Welcoming Remarks: Chairman Robert Solomon welcomed the Committee and requested approval of the agenda. The agenda was approved without modification. Then, Mr. Solomon requested approval of the minutes of the January 24 and 25, 2008 meeting and the February 14, 2008 teleconference. Both were approved without additions or corrections.
Guests: Stephen Coté, Chairman and Founder, Elitenet Group, LLC introduced himself to the committee and provided an overview of his company’s products during the Public Comment period on March 27th.
Next Meetings: The committee has scheduled conference calls for May 16, 2008; May 29, 2008; July 9, 2008; and July 28, 2008. All calls will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will conclude no later than 2 p.m. (Eastern time). The conference calls are open to the public and interested persons can dial in and communicate their views during a public comment period scheduled during the conference call. Participants may call in from any location of their choosing.
Committee Actions: The committee reviewed all previous subcommittee recommendations to arrive at consensus on those items. In addition, the committee determined whether each recommendation was unique to emergency transportable housing. Following, is a list of committee recommendations which were agreed to by the majority of members present. Committee members were reminded that any member wishing to provide a minority view regarding any issues should submit their comments to be included in the final committee report.
Proposal: Delete the exception permitting certain kitchen outlets to be inaccessible (outside the reach ranges specified in the guidelines).
205.1 General. Operable parts on accessible elements, accessible routes, and in accessible rooms and spaces shall comply with 309.
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3. Where two or more outlets are provided in a kitchen above a length of counter top that is uninterrupted by a sink or appliance, one outlet shall not be required to comply with 309.
Note: The committee noted that the current edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) Art. 210.52(C)(5) permits face-mounted outlets in accessible kitchens when they are located not more than 12 inches below a countertop which does not extend more than six inches beyond the base. The committee also wishes to ensure that the NEC requires face-mounted outlets to be Ground Fault Interrupt (GFI) or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt (GFCI) outlets. If not, the committee recommends that the Access Board submit a code change to the NEC to require this type of protection which ensures greater electrical safety in wet areas.
Unique: Yes, because kitchens in these units typically contain very few outlets and there is a potential than none of the outlets provided will be within reach.
Proposal: Add new exceptions permitting certain controls to be inaccessible and requiring an accessible master water shut-off when not all shut-offs are accessible.
205.1 General. Operable parts on accessible elements, accessible routes, and in accessible rooms and spaces shall comply with 309.
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Note: At a previous meeting, manufacturers noted that compliance with new Exception 8 would not be costly and agreed to provide cost data, if possible.
Proposal: Add a new provision prohibiting the use of platform lifts at a unit primary entry.
206.7.5 Existing Site Constraints. , platform lifts shall be permitted where existing exterior site constraints make use of a ramp or elevator infeasible.
Unique: Yes. The unit primary entrance is the only accessible means of escape. Escape windows and other means of escape provided within the unit are not accessible. See related Item #2 in Part IV.
Proposal: Modify existing text in the Sections below so that exceptions for adaptable features do not apply to emergency transportable housing.
604.5 Grab Bars. Grab bars for water closets shall comply with 609. Grab bars shall be provided on the side wall closest to the water closet and on the rear wall.
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2. In residential dwelling units , grab bars shall not be required to be installed in toilet or bathrooms provided that reinforcement has been installed in walls and located so as to permit the installation of grab bars complying with 604.5.
606.2 Clear Floor Space. A clear floor space complying with 305, positioned for a forward approach, and knee and toe clearance complying with 306 shall be provided.
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3. In residential dwelling units , cabinetry shall be permitted under lavatories and kitchen sinks provided that all of the following conditions are met:
(a) the cabinetry can be removed without removal or replacement of the fixture;
(b) the finish floor extends under the cabinetry; and
(c) the walls behind and surrounding the cabinetry are finished.
607.4 Grab Bars. Grab bars for bathtubs shall comply with 609 and shall be provided in accordance with 607.4.1 or 607.4.2.
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2. In residential dwelling units , grab bars shall not be required to be installed in bathtubs located in bathing facilities provided that reinforcement has been installed in walls and located so as to permit the installation of grab bars complying with 607.4.
608.3 Grab Bars. Grab bars shall comply with 609 and shall be provided in accordance with 608.3. Where multiple grab bars are used, required horizontal grab bars shall be installed at the same height above the finish floor.
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2. In residential dwelling units , grab bars shall not be required to be installed in showers located in bathing facilities provided that reinforcement has been installed in walls and located so as to permit the installation of grab bars complying with 608.3.
