people who have slight hearing loss
and do not help people who use hearing aids.  At the present time, magnetic
induction loops are the most feasible type of listening system for people who
use hearing aids equipped with "T-coils", but people without hearing aids or
those with hearing aids not equipped with inductive pick-ups cannot use them
without special receivers.  Radio frequency systems can be extremely effective
and inexpensive.  People without hearing aids can use them, but people with
hearing aids need a special receiver to use them as they are presently
designed.  If hearing aids had a jack to allow a by-pass of microphones, then
radio frequency systems would be suitable for people with and without hearing
aids.  Some listening systems may be subject to interference from other
equipment and feedback from hearing aids of people who are using the systems.
Such interference can be controlled by careful engineering design that
anticipates feedback sources in the surrounding area.

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board)
has published a pamphlet on Assistive Listening Systems which lists
demonstration centers across the country where technical assistance can be
obtained in selecting and installing appropriate systems.  The state of New
York has also adopted a detailed technical specification which may be useful.