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Title III Technical Assistance Manual (with 1994 supplement)


III-7.1000 General.

III−7.1000 General. The standards to be used in new construction and alterations covered by subpart D of the Department's title III regulation are those found in the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines published by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board. These guidelines are incorporated as an appendix to the Department's regulations. The substance and form of ADAAG is drawn from several sources, particularly the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) (the Federal standard for buildings constructed with Federal funds), and the private sector American National Standard Institute's ANSI A117.1 standards.

Does the ADA eliminate the accessibility provisions that State and local code officials now enforce? No. State and local code provisions remain in effect. However, if elements of a State or local code provide a lesser standard of access than the ADA requires, a public accommodation or commercial facility is still required to comply with the applicable ADA provision.

Who enforces ADAAG? The Department of Justice and private parties. ADAAG has been adopted as part of the Department's regulation implementing title III. Title III of the ADA is enforced through compliance reviews, complaint investigations, and litigation initiated by the Department of Justice, and through litigation initiated by private parties (see III-8.0000).

Can local building inspectors certify compliance with the ADA? No. The ADA is not enforced by State or local building inspectors. However, if a State or local accessibility code has been certified by the Department (see III-9.0000), compliance with that certified code will constitute rebuttable evidence of compliance with the ADA in any enforcement proceeding.

Will the Department review building plans for compliance with ADAAG? No. There is no Federal equivalent to the State code enforcement process. Neither the Department of Justice, nor any other Federal agency, functions as a "building department" to review plans, to issue building permits or occupancy certificates, or to provide interpretations of ADAAG during the building process.

How does ADAAG compare to ANSI? ADAAG's technical design standards (e.g. , how many inches wide a doorway must be) resemble the 1986 ANSI A117.1 standards, in large part. Some design standards were adopted from the proposed new version of ANSI as it appeared in draft form when ADAAG was developed. The numbering and format of ADAAG also resemble ANSI. However, there are significant differences between ADAAG and the 1986 ANSI standards.

Perhaps the most important difference is in the new scoping requirements. ADAAG, unlike the 1986 ANSI standards, contains scoping requirements; that is, specifications as to how many, and under what circumstances, accessibility features must be incorporated. These requirements explain when to apply the technical standards.

Other differences reflect congressional intent that the ADA guidelines focus on certain areas not specifically addressed in ANSI, such as dressing rooms, restaurants, automated teller machines, and mercantile establishments. ADAAG also reflects congressional intent that the guidelines place an increased emphasis on communications with individuals with vision or hearing impairments.

Does the new CABO/ANSI A117.1 standard replace ADAAG? No. The ADA requires the Department of Justice to adopt regulations consistent with the guidelines for the design and construction of accessible buildings and facilities published by the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board). The Department adopted ADAAG as the enforceable title III standard. The publication of the revised CABO/ANSI standard does not alter the legal obligation of a place of public accommodation or commercial facility to comply with ADAAG as published by the Department.

III−7.2100 Equivalent facilitation (§2.2). Departures are permitted from particular requirements where alternative designs and technologies will provide substantially equivalent or greater access to and usability of the facility.

ADAAG itself provides various examples of equivalent facilitation, i.e. , acceptable deviations from the standards. For instance --

1) In altered areas, elevator car dimensions can be smaller than the standards would mandate for new construction (§4.1.6(3)(c));

2) Rather than install a text telephone next to a pay phone, hotels may keep portable text telephones at the desk, if they are available 24 hours per day and certain other conditions are met (§4.31.9);

3) A folding shelf with space for handing materials back and forth can be used instead of providing an accessible ticketing or other similar counter (§7.2(2)(iii));

4) Accessible guest quarters in newly constructed hotels may all be "multiple-occupancy" rooms, provided that individuals with disabilities who request accessible single-occupancy rooms are allowed to use the multiple-occupancy rooms at the cost of a single-occupancy room (§9.1.4(2));

5) If balconies or terraces cannot be made accessible because wind or water damage will result, a ramp or raised decking may be used (§9.2.2(6)).

Are these the only places where equivalent facilitation can be used? No. Departures from any provision in ADAAG are permitted as long as equivalent access is provided. However, portable ramps are not considered equivalent facilitation.

