What is the Americans with Disabilities Act? (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a mandate that prohibits discrimination against those who suffer from disabilities. All new commercial facilities and places of public accommodation must be constructed and designed to be useable and accessible by all disabled persons. All structurally practicable facilities constructed must be updated to standard based off the provided Standards for Accessible Design.
The Department of Justice published the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) title III regulations, which included the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (1991 Standards), on July 26, 1991. These regulations adopted revised, enforceable accessibility standards called the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, “2010 Standards.”.
Will I be fined for violating the ADA standards?
Yes. If your facility does not meet the federal guidelines the laws will be enforced at a federal level. Failure to maintain documented standards can result in fines not exceeding $50,000 for the first violation and not exceeding $100,000 for the following violations.
Toilet partitions and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Restroom partitions are classified as either a standard stall or an alternative stall. A visual representation of these two can be found easily by reviewing figure 30(a) for standard stalls and figure 30(b) for alternative stalls.
The standard stall’s minimum width is 60 inches (1525 mm). Two alternate stalls are permitted for alterations only; one alternate stall is required to be 36 inches (915 mm) wide. The other alternate stall is required to be a minimum of 48 inches (1220 mm) wide. More measurements to follow including the correct location of the grab bars, toilet tissue dispensers, and water closets can be found here in Figure 30. Toilet Stalls.
What else can make my bathroom ADA compliant?
- Toilets and toilet seats should have a height between 17 in and 19 in If the facilities are heavily used by young children it may be necessary to compensate accordingly.
- The opening for toilet seat cover dispensers need to be mounted between 15 in and 48 in off of the floor in a location that is away from the toilet but still reasonably accessible.
- In standard stalls, the front partition and at least one side partition shall provide a toe clearance of at least 9 in (230 mm) above the floor. If the depth of the stall is greater than 60 in (1525 mm), then the toe clearance is not required.
- All door latches must not require tight pinching, twisting of the wrist or tight grasping to operate.
- Soap dispensers are to be mounted no higher than 44 in above the floor.
- Urinals measured from the back of the urinal to the front edge of the base must have a depth of at least 13.5 in. The operative part of the flush valve must be mounted a minimum of 48 in above the floor or 44 in above the floor if the urinal can create 20 in of reach.
- Any urinal screens which extend beyond the front edge of the urinal rim need to have 29 in of clearance between them.
For more information regarding these regulations please visit ADA.gov.