DO YOU HAVE ANY?
The first thing to remember about ADA (American Disability Act) is that it’s a law, not a code, which opens public facilities up to litigation in the form of civil suits. Public facilities are usually defined as any building which is accessed by the public without express invitation, which includes a great number of building types and locations. Some industries require ADA compliance for employees as well. Most people do not know that there is no inspection process for compliance like there is for OSHA, building code or life safety issues. Entities are supposed to comply proactively. Also, because of the nature of the law, no building can be “grandfathered in”, all buildings that are required to comply with the law must follow it with the means that are “readily available”.
The 6 most common ADA Compliance issues are:
- No Van Accessible Spot – this is the most common violation. One out of every 6 handicap spots must be van accessible, but no less than 1 van accessible spot must be present. So if you only need 1 handicap spot, it must be van accessible. If the spot doesn’t follow all of the regulations (signage, striping, etc.), it doesn’t count as an accessible spot.
- No Accessible Entrance – the path from public transport and accessible spots to the accessible entrance must be completely accessible in its entirety. It is very easy to have one violation along this path, which means the entire path is considered inaccessible.
- Narrow Aisles (includes queuing aisles made with ropes) – aisles must be a minimum of 36” wide everywhere. While doors have a minimum 32” clear width requirement, the aisles all need to be 36”, even temporary aisles created to allow queuing.
- Wrong Hardware – all door hardware has to meet grasp guidelines and pressure requirements so that knobs are able to be turned, but also so that the door doesn’t require too much force to open.
- Inadequate Door Maneuvering Clearance – this is common especially for doors at the ends of hallways. Maneuvering clearance is largely dependent on door swing and sometimes is dependent on hardware, so it’s easy to have a violation and not know.
- Not Enough Clear Floor Area in Restrooms – a common violation is for door swings to swing into clear floor area, and multiple fixture types all have their own clear floor requirements. While they can overlap each other for one large combined area of a floor, nothing physical can cross those boundaries.
If you wish to have ADA Compliance building assessments done on your building(s), please give us a call at (225) 664-1934 or toll-free at (887) 224-8010.
We have offices in the Greater Baton Rouge Area of Louisiana; Gulfport, MS; and Tallahassee, FL to help serve you throughout the Gulf Coast Region.