Will the Department tell me if my design is "equivalent"? No. The ADA, like all other Federal civil rights laws, requires each covered entity to use its best professional judgment to comply with the statute and the implementing regulations. The Department of Justice does not have a mechanism to certify any specific variation from the standards as being "equivalent. " Proposed alternative designs, when supported by available data, are not prohibited; but in any title III investigation or lawsuit, the covered entity would bear the burden of proving that any alternative design provides equal or greater access.

If a facility complies with a State or local building code, will it be considered in compliance with the ADA? Possibly. Compliance with a State or local code that has been certified by the Attorney General (see III-9.0000) to be equivalent will provide rebuttable evidence of compliance with the ADA. Compliance with a code that has not been certified will constitute ADA compliance only if it can be demonstrated that the specific code provision at issue provides accessibility that equals or exceeds the ADA requirement.

Is it permissible to deviate from the requirements for elements such as lavatories, operating controls and faucets, urinals, bathtubs, and shower stalls in order to follow State or local building code standards for these fixtures? Sometimes. Such deviations are permissible only if they provide access equal to or greater than that required by the ADA.

III−7.3100 Application (ADAAG §4.1.1(1)). ADAAG applies to all areas in new construction and alterations, except where limited by scoping requirements.

III−7.3110 Work areas (ADAAG §4.1.1(3)). Access to work areas, but not to individual work stations, is required. The requirement for work areas is that they be designed so that individuals with disabilities can approach, enter, and exit the areas.

Neither maneuvering within the work area nor accessible racks and shelves are required. It is recommended, however, that when there are identical work stations, five percent, but not less than one, should be constructed so that an individual with disabilities can maneuver within the work stations. This will facilitate reasonable accommodation that may later be required under title I for particular employees. There are no requirements concerning placement of fixtures and equipment.

What about areas such as hotel rooms that are work areas for cleaning people? Are they considered "work areas" subject to the limited requirements for approach, enter, and exit? No. The "work area" limited exception applies only to areas used exclusively by employees as work areas. Because the hotel room is also used by customers for sleeping, it is not a work area subject to the limited exemption.

What is included in the term "work area"? Does it include employee lounges, restrooms, cafeterias, health units, and exercise facilities? No. These common use areas are not considered work areas, and they must be constructed or altered in full compliance with ADAAG.

What if an owner of a building believes that an individual who uses a wheelchair could never do the kind of job that will be performed in the particular area? Does the area still have to be made accessible? Yes. The ADA does not permit such assumptions to be made about the capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Unless the area is exempt from accessibility requirements (see III−7.3130), it must be designed so that individuals with disabilities can approach, enter, and exit the area. Even if an individual with a certain type of disability would not be qualified for a particular job, access must be provided for other individuals with disabilities such as, for example, supervisors, maintenance workers, volunteers, or inspectors, who may need to approach, enter, and exit the work area.

Does the work area exemption apply only to areas that can be characterized as individual work stations, such as cubicles, counters, offices, or booths? Or does it also apply to larger work spaces, such as restaurant kitchens, factory production areas, and warehouse space? It applies to the larger spaces as well. Thus, the requirement for a restaurant kitchen, a factory production area, or warehouse space, is that it be constructed so that an individual with a disability can approach, enter, or exit the area. However, alterations within those work areas need not be done accessibly, because that interior area is not covered by ADAAG. On the other hand, if alterations are made in such work areas, the path of travel requirements will be triggered because those work areas are primary function areas (see III−6.2000).

Does this mean that there can no longer be raised platforms for grocery managers or pharmacists?

If a raised platform for a grocery manager station or area for pharmacists is an "observation galler[y] used primarily for security purposes," it is one of the types of facilities that is totally exempt from any accessibility requirements (see III−7.3130) (although title I may later require a lift as a reasonable accommodation for a particular employee). Otherwise, the general ADAAG work area requirements apply, and an individual with disabilities must be able to approach, enter, and exit the area. This means that, if there is a change in level of over 1/2", a ramp or lift must be provided to the raised area. Note, however, that in many instances a raised platform is surrounded by another work area, such as a service counter. The work area accessibility requirement would be satisfied as long as that outer area could be approached, entered, and exited.

