Section-by-Section Analysis

The following discussion covers the three parts of this rule. Part I covers the application and scoping requirements for facilities covered by the ADA (Chapters 1 and 2). This section of the analysis explains substantive differences between the revised guidelines and the current ADAAG. All changes proposed are based on recommendations from the advisory committee unless otherwise noted. Part II addresses the application and scoping requirements for facilities covered by the ABA. This section explains changes from the scoping and application requirements of Part I that are specific to federally funded facilities. Part III discusses the technical requirements (Chapters 3 through 11) that are referenced by both ADA and ABA scoping documents. These requirements are based on recommendations from the advisory committee. As in Part I, the discussion in Part III explains substantive differences between the current ADAAG and the revised guidelines. The Board has posed a number of questions in this section. The Board includes questions in the preamble usually because it wants to solicit additional information about an item before considering a specific requirement.

PART I: ADA Application and Scoping

Chapter 1: Application and Administration

This chapter states general principles that recognize the purpose of the guidelines (101), provisions for adults and children (102), equivalent facilitation (103), conventions (104), referenced standards (105), and definitions (106). Chapter 1 simplifies and reorganizes similar provisions contained in ADAAG sections 1, 2, and 3.

The Board has removed the term "fixed" in the revised guidelines for editorial purposes of clarity and consistency. The term is used in the current ADAAG to describe some elements, such as tables and storage, but not other types of covered elements. The Board understands that DOJ will clarify the application of the guidelines to fixed elements in its rulemaking to update its standards for consistency with the revised guidelines.

104 Conventions

Section 104.1 notes that all dimensions not stated as a "maximum" or "minimum" are absolute. All dimensions, including absolute dimensions, are "subject to conventional industry tolerances." This corresponds with provisions in ADAAG 3.1 and 3.2 for graphic conventions and dimensional tolerances except for one change. ADAAG 3.2 recognizes conventional building industry tolerances "for field conditions." The reference to "field conditions" has been removed to accommodate a wider variety of unavoidable tolerances other than those that occur on a construction site, namely manufacturing processes that are not true "field" situations. For example, acrylic molded plumbing fixtures, such as shower stalls, often have a slight draft or taper so that they can be drawn from their molds; this slight taper does not adversely affect accessibility and is a necessary consequence of this particular manufacturing process. "Conventional industry tolerances" is intended to refer to tolerances in construction and manufacturing, but not design.

The Board has clarified the calculation of percentages in section 104.2. This provision states that one is to round up to the next whole number when calculating ratios or percentages in determining the minimum number of required accessible elements or facilities. Where the required size or dimension of an element or facilities involves ratios or percentages, rounding down for values less than one half is permitted.

105 Referenced Standards

Section 105 lists the industry standards referenced in the guidelines. It also clarifies that where there is a difference between a provision of the guidelines and the referenced standards, the provision of the guidelines shall apply.

106 Definitions

Various defined terms and definitions have been revised, removed or added. The following definitions have been removed because they contain information more appropriately covered in technical requirements or are not considered necessary due to other text changes: "access aisle," "accessible element," "accessible space," "adaptability," "clear," "clear floor space," "multi-family dwelling," and "site improvement." Several definitions have been simplified by removing information contained in scoping or technical requirements or have been revised for consistency with model code definitions. These include: "accessible route," "automatic door," "area of rescue assistance," "controls and operating mechanisms" (which have been changed to "area of refuge" and "operable parts," respectively), "dwelling unit," "facility," "means of egress," "occupiable," "sign," "story," and "transient lodging." Defined terms added to this section include: "characters," "children's use," "destination-oriented elevator," "employee work areas," "mail boxes," "pictogram," "project," "public entrance," "qualified historic building or facility," "self-service storage facility," "technically infeasible," "wheelchair," and "wheelchair space."


Chapter 2: Scoping Requirements

This chapter provides scoping requirements for spaces and elements required to be accessible in new construction and alterations. Chapter 2 replaces the minimum requirements sections of ADAAG 4.1. As revised, this section of the guidelines differs from ADAAG in that it integrates the scoping for exterior sites and interior facilities. ADAAG addresses scoping for exterior sites and interior facilities in separate subsections (4.1.2 and 4.1.3, respectively). ADAAG also currently has some scoping provisions intermingled with various technical provisions outside of 4.1. All scoping provision are now located in Chapter 2.

201 Application

This section contains provisions for the general scope of the guidelines and is substantively consistent with application provisions in ADAAG 4.1.1(1), (2), and (4).