608.4 Seats. A folding or non-folding seat shall be provided in transfer type shower compartments. A folding seat shall be provided in roll-in type showers required in transient lodging guest rooms with mobility features complying with 806.2. Seats shall comply with 610.
EXCEPTION: In residential dwelling units , seats shall not be required in transfer type shower compartments provided that reinforcement has been installed in walls so as to permit the installation of seats complying with 608.4.
Unique: Yes. Resources to modify the unit by adding new elements may not be readily available in times of emergency. If accessible features are in place, deployment of the units will be more rapid and occupants will not have to wait for needed accommodations.
Proposal: Modify the existing text to require a seat in all roll-in showers provided in emergency transportable housing.
Revised text: 608.4 Seats. A folding or non-folding seat shall be provided in transfer type shower compartments. A folding seat shall be provided in roll-in type showers required in transient lodging guest rooms with mobility features complying with 806.2 . Seats shall comply with 610.
Unique: Yes. Same reason as stated for adaptable features above in Item 4.
Proposal: Allow the supplied kitchen table to substitute for the required kitchen work surface.
804.3 Kitchen Work Surface. In residential dwelling units required to comply with 809, at least one 30 inch (760 mm) wide minimum section of counter shall provide a kitchen work surface that complies with 804.3.
Unique: Yes. Kitchens in emergency transportable housing are very small and contain very little storage. Providing a dedicated accessible work surface would necessitate omitting storage beneath the counter top.
Proposal: Add a new requirement for a water spray unit at the kitchen sink. Performing tasks such as dish washing is difficult for individuals with limited reach.
606.4 Faucets . Controls for faucets shall comply with 309. Hand-operated metering faucets shall remain open for 10 seconds minimum.
Unique: Yes. Emergency transportable housing units are rarely provided with dishwashers.
Proposal: Add a new requirement (renumber as necessary) to provide clearance along one side of a bed in emergency transportable housing bedrooms similar to the requirement for bed clearances in transient lodging Section 806.2.3.
[Renumber remaining sections as necessary.]
Unique: Yes. Bedrooms in emergency transportable housing can be so small that furniture layout needs to be considered in order for the room to be usable by individuals using mobility devices. Also, similar to transient lodging facilities, furniture is provided with the unit and not purchased by the occupant to meet his or her unique needs.
Proposal: Add a new requirement prohibiting accessible routes, maneuvering clearances and turning space from overlapping space required for a bed and related furnishings in bedrooms smaller than those permitted in model codes.
Unique: Yes. See the discussion regarding bed clearances above in Item 8.
Proposal: Add a new requirement so that lighting controls are reachable from a bed.
809.5 Bedrooms in Emergency Transportable Housing. Bedrooms in emergency transportable housing shall comply with 809.5.
809.5.1 Clear Floor Space. A clear floor space complying with 305 shall be provided on one side of a bed. The clear floor space shall be positioned for parallel approach to the side of the bed and shall be on an accessible route.
809.5.2 Overlap. In emergency transportable housing units where bedrooms are less than 70 square feet, the accessible route, maneuvering clearances, and turning space shall not overlap space occupied by a bed and a dresser.
[Note: Previous committee actions in Items 8 and 9 were editorially added to this change to show all changes in one place.]
Unique: Yes. Space within bedrooms in emergency transportable housing is very confined. Therefore, the occupant may not be able to reconfigure furniture to provide a lamp or a nightstand with a lamp adjacent to the bed. This change will improve the safety of individuals when transferring to or from a mobility device onto a bed.
Proposal: Develop a new requirement for a reliable long-term battery-operated power source for smoke alarms in units so that individuals with disabilities who cannot reach the battery chamber will not require assistance to replace batteries.
Note: As originally proposed, smoke alarms that utilize non rechargeable, non replaceable primary batteries would have been required to be used for all emergency transportable housing units. This is a desired technology so as to minimize the need for individuals with disabilities to have to gain access to the smoke alarm to replace batteries. However, as a result of research into this draft recommendation, it was discovered that no manufacturer produces a device that can meet the 10 year battery only design with a visual alarm component. The voltage and current draws are simply too high to make that option viable at this point in time.
Note: Section 233 requires that two percent of units comply with Section 809.5 Residential Dwelling Units with Communication Features. The committee’s action above would apply to all emergency transportable housing units unless there is a change to Section 233. FEMA noted that all units purchased by the Department have visible smoke alarms. FEMA will provide the committee information regarding the cost of visible alarms provided in their units.
Proposal: Provide exceptions for notification devices and peepholes.
809.5.5.1 Notification. A hard-wired electric doorbell shall be provided. A button or switch shall be provided outside the residential dwelling unit primary entrance. Activation of the button or switch shall initiate an audible tone and visible signal within the residential dwelling unit. Where visible doorbell signals are located in sleeping areas, they shall have controls to deactivate the signal.
