CODI: Cornucopia of Disability Information


<- 10. Transportation Facilities


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 buildings or facilities for greater
accessibility.  The paragraph numbers correspond to the sections or paragraphs
of the guideline to which the material relates and are therefore not
consecutive (for example, A4.2.1 contains additional information relevant to
4.2.1).  Sections of the guidelines for which additional material appears in
this appendix have been indicated by an asterisk.  Nothing in this appendix
shall in any way obviate any obligation to comply with the requirements of the
guidelines itself.

A2.2 Equivalent Facilitation.  Specific examples of equivalent facilitation
are found in the following sections:

4.1.6(3)(c) 	Elevators in Alterations
4.31.9 		Text Telephones
7.2  		Sales and Service Counters, Teller Windows, Information Counters
9.1.4 		Classes of Sleeping Accommodations
9.2.2(6)(d) 	Requirements for Accessible Units, Sleeping Rooms, and Suites

A4.1.1 Application.

A4.1.1(3) Areas Used Only by Employees as Work Areas.  Where there are a
series of individual work stations of the same type (e.g., laboratories,
service counters, ticket booths), 5%, but not less than one, of each type of
work station should be constructed so that an individual with disabilities can
maneuver within the work stations.  Rooms housing individual offices in a
typical office building must meet the requirements of the guidelines
concerning doors, accessible routes, etc.  but do not need to allow for
maneuvering space around individual desks.  Modifications required to permit
maneuvering within the work area may be accomplished as a reasonable
accommodation to individual employees with disabilities under Title I of the
ADA.  Consideration should also be given to placing shelves in employee work
areas at a convenient height for accessibility or installing commercially
available shelving that is adjustable so that reasonable accommodations can be
made in the future.

If work stations are made accessible they should comply with the applicable
provisions of 4.2 through 4.35.

A4.1.2 Accessible Sites and Exterior Facilities: New Construction.

A4.1.2(5)(e) Valet parking is not always usable by individuals with
disabilities.  For instance, an individual may use a type of vehicle controls
that render the regular controls inoperable or the driver's seat in a van may
be removed.  In these situations, another person cannot park the vehicle.  It
is recommended that some self-parking spaces be provided at valet parking
facilities for individuals whose vehicles cannot be parked by another person
and that such spaces be located on an accessible route to the entrance of the

A4.1.3 Accessible Buildings: New Construction.

A4.1.3(5) Only full passenger elevators are covered by the accessibility
provisions of 4.10.  Materials and equipment hoists, freight elevators not
intended for passenger use, dumbwaiters, and construction elevators are not
covered by these guidelines.  If a building is exempt from the elevator
requirement, it is not necessary to provide a platform lift or other means of
vertical access in lieu of an elevator.

Under Exception 4, platform lifts are allowed where existing conditions make
it impractical to install a ramp or elevator.  Such conditions generally occur
where it is essential to provide access to small raised or lowered areas where
space may not be available for a ramp.  Examples include, but are not limited
to, raised pharmacy platforms, commercial offices raised above a sales floor,
or radio and news booths.

A4.1.3(9) Supervised automatic sprinkler systems have built in signals for
monitoring features of the system such as the opening and closing of water
control valves, the power supplies for needed pumps, water tank levels, and
for indicating conditions that will impair the satisfactory operation of the
sprinkler system.  Because of these monitoring features, supervised automatic
sprinkler systems have a high level of satisfactory performance and response
to fire conditions.

A4.1.3(10) If an odd number of drinking fountains is provided on a floor, the
requirement in 4.1.3(10)(b) may be met by rounding down the odd number to an
even number and calculating 50% of the even number.  When more than one
drinking fountain on a floor is required to comply with 4.15, those fountains
should be dispersed to allow wheelchair users convenient access.  For example,
in a large facility such as a convention center that has water fountains at
several locations on a floor, the accessible water fountains should be located
so that wheelchair users do not have to travel a greater distance than other
people to use a drinking fountain.

A4.1.3(17)(b) In addition to the requirements of section

4.1.3(17)(b), the installation of additional volume controls is encouraged.
Volume controls may be installed on any telephone.

A4.1.3(19)(a) Readily removable or folding seating units may be installed in
lieu of providing an open space for wheelchair users.  Folding seating units
are usually two fixed seats that can be easily folded into a fixed center bar
to allow for one or two open spaces for wheelchair users when necessary.
These units are more easily adapted than removable seats which generally
require the seat to be removed in advance by the facility management.

Either a sign or a marker placed on seating with removable or folding arm
rests is required by this section.  Consideration should be given for ensuring
identification of such seats in a darkened theater.  For example, a marker
which contrasts (light on dark or dark on light) and which also reflects light
could be placed on the side of such seating so as to be visible in a lighted
auditorium and also to reflect light from a flashlight.

A4.1.6 Accessible Buildings: Alterations.

A4.1.6(1)(h) When an entrance is being altered, it is preferable that those
entrances being altered be made accessible to the extent feasible.

A4.2 Space Allowances and Reach Ranges.

A4.2.1 Wheelchair Passage Width.