202 Existing Buildings and Facilities

This section provides for the application of the guidelines to additions and alterations. Section 202.2 (Additions) clarifies the intent in ADAAG 4.1.5 that each addition meet the requirements of the guidelines for new construction and also refers to requirements for additions that affect or could affect areas containing a primary function.

Section 202.3 contains general scoping requirements for alterations, which are currently addressed in ADAAG 4.1.6(1). Alterations scoping provisions and technical provisions specific to certain elements and spaces in ADAAG 4.1.6(1) and 4.1.6(3) are not included in this general application section. Instead these provisions have been relocated to the relevant scoping or technical provisions for the element or space. Many of these provisions in ADAAG provide alternate specifications where "technical infeasibility" is encountered. However, these specifications present a false "cap" to the degree of departure since compliance is actually required to the degree it is technically feasible which may be above or below the level of access recognized in the specification. Consequently, in the revised guidelines, alternate criteria that have been retained have been made applicable to alterations generally and are not limited to instances of technical infeasibility.

As revised, the guidelines do not contain the provision currently in ADAAG 4.1.6(1)(c) which requires an entire space to be accessible when alterations of single elements, considered together, amount to an alteration of a room or space. The advisory committee considered this provision vague and difficult to enforce since it does not indicate the precise number of altered single elements that would trigger full compliance for a room or space. In view of the basic scoping requirements for alterations, the Board agrees this provision can be removed without affecting accessibility.

Section 202.4 addresses requirements for alterations affecting primary function areas that are consistent with those in ADAAG 4.1.6(2) except for one change. ADAAG 4.1.6 (1)(i) clarifies that the requirement does not apply to work limited solely to electrical, mechanical, or plumbing systems; hazardous material abatement; or automatic sprinkler retrofitting if the work does not involve alteration of elements or spaces required to be accessible. While the advisory committee did not recommend removing this clarification, the Board has removed it as information more appropriately contained in the Department of Justice's (DOJ) implementing regulations. The DOJ regulations further address alterations to areas containing a primary function, including the type of alterations that trigger the requirement for an accessible path of travel.(8)

Section 202.5 clarifies that scoping for alterations, including alterations to areas containing a primary function, applies to qualified historic buildings and facilities, but permits an exception where such alterations would threaten or destroy the historic significance of the building or facility as determined by the State Historic Preservation Officer or Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. This simplifies ADAAG 4.1.7 and removes advisory information from the text of the requirement. Special provisions for specific elements and spaces in ADAAG 4.1.7(3) have been moved to appropriate scoping and technical requirements in the revised guidelines.

203 General Exceptions

The structure of the revised guidelines reinforces the principle that under the general scoping, all portions of sites and facilities are subject to the guidelines unless otherwise noted. This section contains exceptions to the general scoping provisions in 201. Most provisions are substantively the same as those in ADAAG 4.1.1(5) as amended for State and local government buildings, including those addressing construction sites (203.2), raised areas (203.4), limited access spaces (203.5), equipment spaces (203.6), single occupant structures (203.7), and detention and correctional facilities (203.8).

There are two substantive changes involving the "structural impracticability" exception and residential facilities (203.9). ADAAG 4.1.1(5)(a) provides an exception for new construction where it can be demonstrated that full compliance is "structurally impracticable" due to rare circumstances or the uniqueness of the terrain. The advisory committee recommended removing this exception because it felt that the challenges posed by unique environmental or terrain features can be overcome by good design. Further, such an exception is not recognized by any of the model building codes. Despite the fact that the exception for "structural impracticability " has been removed from ADAAG, it still exists in the Department of Justice (DOJ) implementing regulations. See 28 CFR 36.401(c). The term is defined in that same section and provides a narrowly drawn exception for "unique characteristics of terrain." It was removed from ADAAG because the Board made every effort not to duplicate provisions that are in the DOJ regulations. The revised guidelines also include an exception in 203.9 under which access is not required to common use areas that do not serve dwelling units required to be accessible.

203.3 Employee Work Areas

ADAAG 4.1.1(3) requires access to, but not fully within, employee work areas in part because title I of the ADA generally treats access for employees with disabilities as an individual accommodation. The Board intends the word "employee" in the term employee work areas to include individuals covered in the definition of employee found in title I of the ADA, as well as other individuals who perform employee-type duties such as independent contractors and volunteers. Employee spaces used for purposes other than job-related tasks, such as break rooms, lounges, and locker rooms are not considered "work areas" and must be fully accessible. Other areas that must be fully accessible include, but are not limited to, vending areas, cafeterias, and auditoriums regardless of whether they are restricted to employees. Work areas that also function as public use space, such as patient exam rooms, must be fully accessible for public access, but fixtures and controls within the work area used only by employees are not required to be accessible.

