How to ensure that your public restroom is a ADA compliant?
ADA Compliant Restrooms. ADA stands for Americans with Disabilities Act. Formulated and implemented in 1990, this act was enforced to prevent discrimination for people having disabilities while using public restrooms and toilets. ADA Compliant Restrooms, therefore, refer to the restrooms that comply with ADA standards. It is important to design your public toilet and restrooms in such a way, that even people with disabilities can access the same features as others. Evidently, you should be aware of certain engineering standards, ensuring ADA compliance in your establishment.
Why is it necessary to meet ADA standards?
Building owners should understand the value of ADA compliance for restrooms. The ADA Accessibility Guidelines came up with certain standards or parameters for restrooms in theatres, hotels, recreation centres, schools and other public facilities. Therefore, the design of ADA Compliant Restrooms should comply with certain prescribed standards with respect to handrail height, width of door and toilet design. Certain states in the US, including Massachusetts and Texas have got in place certain accessibility guidelines in addition to the ADA guidelines.
In case your public restroom does not comply with ADA standards, it might invite a lawsuit. If you find that the design is not in sync to the prescribed guidelines, make sure to get it fixed. Remember, failure to do so might cause inconvenience to people with disabilities. This would prevent complaints and lawsuits, and further complications. Being responsible, compassionate and sincere, you need to rectify any possible flaw in the restroom designs.
3 Things to consider while designing the restrooms
- Toilet stalls for the handicapped, or restrooms, should have adequate floor space to ensure wheelchair access. The measurement of the floor should be 30 inches by 48 inches at least. This is the minimum requirement to allow enough space for people on wheelchairs to complete a 180-degree turn.
- In order to adhere to this standard, a clear floor space with a diameter of 60 inches should be available. You might also decide to go for a T-shaped space, with a width of 36 inches. In the process, you can enable the wheelchairs make 3-point turns.
- As per the standards, floor space up to 19 inches may be located under various fixtures and sinks. On the nearest wall to the toilet as well as behind it, you should mount horizontal grab bars.
Urinals and stalls
- Some restrooms come with portable toilet stalls. These stalls come with a width of 36 inches. Besides, grab bars are present on either side of the toilet. As per the guidelines, this might be acceptable, in case you don’t have adequate space for larger stalls.
- In ADA Restrooms, the minimum height of the toilet seats from the floor should be 19 inches.
- The height of the toilet flush should not exceed 44 inches from the floor.
Counters and sinks
- The height of countertops and sinks should not exceed 34 inches from the floor. Besides, make sure to incorporate a knee space under it.
- In case any plumbing is present under the sink, it should be protected or insulated.
- In ADA Compliant Restrooms, the flush mechanisms and faucets for toilets and sinks, respectively, should be operable with a single hand.
- Some controls and faucets have to be twisted, and the necessary force should not be more than 5 lbs.
Apart from this, make sure that the pipes are in no position to injure people with disabilities. If possible, try to cover them up and do not expose the same. Besides, try to smoothen tiny protrusions on the surface, if any.
In case you are installing portable toilet stalls in your restroom, make sure to comply with the ADA standards. It would be wise to procure these portable stalls from one of the established companies to eliminate possible hassles.