What if the raised area is a mezzanine (i.e. , an actual floor level) used, for example, as an employee lounge area? In this case, whether there needs to be an elevator to the mezzanine depends upon whether the elevator exemption applies. If an elevator is not required (because, for example, the building is under three stories and is not a shopping center or other exempt facility), then access need not be provided to that mezzanine. Likewise, access to the mezzanine need not be provided in one-story buildings. However, if an elevator is required (because the facility is a shopping center, for example), then there will need to be access to the mezzanine.

ILLUSTRATION: A two-story grocery store is located next to a bakery and a card store. The grocery store has a mezzanine that is used as an employee lounge area. The lounge area can be built without a ramp or elevator, because the facility is subject to the elevator exemption. (It is not a shopping center because it does not have five stores in it.) Given that inaccessible floors are permitted, inaccessible mezzanines are also allowed.

BUT: If the grocery store were located in a complex with four other sales or rental establishments, it would be a "shopping center. " As such, it would not be entitled to the elevator exemption and the employees' lounge on the mezzanine would have to be made fully accessible, either by ramp or elevator.

III−7.3120 Temporary structures (ADAAG §4.1.1(4)). Temporary buildings that are extensively used or are essential for public use are covered. However, structures, sites, and equipment directly associated with major construction are not covered.

III−7.3130 General exceptions (ADAAG §4.1.1(5)). Accessibility is not required to --

1) Observation galleries used primarily for security purposes; or

2) Nonoccupiable spaces accessed only by ladders, crawl spaces, very narrow passageways, or freight (nonpassenger) elevators, and frequented only by service personnel for repair purposes. This includes elevator pits, elevator penthouses, piping or equipment catwalks, cooling towers, and utility tunnels.

What about mechanical rooms or closets not accessed by ladders or narrow passageways? They are not exempt. However, they are work areas subject to the limited exemption discussed above. In addition, mechanical rooms are exempt from the elevator requirement (§4.1.3(5), Exception 2).

III−7.4100 General. This section addresses exterior features such as parking, portable toilets, and exterior signage in new construction.

III−7.4200 Accessible route (ADAAG §4.1.2(1)). An accessible route must connect accessible public transportation stops, parking spaces, passenger loading zones, and public streets or sidewalks to an accessible building entrance.

The ADA, however, does not require the provision of an accessible route in cases where there is no pedestrian route for the general public.

ILLUSTRATION 1: A developer would not be required to provide an accessible route between an accessible entrance to a retail store and a major highway bordering the site, if customers only have access to the store by driving to the parking lot (i.e. , where no pedestrian route exists from the highway to the store). An accessible route would have to be provided, however, for pedestrians to travel from the parking lot to the facility's entrance.

ILLUSTRATION 2: Where multiple accessible facilities are built on the same site, an accessible route between the facilities will be required only where a pedestrian route for the general public exists between the multiple facilities or where pedestrians typically walk between the facilities.

Whether a route for the general public exists within a site depends upon the unique characteristics of the site, including its geography and proximity to public transportation stops. Factors such as the presence of sidewalks, crosswalks, or significant pedestrian flow along a particular route should also be considered in determining whether a route for the general public exists. Creation of special accessible routes along paths not available to the general public is not required.

Note, however, that private entities often do not have control over streets and sidewalks. In such a case, the private entity is not responsible for compliance. However, it is encouraged to request public entities to modify sidewalks and install curb cuts.

III−7.4300 Parking (ADAAG §4.1.2(5)(b)). If self-parking is provided for employees or guests of a public accommodation, accessible parking spaces must be provided in compliance with the ADA. ADAAG provides a table with the number of accessible parking spaces required dependent on the size of the lot. For example, only four percent of the spaces in a 100-space lot must be accessible. Certain facilities, however, are subject to higher requirements.

Outpatient units are subject to a higher requirement if they are part of medical care facilities where persons may need assistance in responding to an emergency and where the period of stay may exceed twenty-four hours. For such facilities, ten percent of the total parking attributable to the outpatient unit or facility must be accessible.

In addition, any unit or facility providing medical care or other services, including occupational or physical therapy, or vocational rehabilitation, is subject to a higher accessible parking requirement, if it specializes in treatment or services for persons with mobility impairments. Twenty percent of the total number of parking spaces serving each such unit or facility must be accessible.