Section 203.3 of the revised guidelines retains this exception for areas used only as work areas. Work areas must be accessible for "approach, entry, and exit," which means location on an accessible route so that people with disabilities can enter and exit the space. The Board interprets this provision as requiring an accessible route to work areas, including complying entry doors or gates. Maneuvering space, including wheelchair turning space, is not required within the work area, and elements within the work area are not required to comply. Also, the Board has added a definition for "employee work areas" in section 106 to clarify the limited application of this provision.

The coverage of "employee work areas" in section 203.3, like ADAAG 4.1.1(3), means that an accessible route is not required to individual work stations within the area. For example, an accessible route is required to a restaurant kitchen or the manufacturing space of a plant but not to individual work stations, regardless of the number of stations or the size of the work area. The advisory committee recommended that ADAAG be changed to require an accessible route to each "individual work station" instead of to "work areas." Other than the connecting route, work stations would not be required to be accessible. The advisory committee recommended this change for consistency with model building codes which, unlike ADAAG, do not provide a similar exception for work areas. The advisory committee considered that contemporary building and fire codes, for general fire and life safety purposes, have always required in new construction and alterations that a path of travel serving individual work stations be provided for exiting in an emergency. In complying with the code, this path of travel would end up complying with most if not all of the accessible route requirements in ADAAG. The advisory committee therefore considered that changing ADAAG to require an accessible route serving individual work stations would not have dramatic impact. This aspect of the model building codes, as well as general exceptions for equipment and other spaces in section 203, would serve to limit the overall impact of this change in the advisory committee's view. Further, the requirement for an "accessible route" to such elements, as opposed to access for "approach, entry, and exit" to certain spaces was considered clearer and more easily interpreted.

The Board is committed to harmonizing the ADAAG requirements with the requirements of the model codes and believes that covered entities should apply the recommendations of the advisory committee in most situations, particularly in traditional places of public accommodation, in office buildings, and in schools. However, the Board is concerned that the adoption of this requirement as the minimum level of compliance may prove to be unworkable in some employment settings. Therefore, the Board has not included the advisory committee's recommendations in this proposed rule. However, the Board is considering whether to include the advisory committee's language in the final rule. To facilitate this decision, the Board is seeking responses to the following questions:

Question 1: ADAAG requires that an accessible route be provided to employee work areas, but not to individual work stations. What obstacles have people with disabilities encountered as a result of this provision?

Question 2: The Board is interested in learning what the impact might be if ADAAG requires access to "individual work stations" rather than to "employee work areas." For example, how would a facility otherwise be designed and built in the absence of this revised requirement in ADAAG? Any comparative analysis should be based on a design that reflects compliance with contemporary codes, such as the model building codes, and typical design practice. In other words, aspects of an accessible route that would otherwise be provided as a typical design consideration or that would have to be provided in order to comply with a contemporary building code would not be sources of real impact.

Question 3: Are there specific types of individual work stations, not otherwise exempt from access by section 203, that could not be served by an accessible route?

Question 4: The phrase "areas used only by employees as work areas" has been misinterpreted or considered unclear. If this requirement is retained in the final rule, how should it be clarified to prevent misinterpretation? If a requirement for work stations is included in the final rule, is the term "individual employee work stations" sufficiently specific or is further clarification, qualification, or definition needed?

The revised guidelines differ from ADAAG in that they require employee work areas to be equipped with visual alarms where audible alarms are provided. In effect, this will require visual alarm appliances in most work areas. Where work areas are enclosed by opaque doors and walls, visual alarm appliances will be necessary to provide the required alarm coverage. However, where work areas have translucent walls or doors, carefully placed alarm appliances in adjoining corridors or other spaces can cover the work area. This is a change from current ADAAG, which requires visual alarms in common use and public use spaces, but not in those spaces that serve only as a work area. The Board proposes this change because it is an issue of life safety and because installation of visual alarms after construction can be difficult and expensive. However, in addition to an accessible connecting route, visual alarms would be the only accessible element required for a work area.