  (1) Space Requirements for Wheelchairs.  Many persons who use wheelchairs
need a 30 in (760 mm) clear opening width for doorways, gates, and the like,
when the latter are entered head-on.  If the person is unfamiliar with a
building, if competing traffic is heavy, if sudden or frequent movements are
needed, or if the wheelchair must be turned at an opening, then greater clear
widths are needed.  For most situations, the addition of an inch of leeway on
either side is sufficient.  Thus, a minimum clear width of 32 in (815 mm) will
provide adequate clearance.  However, when an opening or a restriction in a
passageway is more than 24 in (610 mm) long, it is essentially a passageway
and must be at least 36 in (915 mm) wide.

  (2) Space Requirements for Use of Walking Aids.  Although people who use
walking aids can maneuver through clear width openings of 32 in (815 mm), they
need 36 in (915 mm) wide passageways and walks for comfortable gaits.  Crutch
tips, often extending down at a wide angle, are a hazard in narrow passageways
where they might not be seen by other pedestrians.  Thus, the 36 in (915 mm)
width provides a safety allowance both for the person with a disability and
for others.

  (3) Space Requirements for Passing.  Able-bodied persons in winter clothing,
walking straight ahead with arms swinging, need 32 in (815 mm) of width, which
includes 2 in (50 mm) on either side for sway, and another 1 in (25 mm)
tolerance on either side for clearing nearby objects or other pedestrians.
Almost all wheelchair users and those who use walking aids can also manage
within this 32 in (815 mm) width for short distances.  Thus, two streams of
traffic can pass in 64 in (1625 mm) in a comfortable flow.  Sixty inches (1525
mm) provides a minimum width for a somewhat more restricted flow.  If the
clear width is less than 60 in (1525 mm), two wheelchair users will not be
able to pass but will have to seek a wider place for passing.  Forty-eight
inches (1220 mm) is the minimum width needed for an ambulatory person to pass
a nonambulatory or semi-ambulatory person.  Within this 48 in (1220 mm) width,
the ambulatory person will have to twist to pass a wheelchair user, a person
with a service animal, or a semi-ambulatory person.  There will be little
leeway for swaying or missteps (see Fig.  A1).

A4.2.3 Wheelchair Turning Space.  These guidelines specify a minimum space of
60 in (1525 mm) diameter or a 60 in by 60 in (1525 mm by 1525 mm) T-shaped
space for a pivoting 180- degree turn of a wheelchair.  This space is usually
satisfactory for turning around, but many people will not be able to turn
without repeated tries and bumping into surrounding objects.  The space shown
in Fig.  A2 will allow most wheelchair users to complete U-turns without

A4.2.4 Clear Floor or Ground Space for Wheelchairs.  The wheelchair and user
shown in Fig.  A3 represent typical dimensions for a large adult male.  The
space requirements in this guideline are based upon maneuvering clearances
that will accommodate most wheelchairs.  Fig.  A3 provides a uniform reference
for design not covered by this guideline.

A4.2.5 & A4.2.6 Reach.  Reach ranges for persons seated in wheelchairs may be
further clarified by Fig.  A3(a).  These drawings approximate in the plan view
the information shown in Fig.  4, 5, and 6.

A4.3 Accessible Route.

A4.3.1 General.

  (1) Travel Distances.  Many people with mobility impairments can move at
only very slow speeds; for many, traveling 200 ft (61 m) could take about 2
minutes.  This assumes a rate of about 1.5 ft/s (455 mm/s) on level ground.
It also assumes that the traveler would move continuously.  However, on trips
over 100 ft (30 m), disabled people are apt to rest frequently, which
substantially increases their trip times.  Resting periods of 2 minutes for
every 100 ft (30 m) can be used to estimate travel times for people with
severely limited stamina.  In inclement weather, slow progress and resting can
greatly increase a disabled person's exposure to the elements.

  (2) Sites.  Level, indirect routes or those with running slopes lower than
1:20 can sometimes provide more convenience than direct routes with maximum
allowable slopes or with ramps.

A4.3.10 Egress.  Because people with disabilities may visit, be employed or be
a resident in any building, emergency management plans with specific
provisions to ensure their safe evacuation also play an essential role in fire
safety and life safety.

A4.3.11.3 Stairway Width.  A 48 in (1220 mm) wide exit stairway is needed to
allow assisted evacuation (e.g., carrying a person in a wheelchair) without
encroaching on the exit path for ambulatory persons.

A4.3.11.4 Two-way Communication.  It is essential that emergency communication
not be dependent on voice communications alone because the safety of people
with hearing or speech impairments could be jeopardized.  The visible signal
requirement could be satisfied with something as simple as a button in the
area of rescue assistance that lights, indicating that help is on the way,
when the message is answered at the point of entry.

A4.4 Protruding Objects.

A4.4.1 General.  Service animals are trained to recognize and avoid hazards.
However, most people with severe impairments of vision use the long cane as an
aid to mobility.  The two principal cane techniques are the touch technique,
where the cane arcs from side to side and touches points outside both
shoulders; and the diagonal technique, where the cane is held in a stationary
position diagonally across the body with the cane tip touching or just above
the ground at a point outside one shoulder and the handle or grip extending to
a point outside the other shoulder.  The touch technique is used primarily in
uncontrolled areas, while the diagonal technique is used primarily in certain
limited, controlled, and familiar environments.  Cane users are often trained
to use both techniques.

