2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design Pocket Guide
221.2.3 Lines of Sight and Dispersion.
Wheelchair spaces shall provide lines of sight complying with 802.2 and shall comply with 221.2.3. In providing lines of sight, wheelchair spaces shall be dispersed. Wheelchair spaces shall provide spectators with choices of seating locations and viewing angles that are substantially equivalent to, or better than, the choices of seating locations and viewing angles available to all other spectators. When the number of wheelchair spaces required by 221.2.1 has been met, further dispersion shall not be required. [S.H. 4.33.3]
EXCEPTION: Wheelchair spaces in team or player seating areas serving areas of sport activity shall not be required to comply with 221.2.3.
Advisory 221.2.3 Lines of Sight and Dispersion. Consistent with the overall intent of the ADA, individuals who use wheelchairs must be provided equal access so that their experience is substantially equivalent to that of other members of the audience. Thus, while individuals who use wheelchairs need not be provided with the best seats in the house, neither may they be relegated to the worst.
EXCEPTIONS: 1. Horizontal dispersion shall not be required in assembly areas with 300 or fewer seats if the companion seats required by 221.3 and wheelchair spaces are located within the 2nd or 3rd quartile of the total row length. Intermediate aisles shall be included in determining the total row length. If the row length in the 2nd and 3rd quartile of a row is insufficient to accommodate the required number of companion seats and wheelchair spaces, the additional companion seats and wheelchair spaces shall be permitted to be located in the 1st and 4th quartile of the row. [S.H. 4.33.3]
2. In row seating, two wheelchair spaces shall be permitted to be located side-by-side.
Advisory 220.127.116.11 Horizontal Dispersion. Horizontal dispersion of wheelchair spaces is the placement of spaces in an assembly facility seating area from side-to-side or, in the case of an arena or stadium, around the field of play or performance area.
Wheelchair spaces shall be dispersed vertically at varying distances from the screen, performance area, or playing field. In addition, wheelchair spaces shall be located in each balcony or mezzanine that is located on an accessible route. [S.H. 4.33.3]
EXCEPTIONS: 1. Vertical dispersion shall not be required in assembly areas with 300 or fewer seats if the wheelchair spaces provide viewing angles that are equivalent to, or better than, the average viewing angle provided in the facility. [S.H. 4.33.3]
2. In bleachers, wheelchair spaces shall not be required to be provided in rows other than rows at points of entry to bleacher seating.
Advisory 18.104.22.168 Vertical Dispersion. When wheelchair spaces are dispersed vertically in an assembly facility they are placed at different locations within the seating area from front-to-back so that the distance from the screen, stage, playing field, area of sports activity, or other focal point is varied among wheelchair spaces.
Advisory 22.214.171.124 Vertical Dispersion Exception 2. Points of entry to bleacher seating may include, but are not limited to, cross aisles, concourses, vomitories, and entrance ramps and stairs. Vertical, center, or side aisles adjoining bleacher seating that are stepped or tiered are not considered entry points.
Access Board’s Note to Reader:
The Department of Justice’s ADA standards also require the following:
Assembly areas. Assembly areas that are subject to this part [of the title III regulation or to this section of the title II regulation] shall comply with the provisions of the 2010 Standards applicable to assembly areas, including, but not limited to, sections 221 and 802. In addition, assembly areas shall ensure that —
(1) In stadiums, arenas, and grandstands, wheelchair spaces and companion seats are dispersed to all levels that include seating served by an accessible route;
(2) Assembly areas that are required to horizontally disperse wheelchair spaces and companion seats by section 126.96.36.199 of the 2010 Standards and have seating encircling, in whole or in part, a field of play or performance area shall disperse wheelchair spaces and companion seats around that field of play or performance area;
(3) Wheelchair spaces and companion seats are not located on (or obstructed by) temporary platforms or other movable structures, except that when an entire seating section is placed on temporary platforms or other movable structures in an area where fixed seating is not provided, in order to increase seating for an event, wheelchair spaces and companion seats may be placed in that section. When wheelchair spaces and companion seats are not required to accommodate persons eligible for those spaces and seats, individual, removable seats may be placed in those spaces and seats;
(4) Stadium-style movie theaters shall locate wheelchair spaces and companion seats on a riser or cross-aisle in the stadium section that satisfies at least one of the following criteria —
(i) It is located within the rear 60% of the seats provided in an auditorium; or
(ii) It is located within the area of an auditorium in which the vertical viewing angles (as measured to the top of the screen) are from the 40th to the 100th percentile of vertical viewing angles for all seats as ranked from the seats in the first row (1st percentile) to seats in the back row (100th percentile).