The Board estimates that the aggregate cost associated with providing visual alarms in employee work areas for newly constructed buildings is approximately $16.3 million. This estimate is based on several assumptions: (a) an average office building size is 200,000 square feet with 200 square feet per office; (b) the cost of an alarm system complying with existing requirements is $225,000 and approximately 60 to 70 percent of the area of the office building receives visual alarm coverage; (c) visual alarms will be need in an additional 25 percent of the building area (50,000 square feet, 250 offices) to meet the proposed new requirement; (d) the additional cost for installing the visual alarms in employee work areas is $65,375 ($261 per office); (d) 250 office buildings (averaging 200,000 square feet) are newly constructed each year.

Question 5: This provision would be applicable to both newly constructed buildings and existing buildings when alarm systems are replaced or upgraded, and these alterations affect the usability of the building. The Board does not provide an aggregate cost estimate for existing buildings when alarm systems are altered. The Board recognizes that this cost may greatly exceed the cost for newly constructed buildings. In order to better assess the overall cost of this provision, the Board seeks data on how frequently alarm systems are replaced or upgraded such that they would amount to an alteration and be subject to this provision. The Board has been advised that alarm systems may be replaced as often as every ten years. The reason given is that building owners desire to reduce insurance liability, as well as to provide state-of-the-art protection for building occupants. Is it correct to assume that alarm systems are replaced every ten years? The Board seeks information from businesses that provide fire alarm systems regarding the additional cost of providing visual alarms in employee work areas when alarm systems are replaced or upgraded. Please provide cost data for alarm systems with visual alarm coverage in all employee work areas compared to alarm systems complying with the existing requirements. Lastly, while an average building size is used in developing the cost estimate for newly constructed buildings, the Board seeks comment on whether the provision would have a disproportionate economic impact on small buildings or businesses.

Question 6: Are there less costly alternatives to providing visual alarms in all employee work areas for employees who are deaf or are hard of hearing that provide a comparable level of life safety?

Question 7: Concerns have been raised about limiting the number of visual alarms for the benefit of people who are photosensitive, as further discussed below at section 702.3. In view of these various considerations, comment is sought on the appropriateness of this requirement, and information is requested on whether there are means available for deactivating individual visual appliances (which may be desired in accommodating employees who are photosensitive) without rendering the entire system ineffective.

Section 203.9 clarifies that in residential facilities access is not required in common use areas not serving required accessible dwelling units. The Board added this provision because guidelines for residential facilities have been included in this rule. This provision would apply in situations were certain common use areas, such as laundry rooms, are intended to serve a portion of dwelling units.

204 Protruding Objects

205 Operable Parts

Sections 204 and 205 are substantively consistent with scoping requirements for protruding objects in ADAAG 4.1.2(3) and 4.1.3(2) and for controls and operating mechanisms in ADAAG 4.1.3(13).

206 Accessible Routes

ADAAG addresses scoping for accessible routes in several areas (4.1.2, 4.1.3, and 4.3). The revised guidelines bring these requirements together into one subsection (206.2) to clarify the requirement for accessible routes from site arrival points, within the site and within buildings and facilities, and to spaces and elements. The revised guidelines more clearly recognize various elements as components of accessible routes. Thus, this section integrates scoping for entrances (206.4), doors and doorways (206.5), elevators (206.6), and wheelchair (platform) lifts (206.7). Changes from ADAAG include:

  • clarification that an accessible pedestrian route is not required where only a vehicular way not serving pedestrians is provided (206.2.1 and 206.2.2, exceptions);
  • emphasis on the provision of an "accessible route" between floors as opposed to an "elevator" so that elevator exceptions in ADAAG 4.1.3(5) are relocated to the requirement for an accessible route (206.2.3);
  • clarification that in assembly areas an accessible route is not required to serve seating that does not contain wheelchair spaces or designated aisle seats required to be on an accessible route (206.2.3, exception 6);
  • clarification that an accessible route between seating and performance areas is required where a direct connection is provided (206.2.6);
  • clarification that where the circulation path is interior, the accessible route must be interior as well (206.3);
  • removal of the requirement in ADAAG 4.1.3(8) that accessible entrances be provided in a number at least equal to the number of exits required because entrances and exits serve different functions and should not be linked in scoping requirements;
  • removal of a requirement in ADAAG 5.7 for an accessible route to raised platforms in banquet rooms since it is premised on elements (head tables and speaker's lecterns) that often are not fixed;
  • extending the scope of requirements for security check points and security barriers for airports and certain State and local government facilities to cover all types of facilities that provide security check points and barriers (206.8); and
  • removal of ADAAG exception 4(d) to 4.1.3(5) that allows the use of wheelchair lifts where "existing site constraints or other constraints make use of a ramp or an elevator infeasible" since this is not considered warranted in new construction.