In addition to the general requirements for accessible automobile spaces, ADAAG requires that at least one of every eight accessible parking spaces have adequate adjacent space for a van lift to be deployed. Each such space must have a sign indicating that it is van-accessible, but it is not to be reserved exclusively for vans. Alternatively, "universal parking," in which all spaces can accommodate van widths, is permitted.

Accessible parking spaces must be located on the shortest accessible route of travel to the facility's entrance. Accessible parking spaces and the required accessible route should be located where individuals with disabilities do not have to cross vehicular lanes or pass behind parked vehicles to have access to the entrance. If it is necessary to cross a vehicular lane because, for example, local fire engine access requirements prohibit parking immediately adjacent to a building, then a marked crossing should be used as part of the accessible route to the entrance.

If valet parking is provided, there must be an accessible passenger loading zone.

If a lot is limited to the exclusive use of employees, and none of the employees are individuals with disabilities requiring accessible parking, accessible spaces may be assigned to employees without disabilities.

III- 7.4400 Signage (ADAAG §4.1.2(7)). Requirements for exterior signs are essentially the same as those for interior signs (see §4.1.3(b) below). The international symbol of accessibility must be used to indicate accessible parking spaces; accessible passenger loading zones; and accessible entrances and toilet facilities, if all are not accessible.

III-7.5100 General.

III−7.5100 General. This section contains scoping requirements for new construction.

III−7.5105 Accessible route (ADAAG §4.1.3(1)). An accessible route must connect all accessible elements within a building.

III−7.5110 Stairs (ADAAG §4.1.3(4)). Interior and exterior stairs must comply if they go between levels not connected by an elevator, ramp, or lift.

III−7.5115 Elevators and platform lifts (ADAAG §4.1.3(5)). Elevators are required to serve each level in a newly constructed building, with four exceptions:

1) Exception 1 is the "elevator exemption" discussed above (see III−5.4000).

2) Exception 2 exempts elevator pits, elevator penthouses, mechanical rooms, and piping or equipment catwalks.

3) Exception 3 permits the use of accessible ramps instead of elevators at any time.

4) Exception 4 permits the use of platform lifts under certain conditions. Lifts must permit unassisted entry, operation, and exit.

III−7.5120 Windows (ADAAG §4.1.3(6)). There are currently no requirements for windows.

III−7.5125 Doors (ADAAG §4.1.3(7)). The following doors must be accessible:

1) At least one at each accessible entrance and at each accessible space;

2) Each door that is part of an accessible route; and

3) Each door that is required for egress.

Automated doors are not required. Because of a wide variety of factors that affect door usability, no specific force limit for exterior doors is identified, although standards are provided for interior doors.

III−7.5130 Entrances (ADAAG §4.1.3(8)). At least 50 percent of all public entrances must be accessible with certain qualifications. In addition, there must be accessible entrances to enclosed parking, pedestrian tunnels, and elevated walkways.

III−7.5135 Areas of rescue assistance (ADAAG §4.1.3(9)). Areas of rescue assistance (safe areas in which to await help in an emergency) are generally required on each floor, other than the ground floor, of a multistory building. An accessible egress route or an area of rescue assistance is required for each exit required by the local fire code. Specific requirements are provided for such features as location, size, stairway width, and two-way communications. Areas of rescue assistance are not required in buildings with supervised automatic sprinkler systems, nor are they required in alterations.

III−7.5140 Drinking fountains (ADAAG §4.1.3(10)). Where there is only one drinking fountain on a floor, it must be accessible both to individuals who use wheelchairs and to those who have difficulty bending or stooping (for example, by using a "hi-lo" fountain or a fountain and a water cooler). Where there is more than one fountain on a floor, 50 percent must be accessible to persons using wheelchairs.

III−7.5145 Bathrooms (ADAAG §§4.1.3(11); 4.22.4). Every public and common use bathroom must be accessible. Generally only one stall must be accessible (standard five-by-five feet). When there are six or more stalls, there must be one accessible stall and one stall that is three feet wide.

