What are the ADA Requirements for Bathroom Accessibility?

The American with Disability ACT of 1990 is a civil rights law meant to protect people with disabilities against discrimination. These guidelines and compliance requirements are not debatable; they must be applied, failure to which lawsuits can follow you. They apply in all local, municipal, state, federal, commercial and public buildings. This, therefore, means that you need to first review the guidelines or consult with your local authority if you are not sure of what the guidelines require of you. These guidelines are also meant to make the lives of the disabled easier and safer. Since these people are part of our society, please take upon yourself to comply as much as possible. This article looks at different ADA requirements for bathroom accessibility.

  • Hand Dryers

The ADA guidelines require a hand dryer that has a motion detector or one that is touch-free so that an individual does not have to stretch forward to activate it. In case the dryer has buttons or sensors, they must be between 38 and 48 inches above a finished floor. This is meant to make them easily accessible to the disabled individual without having to go through a lot of struggle. In addition, the hand dryer must be friendly for use by both left and right-handed users.

  • Grab Bars

Grab bars that meet the ADA requirements are used for support and safety by the disabled. They are used to grab on when moving from a wheelchair to the toilet seat and vice versa. They are their source of safety in case they are trying to get on and off the toilet seat and they happen to slip. For this reason, ADA requires that the bars must be made of smooth surface for easy and smooth grab. The diameter of the bar should be between 1.25 and 1.5 inches. They must be between 34 and 38 inches above the finished floor so that they are within the range of the wheelchair. The bars should be about 1.5 inches space between the bar and wall surface. Furthermore, the bars must not have open edges and they must bend back into the wall.

  • Floor Space

When laying down these requirements, ADA had in mind that most disabled people use wheelchairs. For this reason, they require that there should be enough floor space of about 60 inches in diameter to allow the wheelchair to turn up to 180 degrees. This floor space is meant to allow the individual to move freely in the bathroom, without any obstacles in their way.

  • The Toilet

In cases where the bathroom has the toilet in the open-access layout, the ADA requires that there should be enough access space between 30 and 48 inches in dimensions. This is to allow the wheelchair to move freely in both parallel and forward approaches. It should also be enough for the disabled individuals to move their legs freely.

In cases where the toilet is in a separate compartment, the ADA requires that the stall should have a width of about 60 inches around it. This is to allow a disabled person to access the toilet from the side or forward approaches while seated in a wheelchair. The toilet seat elevation from the ground must be between 17 and 19 inches above the finished floor. There should be horizontal bars, one behind the toilet seat and one on the side of the toilet seat. The flush control should be mounted on the side of the toilet seat that has the clearest floor space. It should also be mounted not higher than 44 inches above the finished floor.

  • The Vanity

ADA requires that the sink be installed with heights of not more than 34 inches. In a case where the sink is placed on a countertop, it should be 2 inches from the front edge of the countertop. The sink should be 17 inches from the back wall and have a clearance space of up to 29 inches from the sink apron to the ground.

Bearing in mind that you can be faced with a tragedy that can leave you disabled, we should learn to take care of individuals with mobility issues in the best way possible. Complying with all ADA requirements is one of the many ways through which we can take care of the disabled. You should, therefore go out of your way to install ADA compliance features in the bathroom, without having to be followed. If you are living with a disabled person in your home, you can also make the bathroom friendly for their use.