Accessible Routes

Accessible routes are continuous, unobstructed paths connecting all accessible elements and spaces of a building or facility. For each accessible amusement ride, an accessible route is required to connect to a wheelchair space, a ride seat designed for transfer, or a transfer device for use with an amusement ride. The accessible route must comply with ADAAG provisions for the location, width (minimum of 36 inches), passing space, head room, surface, slope (maximum of 1:12 or 8.33%), changes in level, doors, egress, and areas of rescue assistance, unless otherwise modified by specific provisions outlined in this guide.

As previously discussed, an accessible route is also required to connect the load and unload areas of rides that are not required to comply with the guidelines. This includes rides that are controlled by the rider, rides designed for children, and rides without seats.

diagram of an accessible route to a ride that includes a platform lift or elevator for entry

Any part of an accessible route with a slope greater than 1:20 (5%) is considered a ramp, which limits the slope to 1:12 (8.33%) maximum. There are some exceptions to the accessible route requirements when connecting to an accessible amusement ride:

  • In the load and unload areas or on the ride, the guidelines permit slopes as steep as 1:8 (12.5%), if it is structurally or operationally infeasible to limit ramps to slopes of 1:12 (8.33%). In most cases, this will be limited to areas where the route leads directly to the ride and there are space limitations on the ride. This exception does not apply to the queue line.

  • Handrails are not required on accessible routes that exceed 1:20 (5%) in the load and unload area or on the ride, if it is structurally or operationally infeasible to provide them.

  • Limited-use/limited-application elevators (LULA’s) and platform lifts may be provided as part of the accessible route serving the load and unload area. Platform lifts must comply with ADAAG.

The guidelines do not address the motion or speed of moving turntables and walkways as part of the accessible route because those can be stopped or slowed. Operators should adjust the speed to accommodate riders, where necessary.