III−7.5150 Storage, shelving, and display units (ADAAG §4.1.3(12)). One of each type of storage facility must be accessible. Self-service shelves and displays must be on an accessible route but need not be lowered within reach ranges of individuals who use wheelchairs.

III−7.5155 Controls and operating mechanisms (ADAAG §4.1.3(13)). All controls in accessible areas must comply with reach requirements and must be operable with one hand without tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist.

III−7.5160 Alarms (ADAAG §4.1.3(14)). Both audible and visual alarms are required when emergency warning systems are provided. ADAAG has detailed requirements concerning features needed for visual alarms, including type of lamp, color, flash rate, and intensity.

III−7.5161 Detectable warnings (ADAAG 4.1.3(15)). The requirement for detectable warnings at certain locations is under review by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, and will be the subject of future rulemaking.

III−7.5165 Signage (ADAAG §§4.1.3(16); 4.30.7). Different requirements apply to various types of signs:

1) Signs designating permanent rooms and spaces (e.g. , men's and women's rooms, room numbers, exit signs) must have raised and Brailled letters; must comply with finish and contrast standards; and must be mounted at a certain height and location.

2) Signs that provide direction to or information about functional spaces of a building (e.g. , "cafeteria this way;" "copy room") need not comply with requirements for raised and Brailled letters, but they must comply with requirements for character proportion, finish, and contrast. If suspended or projected overhead, they must also comply with character height requirements.

3) Building directories and other signs providing temporary information (such as current occupant's name) do not have to comply with any ADAAG requirements.

4) New symbols of accessibility identifying volume control telephones, text telephones, and assistive listening systems are required.

5) When pictograms (pictorial symbols) are used as a sign to designate a permanent room or space (e.g. , a men's or women's room), they must be accompanied by an equivalent verbal description placed directly below the pictogram. The field used for the pictogram must be at least six inches in height (not counting the space used for the verbal description), and the verbal description must employ Braille and raised characters.

III−7.5170 Telephones (ADAAG §4.1.3(17)). This section establishes requirements for accessibility of pay phones to persons with mobility impairments, hearing impairments (requiring some phones with volume controls), and those who cannot use voice telephones and need "text telephones" (referred to in the Department's rule as telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD's)):

1) One accessible public phone must be provided for each floor, unless the floor has two or more banks of phones, in which case there must be one accessible phone for each bank.

2) All accessible public phones must be equipped with volume controls. In addition, 25 percent, but never less than one, of all other public phones must have volume controls.

Moreover, if any of the public pay telephones provided in these locations are coin-operated, then a TDD or text telephone that can be used with a coin-operated telephone must be provided. If all of the public pay telephones provided in these locations are card-operated only, then it is permissible to provide a TDD or text telephone that can be used only with card-operated telephones.

3) One TDD or text telephone must be provided inside any building that has four or more public pay telephones, counting both interior and exterior phones. In addition, one TDD or text telephone (per facility) must be provided whenever there is an interior public pay phone in a stadium or arena; convention center; hotel with a convention center; covered shopping mall; or hospital emergency, recovery, or waiting room.

III−7.5175 Fixed seating (ADAAG §4.1.3(18)). At least five percent of fixed or built-in seating or tables must be accessible. Wheelchair seating spaces in assembly areas and restaurants are not subject to this requirement but, rather, are covered by specific requirements for "assembly areas" and "restaurants. "

III−7.5180 Assembly areas (ADAAG §4.1.3(19)). This section specifies the number of wheelchair seating spaces and types and numbers of assistive listening systems required in assembly areas.

