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2012 Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) Pocket Guide

Note: This document or portion of document references a state or local code that is stricter than the 2010 ADA Standards requires.

106.5 Defined Terms

106.5.1 Accessible.

A site, building, facility, or portion thereof that complies with this part.

106.5.2 Accessible Means of Egress.

A continuous and unobstructed way of egress travel from any point in a building or facility that provides an accessible route to an area of refuge, a horizontal exit, or a public way.

106.5.3 Addition.

An expansion, extension, or increase in the gross floor area or height of a building or facility.

106.5.4 Administrative Authority.

A governmental agency that adopts or enforces regulations and guidelines for the design, construction, or alteration of buildings and facilities.

106.5.5 Alteration.

A change to a building or facility that affects or could affect the usability of the building or facility or portion thereof. Alterations include, but are not limited to, remodeling, renovation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, historic restoration, resurfacing of circulation paths or vehicular ways, changes or rearrangement of the structural parts or elements, and changes or rearrangement in the plan configuration of walls and full-height partitions. Normal maintenance, reroofing, painting or wallpapering, or changes to mechanical and electrical systems are not alterations unless they affect the usability of the building or facility.

106.5.6 Amusement Attraction.

Any facility, or portion of a facility, located within an amusement park or theme park which provides amusement without the use of an amusement device. Amusement attractions include, but are not limited to, fun houses, barrels, and other attractions without seats.

106.5.7 Amusement Ride.

A system that moves persons through a fixed course within a defined area for the purpose of amusement.

106.5.8 Amusement Ride Seat.

A seat that is built-in or mechanically fastened to an amusement ride intended to be occupied by one or more passengers.

106.5.9 Area of Sport Activity.

That portion of a room or space where the play or practice of a sport occurs.

106.5.10 Assembly Area.

A building or facility, or portion thereof, used for the purpose of entertainment, educational or civic gatherings, or similar purposes. For the purposes of these requirements, assembly areas include, but are not limited to, classrooms, lecture halls, courtrooms, public meeting rooms, public hearing rooms, legislative chambers, motion picture houses, auditoria, theaters, playhouses, dinner theaters, concert halls, centers for the performing arts, amphitheaters, arenas, stadiums, grandstands, or convention centers.

106.5.11 Assistive Listening System (ALS).

An amplification system utilizing transmitters, receivers, and coupling devices to bypass the acoustical space between a sound source and a listener by means of induction loop, radio frequency, infrared, or direct-wired equipment.

106.5.12 Boarding Pier.

A portion of a pier where a boat is temporarily secured for the purpose of embarking or disembarking.

106.5.13 Boat Launch Ramp.

A sloped surface designed for launching and retrieving trailered boats and other water craft to and from a body of water.

106.5.14 Boat Slip.

That portion of a pier, main pier, finger pier, or float where a boat is moored for the purpose of berthing, embarking, or disembarking.

106.5.15 Building.

Any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy.

106.5.16 Catch Pool.

A pool or designated section of a pool used as a terminus for water slide flumes.

106.5.17 Characters.

Letters, numbers, punctuation marks and typographic symbols.

106.5.18 Children's Use.

Describes spaces and elements specifically designed for use primarily by people 12 years old and younger.

106.5.19 Circulation Path.

An exterior or interior way of passage provided for pedestrian travel, including but not limited to, walks, hallways, courtyards, elevators, platform lifts, ramps, stairways, and landings.

106.5.20 Closed-Circuit Telephone.

A telephone with a dedicated line such as a house phone, courtesy phone or phone that must be used to gain entry to a facility.

106.5.21 Common Use.

Interior or exterior circulation paths, rooms, spaces, or elements that are not for public use and are made available for the shared use of two or more people.

106.5.22 Cross Slope.

The slope that is perpendicular to the direction of travel (see running slope).

106.5.23 Curb Ramp.

A short ramp cutting through a curb or built up to it.

106.5.24 Detectable Warning.

A standardized surface feature built in or applied to walking surfaces or other elements to warn of hazards on a circulation path.