809.5.5.2 Identification. A means for visually identifying a visitor without opening the residential dwelling unit entry door shall be provided and shall allow for a minimum 180 degree range of view.
Unique: Yes. The committee believes that notification devices and peepholes can be provided after construction as a reasonable accommodation. The committee is concerned that requiring a covered entity to maintain two percent of units in their inventory which contain these features and then to appropriately allocate them could be burdensome and possibly result in an increase in their response time for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Note: Some of the requirements in Section 809.5 for residential dwelling units with communication features would not apply to emergency transportable housing because those requirements address barriers to communication access in multi-family units only.
Proposal: Add a new requirement for clear floor space and reach to the operable parts where weather alert radios are provided in accessible units.
Unique: Yes. HR 2787, introduced in the U.S. Congress would amend the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 to require that weather radios be installed in all manufactured homes manufactured or sold in the United States. The proposal does not apply Section 309.4 to controls on weather radios because certain controls on units currently available cannot comply with requirement that they be operable with one hand, not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist and require no more than five (5) pounds force.
Proposal: Add a new definition so that the committee recommendations are appropriately applied to units within the committee’s scope.
106.5 Defined Terms.
Proposal: Add new exceptions for ramp run and rise where site constraints prohibit the installation of a complying ramp.
405.2 Slope. Ramp runs shall have a running slope not steeper than 1:12.
EXCEPTION In existing sites, buildings, and facilities, ramps shall be permitted to have running slopes steeper than 1:12 complying with Table 405.2 where such slopes are necessary due to space limitations.
405.6 Rise. The rise for any ramp run shall be 30 inches (760 mm) maximum.
Unique: Yes. People prefer living on their own property so that they can maintain community relationships and oversee rebuilding. Sometimes the physical or legal constraints limit the amount of space available for an emergency transportable housing unit. FEMA noted that most of their unit installations are on residential sites, not group sites. For the current units in the Gulf Coast, only 5% are placed on group sites. 95% of units are placed on private or commercial sites. Although some members of the committee would have preferred an option involving the removal of the tires on the unit to reduce the rise, they understood that there are regulatory constraints prohibiting their removal.
Proposal: Permit the use of slide-outs only where tenants will not have to cycle the unit and where changes in level comply with the guidelines.
Unique: Yes. Only certain types of factory built housing use slide-outs.
Proposal: Prohibit the use of carpet in emergency transportable housing units.
Unique: Yes. Carpet is more difficult to maintain than other floor finishes. Vacuum cleaners, which may not be readily available in times of emergency, are needed to clean carpet. Other types of floor finishes can be cleaned using mops, cloths or other readily available items.
Proposal: Provide an advisory note reinforcing the current requirement for accessible thresholds at the primary entrance door.
Unique: No. While the types of doors typically used in recreation vehicles are problematic because they contain a lip which extends below the threshold, manufacturers can use more typical residential doors and thereby provide a compliant unit entrance. In a previous meeting, manufacturers agreed to provide cost data, if possible.
Note: Members of the committee will review and, if necessary, revise figures developed to illustrate the problem.
Proposal: Provide an advisory note or figure recommending optimal hardware placement so that pulls are accessible from both sides of a 36 inch wide door. The illustration should show that the door does not encroach on the required 32 inch wide clear opening.
Unique: No, sliding doors are used in all types of accessible buildings and facilities.
Note: FEMA will develop proposed advisory.
Proposal: To accommodate the unique needs of individuals with disabilities, committee members considered proposing a scoping requirement similar to the requirement in Section 224.2 for transient lodging facilities which provides that facilities have units with roll-in showers and also units with either transfer stalls or bathtubs. The intent of such a requirement would be to ensure that individuals with disabilities be provided choices that best suit their disability-related needs. Instead, the committee opted to include advisory material developed by FEMA and the Department of Justice to alert individuals with disabilities regarding their rights to a reasonable accommodation under civil rights laws within their purview if the bathing option offered fails to accommodate their disability specific needs.
Department of Justice draft advisory:
Public entities must comply with title II of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. § 12115. Title II provides that individuals with disabilities shall not be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity. 42 U.S.C. § 12132. Public entities have an additional obligation to achieve program accessibility under the Department of Justice’s ADA regulation implementing title II. See 35 C.F.R. § 35.149. The Department of Justice’s regulation also requires public entities to provide services to people with disabilities in integrated settings, 28 C.F.R. § 35.130(d). In addition, public entities must make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, or procedures when necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the public entity can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity. 35 C.F.R. § 130(b)(7). If a requested modification would result in a fundamental alteration, a public entity must provide any reasonable modification that would not result in a fundamental alteration. In the context of an emergency where actions must be taken quickly, the timing of a reasonable modification may be critical.