1) Wheelchair seating: Requirements for wheelchair seating are triggered in any area that seats four or more people. The number of wheelchair locations required depends upon the size of the assembly area. Dispersal of wheelchair seating is required in assembly areas where there are more than 300 seats. In addition, at least one percent of all fixed seats must be aisle seats without armrests (or with removable armrests) to allow for transfer from a wheelchair. Fixed seating for companions must be located adjacent to each wheelchair location. In addition to requiring companion seating and dispersion of wheelchair locations, ADAAG requires that wheelchair locations provide people with disabilities lines of sight comparable to those for members of the general public. Thus, in assembly areas where spectators can be expected to stand during the event or show being viewed, the wheelchair locations must provide lines of sight over spectators who stand. This can be accomplished in many ways, including placing wheelchair locations at the front of a seating section, or by providing sufficient additional elevation for wheelchair locations placed at the rear of seating sections to allow those spectators to see over the spectators who stand in front of them. Finally, wheelchair seating must adjoin an accessible route that serves a means of egress from the assembly area. Under circumstances where wheelchair seating will be located adjacent to a portion of an aisle that serves as an accessible means of egress, then other portions of that aisle and other aisles that do not serve the accessible wheelchair locations are not required to comply with the requirements for ramps. ADAAG does not specify the location of the accessible means of egress. Therefore, the accessible means of egress from wheelchair locations can be through the rear, the side, or the front of the theater. (The general requirements for accessible routes are discussed above in III−7.4200.)

2) Assistive listening systems: Certain fixed seating assembly areas that accommodate 50 or more people or have audio-amplification systems must have a permanently installed assistive listening system. Other assembly areas must have a permanent system or an adequate number of electrical outlets or other wiring to support a portable system. A special sign indicating the availability of the system is required. The minimum number of receivers must be equal to four percent of the total number of seats, but never less than two.

III−7.5185 Automated teller machines (ATM's) (ADAAG §4.1.3(20)). Where ATM's are provided, each must be accessible, except that only one need comply when two or more ATM's are at the same location. Accessible machines must have, among other features, accessible controls as well as instructions and other information accessible to persons with sight impairments. This can include Braille and raised letters and/or audio handsets, along with tactile keys.

The ADAAG standard now in effect provides that ATM's must meet the requirements for both a forward and a side approach. That standard, however, is under review by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, and is the subject of current rulemaking.

ADAAG permits departures from particular technical requirements by use of other designs and technologies where the alternative designs and technologies will provide substantially equivalent or greater access to and usability of the facility. It may be possible to show that meeting only one of the reach ranges with respect to a particular ATM, as installed, provides equivalent facilitation in compliance with ADAAG.

III−7.5190 Dressing and fitting rooms (ADAAG §4.1.3(21)). Where dressing rooms are provided, five percent or at least one must be accessible. Technical standards are provided for doors, benches, and mirrors, with less stringent standards for alterations.

III−7.6000 Additions (ADAAG §4.1.5). Each addition to an existing building is regarded as an alteration subject to the ADAAG alterations requirements (including triggering of path of travel obligations, if applicable). If the addition does not have an accessible entrance, the path of travel obligation may require an accessible route from the addition through the existing building, including its entrance and exterior approaches, subject to the 20 percent disproportionality limitation. Moreover, to the extent that a space or element is newly constructed as part of an addition, it is also regarded as new construction and must comply with the applicable new construction provisions of ADAAG.

ILLUSTRATION: A new multistory parking structure is planned as an addition to an existing shopping mall that is served by an elevator. Each floor of the parking garage will be connected by an accessible route to the shopping mall. As an addition, the parking structure is subject to both the new construction and alterations requirements of ADAAG. If the parking structure functions as a separate building and may be used independently of the shopping mall -- for instance, when the shopping mall is not open for business --then it would not be sufficient to provide vertical access only through the shopping center. In that case, an elevator or accessible ramp would be required in the parking structure to serve each level of the garage. If, on the other hand, vertical access to each level of the garage may be achieved through the shopping mall at all times that the garage is open, an elevator or accessible ramp would not be required in the parking structure.

III-7.7000 Alterations.

III−7.7000 Alterations (ADAAG §4.1.6). Throughout ADAAG, there are numerous examples of areas where there are less stringent standards for alterations than for new construction. For instance --

1) Section 4.1.6(3) contains a detailed set of special technical provisions for alterations to be applied where it is technically infeasible to comply with other provisions of the guidelines. Entities are permitted to --

(a) Install only one accessible unisex bathroom per floor;

(b) Cluster wheelchair seating in altered assembly areas;

(c) Use platform lifts as part of an accessible route, without having to meet any of the conditions for use of platform lifts applicable in the new construction context (§4.1.3(5)); and

(d) Install only one accessible dressing room for each sex on each level.

2) Areas of rescue assistance are not required in alterations (§4.1.6(1)(g)).