Potential hazardous objects are noticed only if they fall within the detection
range of canes (see Fig.  A4).  Visually impaired people walking toward an
object can detect an overhang if its lowest surface is not higher than 27 in
(685 mm).  When walking alongside protruding objects, they cannot detect
overhangs.  Since proper cane and service animal techniques keep people away
from the edge of a path or from walls, a slight overhang of no more than 4 in
(100 mm) is not hazardous.

A4.5 Ground and Floor Surfaces.

A4.5.1 General.  People who have difficulty walking or maintaining balance or
who use crutches, canes, or walkers, and those with restricted gaits are
particularly sensitive to slipping and tripping hazards.  For such people, a
stable and regular surface is necessary for safe walking, particularly on
stairs.  Wheelchairs can be propelled most easily on surfaces that are hard,
stable, and regular.  Soft loose surfaces such as shag carpet, loose sand or
gravel, wet clay, and irregular surfaces such as cobblestones can
significantly impede wheelchair movement.

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 accessible routes and 0.8
for ramps.

It is recognized that the coefficient of friction varies considerably due to
the presence of contaminants, water, floor finishes, and other factors not
under the control of the designer or builder and not subject to design and
construction guidelines and that compliance would be difficult to measure on
the building site.  Nevertheless, many common building 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, builders and designers 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.

Cross slopes on walks and ground or floor surfaces can cause considerable
difficulty in propelling a wheelchair in a straight line.

A4.5.3 Carpet.  Much more needs to be done in developing both quantitative and
qualitative criteria for carpeting (i.e., problems associated with texture and
weave need to be studied).  However, certain functional characteristics are
well established.  When both carpet and padding are used, it is desirable to
have minimum movement (preferably none) between the floor and the pad and the
pad and the carpet which would allow the carpet to hump or warp.  In heavily
trafficked areas, a thick, soft (plush) pad or cushion, particularly in
combination with long carpet pile, makes it difficult for individuals in
wheelchairs and those with other ambulatory disabilities to get about.  Firm
carpeting can be achieved through proper selection and combination of pad and
carpet, sometimes with the elimination of the pad or cushion, and with proper
installation.  Carpeting designed with a weave that causes a zig-zag effect
when wheeled across is strongly discouraged.

A4.6 Parking and Passenger Loading Zones.

A4.6.3 Parking Spaces.  The increasing use of vans with side-mounted lifts or
ramps by persons with disabilities has necessitated some revisions in
specifications for parking spaces and adjacent access aisles.  The typical
accessible parking space is 96 in (2440 mm) wide with an adjacent 60 in (1525
mm) access aisle.  However, this aisle does not permit lifts or ramps to be
deployed and still leave room for a person using a wheelchair or other
mobility aid to exit the lift platform or ramp.  In tests conducted with
actual lift/van/wheelchair combinations, (under a Board-sponsored Accessible
Parking and Loading Zones Project) researchers found that a space and aisle
totaling almost 204 in (5180 mm) wide was needed to deploy a lift and exit
conveniently.  The "van accessible" parking space required by these guidelines
provides a 96 in (2440 mm) wide space with a 96 in (2440 mm) adjacent access
aisle which is just wide enough to maneuver and exit from a side mounted lift.
If a 96 in (2440 mm) access aisle is placed between two spaces, two "van
accessible" spaces are created.  Alternatively, if the wide access aisle is
provided at the end of a row (an area often unused), it may be possible to
provide the wide access aisle without additional space (see Fig.  A5(a)).

A sign is needed to alert van users to the presence of the wider aisle, but
the space is not intended to be restricted only to vans.

"Universal" Parking Space Design.  An alternative to the provision of a
percentage of spaces with a wide aisle, and the associated need to include
additional signage, is the use of what has been called the "universal" parking
space design.  Under this design, all accessible spaces are 132 in (3350 mm)
wide with a 60 in (1525 mm) access aisle (see Fig.  A5(b)).  One advantage to
this design is that no additional signage is needed because all spaces can
accommodate a van with a side-mounted lift or ramp.  Also, there is no
competition between cars and vans for spaces since all spaces can accommodate
either.  Furthermore, the wider space permits vehicles to park to one side or
the other within the 132 in (3350 mm) space to allow persons to exit and enter
the vehicle on either the driver or passenger side, although, in some cases,
this would require exiting or entering without a marked access aisle.

An essential consideration for any design is having the access aisle level
with the parking space.  Since a person with a disability, using a lift or
ramp, must maneuver within the access aisle, the aisle cannot include a ramp
or sloped area.  The access aisle must be connected to an accessible route to
the appropriate accessible entrance of a building or facility.  The parking
access aisle must either blend with the accessible route or have a curb ramp
complying with 4.7.  Such a curb ramp opening must be located within the
access aisle boundaries, not within the parking space boundaries.
Unfortunately, many facilities are designed with a ramp that is blocked when
any vehicle parks in the accessible space.  Also, the required dimensions of
the access aisle cannot be restricted by planters, curbs or wheel stops.

A4.6.4 Signage.  Signs designating parking places for disabled people can be
seen from a driver's seat if the signs are mounted high enough above the
ground and located at the front of a parking space.

A4.6.5 Vertical Clearance.  High-top vans, which disabled people or
transportation services often use, require higher clearances in parking
garages than automobiles.

A4.8 Ramps.

A4.8.1 General.  Ramps are essential for wheelchair users if elevators or
lifts are not available to connect different levels.  However, some people who
use walking aids have difficulty with ramps and prefer stairs.