In addition, several substantive changes are provided that pertain to elevators (206.6). These include recognition of two alternatives to the traditional type of elevator required by ADAAG and the addition of a requirement for altered elevators.

Destination-oriented elevators are different from typical elevators in that they provide a means of indicating the desired floor at the location of the call button, usually through a key pad, instead of a control panel inside the car. Responding cars are programmed for maximum efficiency by reducing the number of stops any passenger experiences. ADAAG does not specifically address this type of elevator, which was not widely in use when ADAAG was first published. The revised guidelines require compliance with newly added technical requirements in 407.3 where destination-oriented elevators are provided instead of traditional types of elevators. There are differences in the technical requirements provided in section 407. For example, standard elevators must provide audible and visual car position indicators that identify floors as they are passed. With destination-oriented elevators, audible and visual indicators must be provided indicating the car destination both when the car arrives in response to the call and when it arrives at the floor destination.

The revised guidelines also permit installation of limited-use/limited-application (LULA) elevators in buildings and facilities not required to have a standard elevator. This type of elevator is characterized by a smaller car among other things. The revised guidelines provide technical requirements in 407.4 and require compliance with the industry safety standard (ASME/ANSI A17.1, Part XXV). The advisory committee recommended addressing LULAs because it considered such elevators a more viable option in situations where a standard elevator is not required. The advisory committee reasoned that some vertical access (via a LULA elevator) is preferable to none.

Question 8: Consistent with ADAAG, the revised guidelines provide an exception for private sector facilities based on the number of stories or the square footage per floor (206.2.3, exception 1). A much narrower exception is permitted for State and local government facilities (206.2.3, exception 2). Are there situations where the use of LULA's should be permitted instead of a standard elevator in certain small State or local government facilities?

A requirement has been added at 206.6.1 that when an elevator is altered, all elevators programmed to respond to the same hall call control shall be brought into compliance so that persons with disabilities are not limited to the use of one car at multi-car elevator banks.

207 Accessible Means of Egress

Requirements for accessible means of egress have been modified for consistency with model building codes and standards, including addition of a new requirement that an elevator be provided as an accessible means of egress in buildings with four or more stories above or below the exit discharge level. The requirement in ADAAG 4.1.3(9) that accessible means of egress be provided in the "same number" of required exits has been changed to require at least two accessible means of egress where more than one means of egress is required. The requirement in ADAAG 4.1.3(10) that accessible routes also serve as required exits has been removed because not all accessible routes necessarily have to serve as a required means of egress in order to provide a reasonable minimum level of safety. The reference to "areas of rescue assistance" has been changed to "areas of refuge" for consistency with model codes. Exceptions from the requirement for areas of refuge in facilities that are altered or those equipped with supervised automatic sprinkler system have been retained. A new exception clarifies that areas of refuge are not required in open parking garages since the open design permits smoke to escape.

208 Parking Spaces

The revised guidelines maintain the general scoping of ADAAG in 4.1.2(5) but refer to parking spaces generally, instead of to "self-parking by visitors, employees, or both." The Board has added an exception in 208.1 for parking spaces used exclusively for buses, trucks, delivery vehicles, law enforcement vehicles, and vehicular impound and motor pool lots where lots accessed by the public are provided with an accessible passenger loading zone.

ADAAG 4.1.2(5)(d) requires a higher level of scoping for outpatient units and facilities (10%) and those that "specialize in treatment or services for persons with mobility impairments" (20%). Sections 208.2.1 and 208.2.2 preserve these scoping requirements but clarify their application to visitor and patient parking (so as to exclude employee parking); "hospital outpatient facilities" (10%); and "rehabilitation facilities and outpatient physical therapy facilities" (20%). The advisory committee had recommended removing the 10% requirement for outpatient facilities because it questioned the technical basis for it and because the term "outpatient facility" is too broad and can be misapplied to doctors' offices and clinics. Instead of removing this requirement, the Board has clarified its application by limiting it to outpatient facilities located in hospitals. The requirement for "rehabilitation facilities" is intended to cover facilities providing physical rehabilitation, but not those facilities providing other types of rehabilitation, such as drug or alcohol rehabilitation.