3) There are special less stringent requirements for alterations in many other areas, including sales and service counters (§7.2(1)), check-out aisles (§7.3(1)), hotels (§9.1.5), and homeless shelters (§9.5.2(2)).

III−7.8100 Historic preservation (ADAAG §4.1.7). This section contains requirements for alterations to qualified historic buildings and facilities (see III−6.4000).

III−7.8200 Restaurants and cafeterias (ADAAG §5). In restaurants, generally all dining areas and five percent of fixed tables (but not less than one) must be accessible. While raised or sunken dining areas must be accessible, inaccessible mezzanines are permitted under certain conditions. ADAAG contains requirements for counters and bars, access aisles, food service lines, tableware and condiment areas, raised speaker's platforms, and vending machine areas (but not controls).

III−7.8300 Medical care facilities (ADAAG §6). In medical care facilities, all public and common use areas must be accessible. In general purpose hospitals, and in psychiatric and detoxification facilities, 10 percent of patient bedrooms and toilets must be accessible. The required percentage is 100 percent for special facilities treating conditions that affect mobility, and 50 percent for long-term facilities and nursing homes. There are special, less stringent requirements for alterations.

III−7.8400 Business and mercantile (ADAAG §7).

1) Sales and service counters with cash registers: At least one of each type of sales or service counter where a cash register is located must be accessible. Accessible counters must be dispersed throughout the facility. Auxiliary counters are permissible in alterations.

Are frozen food and deli counters covered? No, but employees should be instructed to bring food items around to the front of high counters for individuals with disabilities.

What does "one of each type" mean in a store where computerized check-out permits universal service at any cash register? The size of the store and the number of floors will be relevant factors in determining how many counters need to be accessible.

ILLUSTRATION 1: A small one-story clothing store has four identical cash register counters, one in each department. Only one counter need be accessible, if all items can be purchased there.

ILLUSTRATION 2: A very narrow but six-story tall department store has identical cash register counters throughout the facility. ADAAG will be satisfied if there is one accessible counter per floor at which all purchases can be made.

BUT: If the same six-story department store is a full city block long, one per floor may not be enough. A reasonable number should be provided.

2) Other counters: At counters without cash registers, such as bank teller windows and ticketing counters, three alternatives are possible:

(a) A portion of the counter may be lowered,

(b) An auxiliary counter may be provided, or

(c) Equivalent facilitation may be provided by installing a folding shelf on the front of a counter to provide a work surface for a person using a wheelchair.

3) Check-out aisles (§7.3): At least one of each design of check-out aisle must be accessible, and, in some cases, additional check-out aisles are required to be accessible (i.e. , from 20 to 40 percent) depending on the number of check-out aisles and the size of the facility. There are less stringent standards for alterations.

III−7.8500 Libraries (ADAAG §8). In libraries, all public areas must be accessible. In addition, five percent of fixed tables or study carrels (or at least one) must be accessible. At least one lane at the check-out area and aisles between card catalogs, magazine displays, and stacks must be accessible.

III−7.8600 Transient lodging (ADAAG §9).

1) Hotels, motels, dormitories, and similar places: Four percent of the first 100 rooms and approximately two percent of rooms in excess of 100 must be accessible to persons with mobility impairments and to persons with hearing impairments (i.e. , contain visual alarms, visual notification devices, volume-control telephones, and an accessible electrical outlet for a text telephone). In hotels with more than 50 rooms, an additional one percent of the rooms must be accessible rooms equipped with roll-in showers. Moreover, additional rooms must be accessible to persons with hearing impairments in the same percentages as above (i.e. , four percent of the first 100 rooms and approximately two percent of rooms in excess of 100). There are special provisions for alterations.

2) Homeless shelters, halfway houses, and other social service establishments: These entities must provide the same percentage of accessible sleeping accommodations as other places of transient lodging. At least one type of amenity in each common area must be accessible. Alterations are subject to less stringent standards.

III−7.8700 Transportation facilities (ADAAG §10). ADAAG provides requirements for bus stops and terminals, rail stations, and airports. These requirements have been incorporated by the Department of Transportation in its regulations implementing the transportation provisions of titles II and III.

There are currently no standards for boats or ferry docks.


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