To function independently or with assistance in housing people with disabilities may need different types of bathing accommodations. For this reason, to comply with its program accessibility and reasonable modification obligations, a public entity may need to provide a choice of Emergency Transportable Housing units with different types of bathing configurations (that is, transfer type shower compartments, roll-in shower, or accessible bathtub) in order to comply with the title II obligations detailed above. Conversely, offering only one type of bathing configuration in Emergency Transportable Housing may have the effect of excluding the participation of some individuals with disabilities from living in Emergency Transportable Housing as part of a public entity’s emergency management program, or may alternatively limit the program options for some individuals with disabilities to temporary housing which is separate, different, and/or segregated. Planning to meet the needs of people with a variety of disabilities is a critical part of emergency management.
Unique: Yes. Bathing options are required for transient lodging facilities because the occupant cannot modify fixtures for short-term stay. However, in residential dwelling units bathing options are not ensured because reasonable modifications can be made to the unit. The committee recommended not requiring bathing options in order to simplify deployment of emergency transportable housing units.
Note: FEMA will provide a similar advisory referencing its civil rights protections.
Proposal: Request that the Access Board review Section 804.5 which requires fifty percent of kitchen storage to be within reach. The committee believes that, as written, the provision requires above counter storage units to be located so that the bottom edge of the unit is approximately 10 inches above counter tops. This location would severely reduce the space between counter tops and the undersides of cabinets making it very difficult to store small kitchen appliances on counter tops. While the committee believes that providing access to fifty percent of the storage space in kitchens in emergency transportable housing would be difficult, they believe greater accessibility can be accomplished by using pull-out shelves and other accessible storage devices. If there is agreement on this approach (once the Access Board clarifies the requirement), the subject might be addressed with an advisory note. Finally, the committee also questions how to measure shelf space according to the existing requirement for fifty percent of “shelf space in storage facilities” to be within reach. Does this requirement apply to the length of shelves at the front edge or to the overall volume of storage provided by the shelving?
Proposal: Consider addressing bed height to facilitate transfer onto the bed directly from a wheelchair. Also consider requiring clearances beneath the bed to permit the use of a lift. The committee recommends that the Access Board develop appropriate criteria for facilities where beds are provided including, but not limited to, emergency transportable housing, transient lodging, and detention and correctional facilities.
Unique: No. The need to accommodate clearances for lifts and to establish appropriate guidance for the heights of beds which will permit transfer from a wheelchair exists in all types of occupancies where beds are provided with the unit.
The subcommittee investigated whether there are refrigerators and freezers complying with Section 804.6.2 which requires controls within reach. Because they found compliant units, the subcommittee recommended removing this item from consideration.
The committee noted that escape widows and other means of escape are provided in emergency transportable housing and are inaccessible to individuals with certain disabilities. They discussed whether a breakout wall panel would facilitate escape but were concerned that it would require excessive force to open such a device, and once opened, there would be a significant drop off to the ground. Additionally, the committee noted the likelihood that furniture would block access to any such escape wall panel. The committee agreed that they posses insufficient information on which to base a recommendation.
The committee investigated whether there is a structural reason that thresholds at roll-in showers installed in emergency transportable housing cannot comply with Section 303 of the guidelines which limits changes in level to 1/4 inch vertical and 1/2 inch beveled at 1:2. Organizations representing manufacturers indicated that it is possible to recess the fixture in the unit floor per shower manufacturer’s installation specifications to avoid changes in level which are higher than are permitted along accessible routes.
The committee questioned whether Section 225 which requires “at least one of each type” of storage facility to have a clear floor space, be within reach and to have accessible operable parts adequately addresses the storage needs of individuals with disabilities in emergency transportable housing units. The committee discussed a number of storage options such as telescoping clothes rods and pull-out shelves.
Section 233 of the guidelines provides scoping for units providing mobility features (generally 5% of a facility). The committee will consider a revision to this requirement, particularly to address units deployed on private single-family residential sites. Mr. Solomon appointed a subcommittee comprised of FEMA, NFPA and MHARR to develop an approach to this topic.
The committee is awaiting the opportunity to review upcoming FEMA specifications relating to indoor environmental quality which are not yet final. The FEMA representative did indicate that restrictions on formaldehyde and other material that may affect indoor environmental quality are under consideration. Materials and contents under study include: luon, drapes, bedding materials, seals, insulation, MDF and particle board among others.