A4.8.2 Slope and Rise.  Ramp slopes between 1:16 and 1:20 are preferred.  The
ability to manage an incline is related to both its slope and its length.
Wheelchair users with disabilities affecting their arms or with low stamina
have serious difficulty using inclines.  Most ambulatory people and most
people who use wheelchairs can manage a slope of 1:16.  Many people cannot
manage a slope of 1:12 for 30 ft (9 m).

A4.8.4 Landings.  Level landings are essential toward maintaining an aggregate
slope that complies with these guidelines.  A ramp landing that is not level
causes individuals using wheelchairs to tip backward or bottom out when the
ramp is approached.

A4.8.5 Handrails.  The requirements for stair and ramp handrails in this
guideline are for adults.  When children are principal users in a building or
facility, a second set of handrails at an appropriate height can assist them
and aid in preventing accidents.

A4.9 Stairs.

A4.9.1 Minimum Number.  Only interior and exterior stairs connecting levels
that are not connected by an elevator, ramp, or other accessible means of
vertical access have to comply with 4.9.

A4.10 Elevators.

A4.10.6 Door Protective and Reopening Device.  The required door reopening
device would hold the door open for 20 seconds if the doorway remains
obstructed.  After 20 seconds, the door may begin to close.  However, if
designed in accordance with ASME A17.1-1990, the door closing movement could
still be stopped if a person or object exerts sufficient force at any point on
the door edge.

A4.10.7 Door and Signal Timing for Hall Calls.  This paragraph allows
variation in the location of call buttons, advance time for warning signals,
and the door-holding period used to meet the time requirement.

A4.10.12 Car Controls.  Industry-wide standardization of elevator control
panel design would make all elevators significantly more convenient for use by
people with severe visual impairments.  In many cases, it will be possible to
locate the highest control on elevator panels within 48 in (1220 mm) from the

A4.10.13 Car Position Indicators.  A special button may be provided that would
activate the audible signal within the given elevator only for the desired
trip, rather than maintaining the audible signal in constant operation.

A4.10.14 Emergency Communications.  A device that requires no handset is
easier to use by people who have difficulty reaching.  Also, small handles on
handset compartment doors are not usable by people who have difficulty

Ideally, emergency two-way communication systems should provide both voice and
visual display intercommunication so that persons with hearing impairments and
persons with vision impairments can receive information regarding the status
of a rescue.  A voice intercommunication system cannot be the only means of
communication because it is not accessible to people with speech and hearing
impairments.  While a voice intercommunication system is not required, at a
minimum, the system should provide both an audio and visual indication that a
rescue is on the way.

A4.11 Platform Lifts (Wheelchair Lifts).

A4.11.2 Other Requirements.  Inclined stairway chairlifts, and inclined and
vertical platform lifts (wheelchair lifts) are available for short-distance,
vertical transportation of people with disabilities.  Care should be taken in
selecting lifts as some lifts are not equally suitable for use by both
wheelchair users and semi-ambulatory individuals.

A4.12 Windows.

A4.12.1 General.  Windows intended to be operated by occupants in accessible
spaces should comply with 4.12.

A4.12.2 Window Hardware.  Windows requiring pushing, pulling, or lifting to
open (for example, double-hung, sliding, or casement and awning units without
cranks) should require no more than 5 lbf (22.2 N) to open or close.  Locks,
cranks, and other window hardware should comply with 4.27.

A4.13 Doors.

A4.13.8 Thresholds at Doorways.  Thresholds and surface height changes in
doorways are particularly inconvenient for wheelchair users who also have low
stamina or restrictions in arm movement because complex maneuvering is
required to get over the level change while operating the door.

A4.13.9 Door Hardware.  Some disabled persons must push against a door with
their chair or walker to open it.  Applied kickplates on doors with closers
can reduce required maintenance by withstanding abuse from wheelchairs and
canes.  To be effective, they should cover the door width, less approximately
2 in (51 mm), up to a height of 16 in (405 mm) from its bottom edge and be
centered across the width of the door.

A4.13.10 Door Closers.  Closers with delayed action features give a person
more time to maneuver through doorways.  They are particularly useful on
frequently used interior doors such as entrances to toilet rooms.

A4.13.11 Door Opening Force.  Although most people with disabilities can exert
at least 5 lbf (22.2N), both pushing and pulling from a stationary position, a
few people with severe disabilities cannot exert 3 lbf (13.13N).  Although
some people cannot manage the allowable forces in this guideline and many
others have difficulty, door closers must have certain minimum closing forces
to close doors satisfactorily.  Forces for pushing or pulling doors open are
measured with a push-pull scale under the following conditions:

  (1) Hinged doors: Force applied perpendicular to the door at the door opener
or 30 in (760 mm) from the hinged side, whichever is farther from the hinge.

  (2) Sliding or folding doors: Force applied parallel to the door at the door
pull or latch.

  (3) Application of force: Apply force gradually so that the applied force
does not exceed the resistance of the door.  In high-rise buildings,
air-pressure differentials may require a modification of this specification in
order to meet the functional intent.

A4.13.12 Automatic Doors and Power-Assisted Doors.  Sliding automatic doors do
not need guard rails and are more convenient for wheelchair users and visually
impaired people to use.  If slowly opening automatic doors can be reactivated
before their closing cycle is completed, they will be more convenient in busy

A4.15 Drinking Fountains and Water Coolers.