New scoping provisions for residential facilities have been added. Section 208.2.3 provides access to at least one parking space for each accessible dwelling unit where parking is provided. Two percent of any additional parking spaces provided for residents must be accessible. Additionally, guest parking must be made accessible in accordance with Table 208.2. In 208.4.2 dispersion is required throughout all types of parking provided for dwelling units required to be accessible unless equal or greater accessibility is otherwise achieved.

Requirements for identification of accessible spaces in 208.3 allow spaces not to be identified (i.e., reserved solely for use by people with disabilities) where five or fewer spaces in one parking lot are provided. This was recommended by the advisory committee in order to mitigate the impact of a reserved space in very small lots and is based on the model building codes. Identification of spaces is not required at residential facilities where parking spaces are assigned to specific dwelling units. The requirement for the "van accessible" designation has been removed to clarify that both car and van drivers can use such spaces, as was the original intent of ADAAG.

ADAAG 4.1.2(5)(e) allows an accessible passenger loading zone instead of accessible parking spaces at facilities with valet parking. This provision has been removed for several reasons. Valet parking often is not available at all hours a facility is open or may be later removed altogether. Further, vehicles specially equipped for persons with disabilities may not be usable by other drivers.

209 Passenger Loading Zones

This section requires that where a passenger loading zone is provided, at least one portion within every continuous 100 feet of loading zone space must be accessible. This replaces the requirement in ADAAG 4.1.5(c) for only one accessible passenger loading zone per site. The new requirement is responsive to facilities, such as airports, where many or long continuous passenger loading zones are provided. The advisory committee recommended that all passenger loading zones be required to be accessible. However, the proposed requirement addresses situations where continuous loading zones are provided and balances the needs of people with disabilities and the costs associated with adding an additional lane for accessible passenger loading.

210 Stairways

This provision requires all stairs that are part of a means of egress to comply with the guidelines. ADAAG 4.1.3(4) requires compliance only at stairs connecting levels not connected by a vertical means of access. The advisory committee recommended this change for consistency with model building codes that recognize the importance of accessible safety features in successfully exiting by stairs. Accessible features in stairways will benefit individuals with mobility impairments, as well as other individuals with and without disabilities. An exception is provided for alterations. Under this exception, stairs between levels that are connected by an accessible route are not required to comply (except for handrails) due to the potential difficulty of altering stairs for compliance within existing space limitations.

211 Drinking Fountains and Water Coolers

This provision requires that where one drinking fountain or water cooler is provided on a site, floor, or within a secured area, access shall be provided for both people who use wheelchairs and for standing persons. Where more than one drinking fountain is provided, 50% are required to be wheelchair accessible and 50% are required to be accessible to standing persons (with rounding up or down permitted where an odd number of units is provided). While substantively consistent with ADAAG 4.1.3(10), this section clarifies the application to exterior units and the coverage of units accessible to standing persons where more than one unit is provided. The advisory committee recommended that the guidelines not address access for standing persons because no technical criteria are provided and because it believed that most drinking fountains would accommodate people who have difficulty bending. The Board believes that access for people who may have difficulty bending or stooping should be retained and has included technical requirements for such access (see 602.7).

212 Sinks, Kitchens, Kitchenettes, and Wet Bars

A requirement has been added that where sinks are provided in accessible spaces, at least 5% (but not less than one) must be accessible, except for mop or service sinks, which are exempt. While ADAAG provides technical requirements for sinks in 4.24, it does not indicate the minimum number required to be accessible. New scoping provisions for kitchens, kitchenettes, and wet bars are generally consistent with transient lodging requirements in ADAAG 9.2.2(7). The revised guidelines extend the application to kitchens, kitchenettes, and wet bars provided, without regard to the type of facility.

213 Toilet and Bathing Facilities

This section is consistent with ADAAG scoping provisions in 4.1.3(11), 4.22, and 4.23 except for one substantive change. Where multiple single-user toilet rooms are clustered at a single location and contain fixtures in excess of the minimum required number of plumbing fixtures, at least 5% of toilet rooms (but not less than one) for each use at each cluster is required to be accessible (213.2, exception 4). ADAAG, which does not specifically address this situation, requires access to all such toilet rooms. The advisory committee recommended this scoping provision as more appropriate since this arrangement is common in facilities such as medical facilities. Additionally, revisions have been made to clarify that:

  • access is not required for toilet or bathing facilities in transient lodging guest rooms (except for the clearance of entry doors), patient or resident sleeping rooms in medical care facilities, holding or housing cells in detention and correctional facilities, or dwelling units that are not required to be accessible (213.2, exceptions 5, 6, 7, and 8);
  • unisex bathing rooms must contain at least one accessible shower or bathtub (213.2.1); and
  • where only one lavatory is provided, it shall not be located in an accessible toilet compartment (213.3.4).