106.5.25 Disproportionality. Alterations made to provide an accessible path of travel to the altered area will be deemed disproportionate to the overall alteration when the cost exceeds 20% of the cost of the alteration to the primary function area. Costs that may be counted as expenditures required to provide an accessible path of travel may include:

(i) Costs associated with providing an accessible entrance and an accessible route to the altered area, for example, the cost of widening doorways or installing ramps;

(ii) Costs associated with making restrooms accessible, such as installing grab bars, enlarging toilet stalls, insulating pipes, or installing accessible faucet controls;

(iii) Costs associated with providing accessible telephones, such as relocating the telephone to an accessible height, installing amplification devices, or installing a text telephone (TTY); and

(iv) Costs associated with relocating an inaccessible drinking fountain.

All determinations of disproportionality are made by the Department in accordance with the variance procedures contained in Chapter 68, Texas Administrative Code.

106.5.26 Element.

An architectural or mechanical component of a building, facility, space, or site.

106.5.27 Elevated Play Component.

A play component that is approached above or below grade and that is part of a composite play structure consisting of two or more play components attached or functionally linked to create an integrated unit providing more than one play activity.

106.5.28 Employee Work Area.

All or any portion of a space used only by employees and used only for work. Corridors, toilet rooms, kitchenettes and break rooms are not employee work areas.

106.5.29 Entrance.

Any access point to a building or portion of a building or facility used for the purpose of entering. An entrance includes the approach walk, the vertical access leading to the entrance platform, the entrance platform itself, vestibule if provided, the entry door or gate, and the hardware of the entry door or gate.

106.5.30 Facility.

All or any portion of buildings, structures, site improvements, elements, and pedestrian routes or vehicular ways located on a site.

106.5.31 Gangway.

A variable-sloped pedestrian walkway that links a fixed structure or land with a floating structure. Gangways that connect to vessels are not addressed by this document.

106.5.32 Golf Car Passage.

A continuous passage on which a motorized golf car can operate.

106.5.33 Ground Level Play Component.

A play component that is approached and exited at the ground level.

106.5.34 Key Station.

Rapid and light rail stations, and commuter rail stations, as defined under criteria established by the Department of Transportation in 49 CFR 37.47 and 49 CFR 37.51, respectively.

106.5.35 Mail Boxes.

Receptacles for the receipt of documents, packages, or other deliverable matter. Mail boxes include, but are not limited to, post office boxes and receptacles provided by commercial mail-receiving agencies, apartment facilities, or schools.

106.5.36 Marked Crossing.

A crosswalk or other identified path intended for pedestrian use in crossing a vehicular way.

106.5.37 Maximum Extent Feasible. Applies to the occasional case where the nature of an existing facility makes it virtually impossible to comply fully with applicable accessibility standards through a planned alteration. In these circumstances, the alteration shall provide the maximum physical accessibility feasible. Any altered features of the facility that can be made accessible shall be made accessible. If providing accessibility in conformance with this section to individuals with certain disabilities (e.g., those who use wheelchairs) would not be feasible, the facility shall be made accessible to persons with other types of disabilities (e.g., those who use crutches, those who have impaired vision or hearing, or those who have other impairments).

All determinations of maximum extent feasible are made by the Department in accordance with the variance procedures contained in Chapter 68, Texas Administrative Code.

106.5.38 Mezzanine.

An intermediate level or levels between the floor and ceiling of any story with an aggregate floor area of not more than one-third of the area of the room or space in which the level or levels are located. Mezzanines have sufficient elevation that space for human occupancy can be provided on the floor below.

106.5.39 Occupant Load.

The number of persons for which the means of egress of a building or portion of a building is designed.

106.5.40 Operable Part.

A component of an element used to insert or withdraw objects, or to activate, deactivate, or adjust the element.

106.5.41 Path of Travel. A continuous, unobstructed way of pedestrian passage by means of which the altered area may be approached, entered, and exited, and which connects the altered area with an exterior approach (including sidewalks, streets, and parking areas), an entrance to the facility, and other parts of the facility. An accessible path of travel may consist of walks and sidewalks, curb ramps and other interior or exterior pedestrian ramps; clear floor paths through lobbies, corridors, rooms, and other improved areas; parking access aisles; elevators and lifts; or a combination of these elements. The term "path of travel" also includes the restrooms, telephones, and drinking fountains serving the altered area.