A4.15.2 Spout Height.  Two drinking fountains, mounted side by side or on a
single post, are usable by people with disabilities and people who find it
difficult to bend over.

A4.16 Water Closets.

A4.16.3 Height.  Height preferences for toilet seats vary considerably among
disabled people.  Higher seat heights may be an advantage to some ambulatory
disabled people, but are often a disadvantage for wheelchair users and others.
Toilet seats 18 in (455 mm) high seem to be a reasonable compromise.  Thick
seats and filler rings are available to adapt standard fixtures to these

A4.16.4 Grab Bars.  Fig.  A6(a) and (b) show the diagonal and side approaches
most commonly used to transfer from a wheelchair to a water closet.  Some
wheelchair users can transfer from the front of the toilet while others use a
90-degree approach.  Most people who use the two additional approaches can
also use either the diagonal approach or the side approach.

A4.16.5 Flush Controls.  Flush valves and related plumbing can be located
behind walls or to the side of the toilet, or a toilet seat lid can be
provided if plumbing fittings are directly behind the toilet seat.  Such
designs reduce the chance of injury and imbalance caused by leaning back
against the fittings.  Flush controls for tank-type toilets have a
standardized mounting location on the left side of the tank (facing the tank).
Tanks can be obtained by special order with controls mounted on the right
side.  If administrative authorities require flush controls for flush valves
to be located in a position that conflicts with the location of the rear grab
bar, then that bar may be split or shifted toward the wide side of the toilet

A4.17 Toilet Stalls.

A4.17.3 Size and Arrangement.  This section requires use of the 60 in (1525
mm) standard stall (Figure 30(a)) and permits the 36 in (915 mm) or 48 in
(1220 mm) wide alternate stall (Figure 30(b)) only in alterations where
provision of the standard stall is technically infeasible or where local
plumbing codes prohibit reduction in the number of fixtures.  A standard stall
provides a clear space on one side of the water closet to enable persons who
use wheelchairs to perform a side or diagonal transfer from the wheelchair to
the water closet.  However, some persons with disabilities who use mobility
aids such as walkers, canes or crutches are better able to use the two
parallel grab bars in the 36 in (915 mm) wide alternate stall to achieve a
standing position.

 In large toilet rooms, where six or more toilet stalls are provided, it is
therefore required that a 36 in (915 mm) wide stall with parallel grab bars be
provided in addition to the standard stall required in new construction.  The
36 in (915 mm) width is necessary to achieve proper use of the grab bars;
wider stalls would position the grab bars too far apart to be easily used and
narrower stalls would position the grab bars too close to the water closet.
Since the stall is primarily intended for use by persons using canes, crutches
and walkers, rather than wheelchairs, the length of the stall could be
conventional.  The door, however, must swing outward to ensure a usable space
for people who use crutches or walkers.

A4.17.5 Doors.  To make it easier for wheelchair users to close toilet stall
doors, doors can be provided with closers, spring hinges, or a pull bar
mounted on the inside surface of the door near the hinge side.

A4.19 Lavatories and Mirrors.

A4.19.6 Mirrors.  If mirrors are to be used by both ambulatory people and
wheelchair users, then they must be at least 74 in (1880 mm) high at their
topmost edge.  A single full length mirror can accommodate all people,
including children.

A4.21 Shower Stalls.

A4.21.1 General.  Shower stalls that are 36 in by 36 in (915 mm by 915 mm)
wide provide additional safety to people who have difficulty maintaining
balance because all grab bars and walls are within easy reach.  Seated people
use the walls of 36 in by 36 in (915 mm by 915 mm) showers for back support.
Shower stalls that are 60 in (1525 mm) wide and have no curb may increase
usability of a bathroom by wheelchair users because the shower area provides
additional maneuvering space.

A4.22 Toilet Rooms.

A4.22.3 Clear Floor Space.  In many small facilities, single-user restrooms
may be the only facilities provided for all building users.  In addition, the
guidelines allow the use of "unisex" or "family" accessible toilet rooms in
alterations when technical infeasibility can be demonstrated.  Experience has
shown that the provision of accessible "unisex" or single-user restrooms is a
reasonable way to provide access for wheelchair users and any attendants,
especially when attendants are of the opposite sex.  Since these facilities
have proven so useful, it is often considered advantageous to install a
"unisex" toilet room in new facilities in addition to making the multi-stall
restrooms accessible, especially in shopping malls, large auditoriums, and
convention centers.

Figure 28 (section 4.16) provides minimum clear floor space dimensions for
toilets in accessible "unisex" toilet rooms.  The dotted lines designate the
minimum clear floor space, depending on the direction of approach, required
for wheelchair users to transfer onto the water closet.  The dimensions of 48
in (1220 mm) and 60 in (1525 mm), respectively, correspond to the space
required for the two common transfer approaches utilized by wheelchair users
(see Fig.  A6).  It is important to keep in mind that the placement of the
lavatory to the immediate side of the water closet will preclude the side
approach transfer illustrated in Figure A6(b).  To accommodate the side
transfer, the space adjacent to the water closet must remain clear of
obstruction for 42 in (1065 mm) from the centerline of the toilet (Figure 28)
and the lavatory must not be located within this clear space.  A turning
circle or T-turn, the clear floor space at the lavatory, and maneuvering space
at the door must be considered when determining the possible wall locations.
A privacy latch or other accessible means of ensuring privacy during use
should be provided at the door.