214 Laundry Equipment

A new scoping provision has been added for laundry equipment and applies to laundry facilities wherever provided. For example, if a transient lodging facility provides laundry facilities for guests, they must be accessible and contain one or more accessible washers and dryers. This section also addresses the need for accessible laundry facilities in, or serving, accessible dwelling units and is necessary since the revised guidelines address residential facilities. Where washing machines or clothes dryers are provided in spaces required to be accessible, at least one of each type is required to be accessible.

215 Emergency Alarm Systems

The requirement for emergency alarm systems is consistent with ADAAG 4.1.3(14). The ADAAG exception that allows such systems to be modified in medical care facilities to suit health care alarm practice has been revised as an exception to the charging statement for the technical section on fire alarm systems (702.1). The advisory committee had recommended that the provision be limited to fire alarm systems for consistency with model codes such as National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) 72-G. The committee also recommended that an exception for alterations be provided that would require compliance with the requirement for visual alarms only where an alarm system is upgraded or replaced or a new one installed. Instead, the Board is proposing to retain the substance of the current requirement since compliance with any requirement in alterations is required to the extent it is "technically feasible." Given the scope of the work, replacement of a fire alarm system is considered an alteration, not normal maintenance. However, certain upgrades are alterations only if they affect the usability of a room or space. The usability of the space is not affected when a few failing appliances are replaced. The Board has limited the requirement for visual appliances to fire alarm systems instead of "emergency warning systems." In addition, the Board has added a scoping provision that requires other types of alarm systems to be equipped with audible and visual signals but has not provided any technical criteria for these signals.

Question 9: The Board seeks information on facility alarm systems (other than fire alarm systems) that do not instruct occupants to evacuate the facility but provide other warning information, such as those used for tornado warnings and other emergencies. Recommendations are requested on the technical criteria appropriate for the audible and visual signals for such alarm systems, particularly where differentiation from fire alarm system signals is important.

216 Signs

This provision retains the substance of scoping for exterior and interior signs in ADAAG 4.1.2(7) and 4.1.3(16). Several editorial changes are included for clarification. Scoping for tactile signs is modified to apply to "permanent" room or space designations in order to clarify coverage of signs that are not likely to change. The Board has added an exception stating that signs designating building addresses or building names are not required to meet requirements for tactile signs. These revisions are consistent with the Board's interpretation of ADAAG.

ADAAG 4.1.7(3)(e) includes a provision for qualified historic facilities which recommends that exhibits and signs displayed horizontally should be no higher than 44 inches above the floor so as to be accessible to be people seated in wheelchairs. The advisory committee recommended that this provision be made mandatory or relocated to an advisory note. The Board believes this specification and its limited application to qualified historic facilities merits further evaluation before adopting it as a mandatory requirement. Consequently, this provision is not included in the revised guidelines.

217 Telephones

Scoping provisions for public pay telephones providing wheelchair access and volume controls are substantively consistent with ADAAG 4.1.3(17)(a) and (b). The Board has provided clarification in 217.1 that scoping applies to one of each type of pay phone provided, including, but not limited to, coin-operated and coinless public pay phones. For example, access is not limited to credit card phones where coin-operated phones are also provided or vice versa. As recommended by the advisory committee, an exception at 217.3 indicates that, where all phones are equipped with volume controls, identifying signage is not required.

Significant changes are proposed for the provision of TTYs. TTYs are devices that provide access to telephones for people who have hearing or speech impairments. At the advisory committee's recommendation, the preferred term "TTY" has been used instead of the term "text telephone" or "TDD"; the definition of TTY in section 106 explains that the term is synonymous with "text telephones" and encompasses devices known as "TDDs," a term which stands for "telecommunication display devices" (or "telecommunication devices for deaf persons"). ADAAG 4.1.3(17)(c) generally requires that at least one TTY be provided on a site where four or more public pay telephones are provided (and at least one is interior). The advisory committee and the Board consider this requirement inadequate because it does not take into account large sites such as college campuses and shopping malls where people who need TTYs are limited to one TTY-equipped phone. The revised scoping at 217.4 states that in private buildings (i.e., places of public accommodation and commercial facilities) where four or more pay phones are provided at a bank, within a floor, building, or on a site, a TTY is required at each such location. Consistent with previous amendments to ADAAG for State and local government facilities, a lower threshold is provided for public buildings, where one pay telephone on a floor or within a public use area of a building triggers the requirement for a TTY. An exception for the requirement at banks (271.4.1) makes optional TTYs at banks that are within 200 feet of, and on the same floor as, a bank with a TTY. This exception allows reasonable dispersion without triggering a requirement for additional TTYs. The revised provision does not limit scoping to where at least one pay telephone is interior since TTYs for exterior application are readily available.