The obligation to provide an accessible path of travel may not be evaded by performing a series of small alterations to the area served by a single path of travel if those alterations could have been performed as a single undertaking. If an area containing a primary function has been altered without providing an accessible path of travel to that area, and subsequent alterations of that area, or a different area on the same path of travel, are undertaken within three years of the original alteration, the total cost of alterations to the primary function areas on that path of travel during the preceding three year period shall be considered in determining whether the cost of making that path of travel accessible is disproportionate. Also see definition of "Disproportionality".

106.5.42 Pictogram.

A pictorial symbol that represents activities, facilities, or concepts.

106.5.43 Play Area.

A portion of a site containing play components designed and constructed for children.

106.5.44 Play Component.

An element intended to generate specific opportunities for play, socialization, or learning. Play components are manufactured or natural; and are stand-alone or part of a composite play structure.

106.5.45 Primary Function. A major activity for which the facility is intended. Areas that contain a primary function include, but are not limited to, the customer services lobby of a bank, the dining area of a cafeteria, the meeting rooms in a conference center, as well as offices and other work areas in which the activities of the public accommodation or other private entity using the facility are carried out. Mechanical rooms, boiler rooms, supply storage rooms, employee lounges or locker rooms, janitorial closets, entrances, corridors, and restrooms are not areas containing a primary function. Alterations that affect the usability of or access to an area containing a primary function include, but are not limited to:

(i) Remodeling merchandise display areas or employee work areas in a department store;

(ii) Replacing an inaccessible floor surface in the customer service or employee work areas of a bank;

(iii) Redesigning the assembly line area of a factory; or

(iv) Installing a computer center in an accounting firm.

For the purposes of this section, alterations to windows, hardware, controls, electrical outlets, and signage shall not be deemed to be alterations that affect the usability of or access to an area containing a primary function.

106.5.46 Private Building or Facility.

A place of public accommodation or a commercial building or facility subject to Texas Government Code, Chapter 469.

106.5.47 Professional Office of a Health Care Provider. A location where a person or entity regulated by Texas to provide professional services related to the physical or mental health of an individual makes such services available to the public. The facility housing the "professional office of a health care provider" only includes floor levels housing at least one health care provider, or any floor level designed or intended for use by at least one health care provider.

106.5.48 Public Building or Facility.

A building or facility or portion of a building or facility designed, constructed, or altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public entity subject to Texas Government Code, Chapter 469.

106.5.49 Public Entrance.

An entrance that is not a service entrance or a restricted entrance.

106.5.50 Public Use.

Interior or exterior rooms, spaces, or elements that are made available to the public. Public use may be provided at a building or facility that is privately or publicly owned.

106.5.51 Public Way.

Any street, alley or other parcel of land open to the outside air leading to a public street, which has been deeded, dedicated or otherwise permanently appropriated to the public for public use and which has a clear width and height of not less than 10 feet (3050 mm).

106.5.52 Qualified Historic Building or Facility.

A building or facility that is listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, or designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark or State Archeological Landmark.

106.5.53 Ramp.

A walking surface that has a running slope steeper than 1:20.

106.5.54 Residential Dwelling Unit.

A unit intended to be used as a residence that is primarily long-term in nature. Residential dwelling units do not include transient lodging, inpatient medical care, licensed long-term care, and detention or correctional facilities.

106.5.55 Restricted Entrance.

An entrance that is made available for common use on a controlled basis but not public use and that is not a service entrance.

106.5.56 Running Slope.

The slope that is parallel to the direction of travel (see cross slope).

106.5.57 Safe Harbor. Elements of a path of travel at a subject building or facility that have been previously constructed or altered in accordance with the April 1, 1994 Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) are not required to be retrofitted to reflect the incremental changes in the 2012 TAS solely because of an alteration to a primary function area served by that path of travel. Those elements would be subject to compliance with the 2012 TAS only when the elements of a path of travel are being altered.

106.5.58 Self-Service Storage.

Building or facility designed and used for the purpose of renting or leasing individual storage spaces to customers for the purpose of storing and removing personal property on a self-service basis.

106.5.59 Service Entrance.

An entrance intended primarily for delivery of goods or services.

106.5.60 Shopping Center or Shopping Mall. A building housing five or more sales or rental establishments; or a series of buildings on a common site, either under common ownership or common control or developed either as one project or as a series of related projects, housing five or more sales or rental establishments. For purposes of this standard, places of public accommodation of the types listed in the definition of "place of public accommodation" in Chapter 68, Texas Administrative Code are considered sales or rental establishments. The facility housing a "shopping center or shopping mall" only includes floor levels housing at least one sales or rental establishment, or any floor level designed or intended for use by at least one sales or rental establishment.

