For a building to be ADA-compliant, every aspect of the structure applies. This can get tricky with older buildings that may have been built before the ADA was enacted, but it is still possible to become compliant with some modifications. As accessibility standards have changed over the years, one challenge that has remained is making bathrooms compliant. It’s difficult to work with small spaces to make them wheelchair accessible, so sometimes a little creativity is required. Here are some of the most overlooked mistakes when it comes to bathroom compliance.
Improper Placement Of Grab Bars
Grab bars are essential to have in bathrooms to help people sit down and get up safely. However, the importance of the exact placement of these grab bars sometimes gets overlooked. To be ADA-compliant, grab bars need to be at least 1.5” away from the wall or any other structure to make them simple to grab. You also want them to be at a comfortable height and even angled in a way to make them more usable for a person with disabilities.
Sink And Mirror Height
A wheelchair accessible sink means it needs to be no taller than 34” from the ground. The issue many establishments run into is standard models of sinks come 36” from the ground. The sink also needs to be at least 60” away from the toilet, which presents problems in small bathrooms.
Mirrors may also need to be adjusted to become completely ADA-compliant. This means they are no taller than 40” from the floor so a person in a wheelchair can use it with ease. Many restrooms have mirrors much taller than this, which doesn’t make it wheelchair accessible.
Inward-Swinging Bathroom Doors
An inward-swinging bathroom door can cause problems when it comes to wheelchair accessibility. The turning clearance for a person in a wheelchair becomes compromised and can impact their ability to close the door behind them. An outward-swinging door is more ideal for a person in a wheelchair, but you have to make sure it’s not too heavy to the point where assistance is required to open it.
Toilet Flush Levers
You may not have noticed this before or paid any attention to it, but toilet flush levers need to be on the stall’s open side to be ADA-compliant. This prevents the person from having to reach across the toilet to flush it. This small detail gets overlooked frequently, but the good news is most of the time the tank can be replaced rather than having to take out the whole thing and get a new one.
Next Day Access takes accessibility standards seriously. We help homeowners and business owners create better and more accessible environments by providing accessibility and mobility products. Our products fall within ADA standards and we can help your building move forward to being ADA-compliant. Don’t hesitate to contact us at any time to schedule a free assessment and see how we can help.