1.  In new construction, accessible single-user restrooms may be desirable in
some situations because they can accommodate a wide variety of building users.
However, they cannot be used in lieu of making the multi-stall toilet rooms
accessible as required.

2.  Where strict compliance to the guidelines for accessible toilet facilities
is technically infeasible in the alteration of existing facilities, accessible
"unisex" toilets are a reasonable alternative.

3.  In designing accessible single-user restrooms, the provisions of adequate
space to allow a side transfer will provide accommodation to the largest
number of wheelchair users.

A4.23 Bathrooms, Bathing Facilities, and Shower Rooms.

A4.23.3 Clear Floor Space.  Figure A7 shows two possible configurations of a
toilet room with a roll-in shower.  The specific shower shown is designed to
fit exactly within the dimensions of a standard bathtub.  Since the shower
does not have a lip, the floor space can be used for required maneuvering
space.  This would permit a toilet room to be smaller than would be permitted
with a bathtub and still provide enough floor space to be considered
accessible.  This design can provide accessibility in facilities where space
is at a premium (i.e., hotels and medical care facilities).  The alternate
roll-in shower (Fig.  57b) also provides sufficient room for the "T-turn" and
does not require plumbing to be on more than one wall.

A4.23.9 Medicine Cabinets.  Other alternatives for storing medical and
personal care items are very useful to disabled people.  Shelves, drawers, and
floor-mounted cabinets can be provided within the reach ranges of disabled

A4.26 Handrails, Grab Bars, and Tub and Shower Seats.

A4.26.1 General.  Many disabled people rely heavily upon grab bars and
handrails to maintain balance and prevent serious falls.  Many people brace
their forearms between supports and walls to give them more leverage and
stability in maintaining balance or for lifting.  The grab bar clearance of
1-1/2 in (38 mm) required in this guideline is a safety clearance to prevent
injuries resulting from arms slipping through the openings.  It also provides
adequate gripping room.

 A4.26.2 Size and Spacing of Grab Bars and Handrails.  This specification
allows for alternate shapes of handrails as long as they allow an opposing
grip similar to that provided by a circular section of 1-1/4 in to 1-1/2 in
(32 mm to 38 mm).

A4.27 Controls and Operating Mechanisms.

A4.27.3 Height.  Fig.  A8 further illustrates mandatory and advisory control
mounting height provisions for typical equipment.

Electrical receptacles installed to serve individual appliances and not
intended for regular or frequent use by building occupants are not required to
be mounted within the specified reach ranges.  Examples would be receptacles
installed specifically for wall-mounted clocks, refrigerators, and microwave

A4.28 Alarms.

A4.28.2 Audible Alarms.  Audible emergency signals must have an intensity and
frequency that can attract the attention of individuals who have partial
hearing loss.  People over 60 years of age generally have difficulty
perceiving frequencies higher than 10,000 Hz.  An alarm signal which has a
periodic element to its signal, such as single stroke bells (clang-pause-
clang-pause), hi-low (up-down-up-down) and fast whoop (on-off-on-off) are
best.  Avoid continuous or reverberating tones.  Select a signal which has a
sound characterized by three or four clear tones without a great deal of
"noise" in between.

A4.28.3 Visual Alarms.  The specifications in this section do not preclude the
use of zoned or coded alarm systems.

A4.28.4 Auxiliary Alarms.  Locating visual emergency alarms in rooms where
persons who are deaf may work or reside alone can ensure that they will always
be warned when an emergency alarm is activated.  To be effective, such devices
must be located and oriented so that they will spread signals and reflections
throughout a space or raise the overall light level sharply.  However, visual
alarms alone are not necessarily the best means to alert sleepers.  A study
conducted by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) concluded that a flashing light more
than seven times brighter was required (110 candela v.  15 candela, at the
same distance) to awaken sleepers as was needed to alert awake subjects in a
normal daytime illuminated room.

For hotel and other rooms where people are likely to be asleep, a
signal-activated vibrator placed between mattress and box spring or under a
pillow was found by UL to be much more effective in alerting sleepers.  Many
readily available devices are sound-activated so that they could respond to an
alarm clock, clock radio, wake-up telephone call or room smoke detector.
Activation by a building alarm system can either be accomplished by a separate
circuit activating an auditory alarm which would, in turn, trigger the
vibrator or by a signal transmitted through the ordinary 110-volt outlet.
Transmission of signals through the power line is relatively simple and is the
basis of common, inexpensive remote light control systems sold in many
department and electronic stores for home use.  So-called "wireless" intercoms
operate on the same principal.

A4.29 Detectable Warnings.

A4.29.2 Detectable Warnings on Walking Surfaces.  The material used to provide
contrast should contrast by at least 70%.  Contrast in percent is determined

		       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.

A4.30 Signage.

A4.30.1 General.  In building complexes where finding locations independently
on a routine basis may be a necessity (for example, college campuses), tactile
maps or prerecorded instructions can be very helpful to visually impaired
people.  Several maps and auditory instructions have been developed and tested
for specific applications.  The type of map or instructions used must be based
on the information to be communicated, which depends highly on the type of
buildings or users.