106.5.61 Site.

A parcel of land bounded by a property line or a designated portion of a public right-of-way.

106.5.62 Soft Contained Play Structure.

A play structure made up of one or more play components where the user enters a fully enclosed play environment that utilizes pliable materials, such as plastic, netting, or fabric.

106.5.63 Space.

A definable area, such as a room, toilet room, hall, assembly area, entrance, storage room, alcove, courtyard, or lobby.

106.5.64 Story.

That portion of a building or facility designed for human occupancy included between the upper surface of a floor and upper surface of the floor or roof next above. A story containing one or more mezzanines has more than one floor level.

106.5.65 Structural Frame.

The columns and the girders, beams, and trusses having direct connections to the columns and all other members that are essential to the stability of the building or facility as a whole.

106.5.66 Structural Impracticability. In new construction, full compliance with the requirements of these standards is not required where an entity can demonstrate that it is structurally impracticable to meet the requirements. Full compliance will be considered structurally impracticable only in those rare circumstances when the unique characteristics of terrain prevent the incorporation of accessibility features. If full compliance with these standards would be structurally impracticable, compliance with these standards is required to the extent that it is not structurally impracticable. In that case, any portion of the facility that can be made accessible shall be made accessible to the extent that it is not structurally impracticable. If providing accessibility in conformance with these standards to individuals with certain disabilities (e.g., those who use wheelchairs) would be structurally impracticable, accessibility shall nonetheless be ensured to persons with other types of disabilities (e.g., those who use crutches or who have sight, hearing, or mental impairments) in accordance with these standards. All determinations of structural impracticability are made by the Department in accordance with the variance procedures contained in Chapter 68, Texas Administrative Code.

106.5.67 Tactile.

An object that can be perceived using the sense of touch.

106.5.68 Technically Infeasible.

With respect to an alteration of a building or a facility, something that has little likelihood of being accomplished because existing structural conditions would require removing or altering a load-bearing member that is an essential part of the structural frame; or because other existing physical or site constraints prohibit modification or addition of elements, spaces, or features that are in full and strict compliance with the minimum requirements. All determinations of technical infeasibility are made by the Department in accordance with the variance procedures contained in Chapter 68, Texas Administrative Code.

106.5.69 Teeing Ground.

In golf, the starting place for the hole to be played.

106.5.70 Transfer Device.

Equipment designed to facilitate the transfer of a person from a wheelchair or other mobility aid to and from an amusement ride seat.

106.5.71 Transient Lodging.

A building or facility containing one or more guest room(s) for sleeping that provides accommodations that are primarily short-term in nature. Transient lodging does not include residential dwelling units intended to be used as a residence, inpatient medical care facilities, licensed long-term care facilities, detention or correctional facilities, or private buildings or facilities that contain not more than five rooms for rent or hire and that are actually occupied by the proprietor as the residence of such proprietor.

106.5.72 Transition Plate.

A sloping pedestrian walking surface located at the end(s) of a gangway.

106.5.73 TTY.

An abbreviation for teletypewriter. Machinery that employs interactive text-based communication through the transmission of coded signals across the telephone network. TTYs may include, for example, devices known as TDDs (telecommunication display devices or telecommunication devices for deaf persons) or computers with special modems. TTYs are also called text telephones.

106.5.74 Use Zone.

The ground level area beneath and immediately adjacent to a play structure or play equipment that is designated by ASTM F 1487 (incorporated by reference, see "Referenced Standards" in Chapter 1) for unrestricted circulation around the play equipment and where it is predicted that a user would land when falling from or exiting the play equipment.

106.5.75 Vehicular Way.

A route provided for vehicular traffic, such as in a street, driveway, or parking facility.

106.5.76 Walk.

An exterior prepared surface for pedestrian use, including pedestrian areas such as plazas and courts.

106.5.77 Wheelchair Space.

Space for a single wheelchair and its occupant.

106.5.78 Work Area Equipment.

Any machine, instrument, engine, motor, pump, conveyor, or other apparatus used to perform work. As used in this document, this term shall apply only to equipment that is permanently installed or built-in in employee work areas. Work area equipment does not include passenger elevators and other accessible means of vertical transportation.


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