Tag: ADA

Accessibility In Design

Interior of Hunters Point Library New and grand public buildings often open to great fanfare. Typically well received, they offer new and modern solutions to the needs of the organizations and people who use them. However, Universal Design doesn’t always get the attention it deserves in what some might call function following form. The Americans with Disabilities Act has been law for many years, It is reasonable to expect modern public buildings to be free of obvious accessibility oversights. Unfortunately this expectation is not always met. The much anticipated Queens Public Library at Hunters Point is one such case, and unfortunately the oversight has lead to a lawsuit.

“The class action lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, argues that the lack of accessibility amounts to a violation of the three-decade-old legislation known as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, newly constructed public and commercial buildings must meet accessibility standards.”

While opening difficulties are not uncommon for new buildings, situations like this serve as a stark reminder to civic and business leaders that compliance with accessibility laws are a minimum standard. Much can be done to go above and beyond the minimum requirements to create truly inclusive, accessible and welcoming environments.

El Paso County Releases Draft ADA Transition Plan

El Paso County Judicial Complex

Across the nation, federal investigators are continuing their audits of municipalities for ADA violations. From curb ramps and sidewalks to facilities and services, many cities and counties are taking the necessary steps to identify their barriers and update their transition plans.

El Paso County, Colorado, recently completed an ambitious effort with a draft transition plan to set the foundation of their ADA compliance initiative.  “El Paso County is committed to full and equal opportunity for all its citizens, including individuals with disabilities,” said Vince Maciunskas, Infrastructure Project Manager. “The County recognizes that its community’s continued vitality, strength and vibrancy results from the valuable contributions from the entire community.”

El Paso County’s work is critically important to creating an accessible and equitable community for all. For those that haven’t made it a priority, the DOJ is imposing fines of several million dollars and has frozen federal funding from other agencies.

Source: El PAso County Public Notice, October 24, 2019


ADA 101 – Counter Slope

ADA 101 info graphic, with ADAS 2010 section 406.2 code and example pictures2010 ADAS 406.2 Counter Slope

Counter slopes of adjoining gutters and road surfaces immediately adjacent to the curb ramp shall not be steeper than 1:20, 5%. The adjacent surfaces at transitions at curb ramps to walks, gutters, and streets shall be at the same level.

Code according to 2010 ADAS. Check your state’s accessibility laws. Some states such as California, Georgia and Florida have additional requirements and standards.

City of Fresno Leads Accessibility Compliance with Small Businesses

Fresno City Skyline

Over the past 29 years, the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) has led thousands of accessibility initiatives in communities across the country. In some of the best cases, local cities have worked with their small businesses to ensure compliance with street parking, along sidewalks, and into the business itself. Recently, the City of Fresno created the Accessible Fresno Small Business Initiative to help its small business community get into compliance with the ADA.

“The challenge is satisfying everyone without destroying the business. The cost of ADA compliance can be onerous for businesses, especially the small ones. The cost of settling an ADA lawsuit can be onerous, as well. The cost of losing an ADA lawsuit can be devastating. At the same time, people with disabilities have a legal right to full participation in America’s public life.”

Public-private partnerships like this are not just reducing legal risks and helping small business owners, but also taking some of the sting out of compliance. In the end, this project is a win-win for the City of Fresno and its business community by helping create a more inclusive, accessible and welcoming environment for everyone. How can partnerships like this make a positive impact on the lives of people of all abilities where you live and do business?

Source: Fresno looks to help small businesses navigate ADA headaches
By: George Hostetter, October 22, 2019

ADA 101 – Doors in Series and Gates in Series

ADA 101 Info graphic with ADAS 2010 section 404.2.6 text and example pictures ADAS 2010 404.2.6 Doors in Series and Gates in Series

The distance between two hinged or pivoted doors in series and gates in series shall be 48 inches minimum plus the width of doors or gates swinging into the space.

Code according to 2010 ADAS. Check your state’s accessibility laws. Some states such as California, Georgia and Florida have additional requirements and standards.

ADA 101 – Clear Width at Turn

ADA 101 Info graphic with ADAS 2010 403.5.2 text and example pictures2010 ADAS 403.5.2 Clear Width at Turn

Where the accessible route makes a 180 degree turn around an element which is less than 48 inches wide, clear width shall be 42 inches minimum approaching the turn, 48 inches minimum at the turn and 42 inches minimum leaving the turn.

EXCEPTION: Where the clear width at the turn is 60 inches minimum compliance with 403.5.2 shall not be required.

Code according to 2010 ADAS. Check your state’s accessibility laws. Some states such as California, Georgia and Florida have additional requirements and standards.


San Diego, Balancing City Initiatives and ADA Accessibility

San Diego North Park sign at dusk

The City of San Diego, like many others, is working to improve its transportation infrastructure and reduce its carbon footprint. With initiatives like the City’s Climate Action Plan and Vision Zero project, they are taking these challenge head on. However, some worry that ADA accessibility may take a back seat during these and other projects like the upcoming 30th Street Protected Bikeways Mobility Project in North Park.

According to Christina Chadwick, senior press secretary for the mayor’s office, “The project will, without question, be consistent with all legally-required and applicable laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. Safe and accessible infrastructure for all residents, including those with disabilities, is a priority for the City.” Some are rightfully questioning if meeting legal requirements is the best the City can do. Disability rights advocate Kent Rodricks said, “The key for me in this scenario is proximity, proximity. I need to be the closest that I can be to the major points of interest.”  While both sides recognize the need to work together to find a mutually agreeable solution, it falls on the City’s Mobility Board to make recommendations relating to the development and maintenance of ADA accessibility.

Facilitating discussions with stakeholders and working toward compromise is a difficult yet sensible path. When long-term projects are under review, it just makes sense to take the time to analyze the impacts on the entire community and seek public comment. These spaces are for everyone, of every ability, and should be designed as such.

Disability advocates urge San Diego to consider impact of North Park parking project on accessibility
By ANDREA LOPEZ-VILLAFAÑA AUG. 22, 2019 6:05 PM, The San Diego Union-Tribune

ADA 101 – Operable Parts

ADA 101 Info-graphic with ADAS 2010 309.4 text and two example pictures.

2010 ADAS 309.4 Operable Parts – Operation

Operable parts shall be operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. The force required to activate operable parts shall be 5 pounds maximum.

EXCEPTION: Gas pump nozzles shall not be required to provide operable parts that have an activating force of 5 pounds maximum.

Code according to 2010 ADAS. Check your state’s accessibility laws. Some states such as California, Georgia and Florida have additional requirements and standards.

ADA 101 – Vertical Clearance

ADA 101 Infographic with ADAS 2010 section 307.4 test and example picturesADAS 2010 307.4 – Vertical Clearance

Vertical clearance shall be 80 inches high minimum. Guardrails or other barriers shall be provided where the vertical clearance is less than 80 inches high. The leading edge of such guardrail or barrier shall be located 27 inches maximum above the finish floor or ground.

EXCEPTION: Door closers and door stops shall be permitted to be 78 inches minimum above the finish floor or ground.

Code according to 2010 ADAS. Check your state’s accessibility laws. Some states such as California, Georgia and Florida have additional requirements and standards.

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