Landmarks that can easily be distinguished by visually impaired individuals
are useful as orientation cues.  Such cues include changes in illumination
level, bright colors, unique patterns, wall murals, location of special
equipment or other architectural features.

Many people with disabilities have limitations in movement of their heads and
reduced peripheral vision.  Thus, signage positioned perpendicular to the path
of travel is easiest for them to notice.  People can generally distinguish
signage within an angle of 30 degrees to either side of the centerlines of
their faces without moving their heads.

A4.30.2 Character Proportion.  The legibility of printed characters is a
function of the viewing distance, character height, the ratio of the stroke
width to the height of the character, the contrast of color between character
and background, and print font.  The size of characters must be based upon the
intended viewing distance.  A severely nearsighted person may have to be much
closer to recognize a character of a given size than a person with normal
visual acuity.

A4.30.4 Raised and Brailled Characters and Pictorial Symbol Signs
(Pictograms).  The standard dimensions for literary Braille are as follows:

Dot diameter                                 .059 in.
Inter-dot spacing                            .090 in.
Horizontal separation between cells          .241 in.
Vertical separation between cells            .395 in.

Raised borders around signs containing raised characters may make them
confusing to read unless the border is set far away from the characters.
Accessible signage with descriptive materials about public buildings,
monuments, and objects of cultural interest may not provide sufficiently
detailed and meaningful information.  Interpretive guides, audio tape devices,
or other methods may be more effective in presenting such information.

A4.30.5 Finish and Contrast.  An eggshell finish (11 to 19 degree gloss on 60
degree glossimeter) is recommended.  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 shall be determined

		       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.

A4.30.7 Symbols of Accessibility for Different Types of Listening Systems.
Paragraph 4 of this section requires signage indicating the availability of an
assistive listening system.  An appropriate message should be displayed with
the international symbol of access for hearing loss since this symbol conveys
general accessibility for people with hearing loss.  Some suggestions are:

				--PLEASE ASK--

			     --OR ASK FOR HELP--

				--PLEASE ASK--

The symbol may be used to notify persons of the availability of other
auxiliary aids and services such as: real time captioning, captioned note
taking, sign language interpreters, and oral interpreters.

A4.30.8 Illumination Levels.  Illumination levels on the sign surface shall be
in the 100 to 300 lux range (10 to 30 footcandles) and shall be uniform over
the sign surface.  Signs shall be located such that the illumination level on
the surface of the sign is not significantly exceeded by the ambient light or
visible bright lighting source behind or in front of the sign.

A4.31 Telephones.

A4.31.3 Mounting Height.  In localities where the dial-tone first system is in
operation, calls can be placed at a coin telephone through the operator
without inserting coins.  The operator button is located at a height of 46 in
(1170 mm) if the coin slot of the telephone is at 54 in (1370 mm).  A
generally available public telephone with a coin slot mounted lower on the
equipment would allow universal installation of telephones at a height of 48
in (1220 mm) or less to all operable parts.

A4.31.9 Text Telephones.  A public text telephone may be an integrated text
telephone pay phone unit or a conventional portable text telephone that is
permanently affixed within, or adjacent to, the telephone enclosure.  In order
to be usable with a pay phone, a text telephone which is not a single
integrated text telephone pay phone unit will require a shelf large enough (10
in (255mm) wide by 10 in (255 mm) deep with a 6 in (150 mm) vertical clearance
minimum) to accommodate the device, an electrical outlet, and a power cord.
Movable or portable text telephones may be used to provide equivalent
facilitation.  A text telephone should be readily available so that a person
using it may access the text telephone easily and conveniently.  As currently
designed pocket-type text telephones for personal use do not accommodate a
wide range of users.  Such devices would not be considered substantially
equivalent to conventional text telephones.  However, in the future as
technology develops this could change.

A4.32 Fixed or Built-in Seating and Tables.

A4.32.4 Height of Tables or Counters.  Different types of work require
different table or counter heights for comfort and optimal performance.  Light
detailed work such as writing requires a table or counter close to elbow
height for a standing person.  Heavy manual work such as rolling dough
requires a counter or table height about 10 in (255 mm) below elbow height for
a standing person.  This principle of high/low table or counter heights also
applies for seated persons; however, the limiting condition for seated manual
work is clearance under the table or counter.

Table A1 shows convenient counter heights for seated persons.  The great
variety of heights for comfort and optimal performance indicates a need for
alternatives or a compromise in height if people who stand and people who sit
will be using the same counter area.

				   TABLE A1
	       			(SHORT WOMEN - in, mm)      [TALL MEN - in, mm]

Seated in a wheelchair:
Manual work: Desk or removable armrests (26, 660)   		[30, 760] 
Fixed, full-size armrests {b}       	(32{c}, 815)   		[32{c}, 815]
Light, detailed work:                       
Desk or removable armrests     		(29, 735)   		[34, 865]
Fixed,full-size armrests {b}     	(323, 815)  		[34, 865]
Seated in a 16 in(405 mm) high chair:
Manual work    				(26, 660)  		[27, 685]
Light, detailed work  			(28, 710)  		[31, 785]

{a} All dimensions are based on a work-surface thickness of 1 1/2 in (38 mm)
and a clearance of 1 1/2 in (38 mm) between legs and the underside of a work

{b} This type of wheelchair arm does not interfere with the positioning of a
wheelchair under a work surface.

{c} This dimension is limited by the height of the armrests: a lower height
would be preferable.  Some people in this group prefer lower work surfaces,
which require positioning the wheelchair back from the edge of the counter.

A4.33 Assembly Areas.

A4.33.2 Size of Wheelchair Locations.  Spaces large enough for two wheelchairs
allow people who are coming to a performance together to sit together.

A4.33.3 Placement of Wheelchair Locations.  The location of wheelchair areas
can be planned so that a variety of positions within the seating area are
provided.  This will allow choice in viewing and price categories.

Building/life safety codes set minimum distances between rows of fixed seats
with consideration of the number of seats in a row, the exit aisle width and
arrangement, and the location of exit doors.  "Continental" seating, with a
greater number of seats per row and a commensurate increase in row spacing and
exit doors, facilitates emergency egress for all people and increases ease of
access to mid-row seats especially for people who walk with difficulty.
Consideration of this positive attribute of "continental" seating should be
included along with all other factors in the design of fixed seating areas.

A4.33.6 Placement of Listening Systems.  A distance of 50 ft (15 m) allows a
person to distinguish performers' facial expressions.

A4.33.7 Types of Listening Systems.  An assistive listening system appropriate
for an assembly area for a group of persons or where the specific individuals
are not known in advance, such as a playhouse, lecture hall or movie theater,
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 an assembly area will necessarily be geared
toward the "average" or aggregate needs of various individuals.  A listening
system that can be used from any seat in a seating area is the most flexible
way to meet this specification.  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.

Table A2, reprinted from a National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation
Research "Rehab Brief," shows some of the advantages and disadvantages of
different types of assistive listening systems.  In addition, 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.

	      Table A2.  Summary of Assistive Listening Devices

   Induction Loop  
	Transmitter: Transducer wired to induction loop around listening area.         Receiver: Self- contained induction receiver or personal hearing aid 
		with telecoil.

Advantages: Cost-Effective; Low Maintenance; Easy to use; Unobtrusive; May be
possible to integrate into existing public address system.  Some hearing aids
can function as receivers.

Disadvantages: Signal spills over to adjacent rooms; Susceptible to electrical
interference; Limited portability; Inconsistent signal strength; Head position
affects signal strength; Lack of standards for induction coil performance.

Typical Applications: Meeting areas; Theaters; Churches and Temples;
Conference rooms; Classrooms; TV viewing.

	Transmitter: Flashlight-sized worn by speaker. 
	Receiver: With personal hearing aid via DAI or induction neck-loop
		and telecoil; or self- contained with earphone(s).

Advantages: Highly portable. Different channels allow use by different groups
within the same room.  High user mobility; Variable for large range of hearing

Disadvantages: High cost of receivers; Equipment fragile; Equipment obtrusive;
High maintenance; Expensive to maintain; Custom fitting to individual user may
be required.

Typical Applications: Classrooms; Tour groups; Meeting areas; Outdoor events;

	Transmitter: Emitter in line-of-sight with receiver.
	Receiver: Self-contained.  Or with personal hearing aid via DAI or
		induction neckloop and telecoil.

Advantages: Easy to use; Insures privacy or confidentiality; Moderate cost;
Can often be integrated into existing public address system.

Disadvantages: Line-of-sight required between emitter and receiver.
Ineffective outdoors; Limited portability; Requires installation.

Typical Applications: Theaters; Churches and Temples; Auditoriums; Meetings
requiring confidentiality; TV viewing.

Source: Rehab Brief, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation
Research, Washington, DC, Vol.  XII, No.  10, (1990).

A5.0 Restaurants and Cafeterias.

A5.1 General.  Dining counters (where there is no service) are typically found
in small carry- out restaurants, bakeries, or coffee shops and may only be a
narrow eating surface attached to a wall.  This section requires that where
such a dining counter is provided, a portion of the counter shall be at the
required accessible height.

A7.0 Business and Mercantile.

A7.2(3) Assistive Listening Devices.  At all sales and service counters,
teller windows, box offices, and information kiosks where a physical barrier
separates service personnel and customers, it is recommended that at least one
permanently installed assistive listening device complying with 4.33 be
provided at each location or series.  Where assistive listening devices are
installed, signage should be provided identifying those stations which are so

A7.3 Check-out Aisles.  Section 7.2 refers to counters without aisles; section
7.3 concerns check-out aisles.  A counter without an aisle (7.2) can be
approached from more than one direction such as in a convenience store.  In
order to use a check-out aisle (7.3), customers must enter a defined area (an
aisle) at a particular point, pay for goods, and exit at a particular point.

A10.3 Fixed Facilities and Stations.

A10.3.1(7) Route Signs.  One means of making control buttons on fare vending
machines usable by persons with vision impairments is to raise them above the
surrounding surface.  Those activated by a mechanical motion are likely to be
more detectable.  If farecard vending, collection, and adjustment devices are
designed to accommodate farecards having one tactually distinctive corner,
then a person who has a vision impairment will insert the card with greater
ease.  Token collection devices that are designed to accommodate tokens which
are perforated can allow a person to distinguish more readily between tokens
and common coins.  Thoughtful placement of accessible gates and fare vending
machines in relation to inaccessible devices will make their use and detection
easier for all persons with disabilities.

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