A new scoping provision is provided for rest stops, emergency roadside stops, and service plazas that requires a TTY where at least one public pay telephone is provided since telecommunications can be critical at such locations and searching for off-highway TTYs would be impractical. Due to the increased scoping, a TTY requirement specific to stadiums, arenas, conventions centers, etc. in ADAAG 4.1.3(17)(c)(ii) has been removed. Scoping requirements for hospitals and the secured areas of detention and correctional facilities have been retained.

In addition to the advisory committee's recommendations, Board changes include:

  • adding a requirement for TTY signage where directional signs for public pay telephones is provided (; and
  • exempting phone banks with TTYs from the requirement for shelves and outlets for portable TTYs (217.5).

218 Transportation Facilities

This provision requires transportation facilities to comply with Chapter 10. Transportation is the one occupancy type (in addition to the chapter the Board has added on residential facilities) that the advisory committee recommended remain a separate chapter. Scoping for other occupancy types covered in ADAAG sections 5 though 12 have been integrated into Chapter 2.

219 Assistive Listening Systems

This section covers requirements for assistive listening systems and receivers in assembly areas. Section 219.2 requires an assistive listening system in each assembly area where audible communication is integral to the space and audio amplification is provided. However, in courtrooms, this requirement also applies where audio amplification is not provided, consistent with ADAAG as amended for judicial facilities. This provision is substantively different from ADAAG 4.1.3(19) in three respects. First, ADAAG requires assistive listening systems in assembly areas without audio amplification if the seating capacity is 50 or more, and the revised guidelines do not, except in courtrooms (regardless of seating capacity). Second, ADAAG's requirement is conditioned on the provision of fixed seats; the revised guidelines would apply to assembly areas with fixed seating and those without. Third, ADAAG requires that assembly areas not subject to the requirement for a "permanent" system be equipped with the necessary electrical outlets and wiring for a portable system; the revised guidelines do not specify a "permanent" system and do not require outlets and wiring for portable systems. These also represent changes from the advisory committee's report, which recommended a scoping provision generally consistent with ADAAG. The Board is proposing these changes because it believes that any assembly area with audio amplification should be equipped with an assistive listening system whether or not seating is fixed. The Board removed the requirement in ADAAG for outlets and wiring because adequate electrical support is generally available in these assembly occupancies and because the provision of a portable system is more appropriately covered by the DOJ regulation, which contains requirements for the provision of auxiliary aids and services necessary to ensure effective communication.(9)

Section 219.3 specifies the minimum number of receivers according to a sliding scale. This is a change from the flat 4% requirement in ADAAG 4.1.3(19) and was recommended by the advisory committee based on actual and anecdotal evidence that the current requirement exceeds the demand especially in large facilities. Scoping of 4% is maintained for a seating capacity up to 500 seats; seating above this number is reduced to 3.5% (501 to 1000 seats), 2.75% (1001 to 2000 seats), and 1% (over 2000 seats). The revised guidelines include a requirement which is not in ADAAG that a portion of receivers (25% but no less than 2) be compatible with hearing aids. In effect, this requires provision of neck loops, which are the only type of receiver that can be used comfortably with all models of hearing aids equipped with a telecoil.

220 Automatic Teller Machines and Fare Machines

This provision is consistent with ADAAG 4.1.3(20) with respect to automatic teller machines, but it also addresses "fare vending, collection, or adjustment machines," which are only addressed by ADAAG where provided in transportation facilities.

221 Assembly Seating

This section is substantively different from ADAAG requirements and advisory committee recommendations for wheelchair, companion, and designated aisle seating. Section 221.1 lists the types of assembly areas covered: "a motion picture house, theater, concert hall, stadium, arena, auditorium, convention center, lecture hall, courtroom, legislative chamber, or similar assembly area." This approach of defining the section's coverage by providing a list of exemplary covered entities is a departure from that in the existing ADAAG 4.1.3(19), which describes covered entities as "places of assembly with fixed seating." By limiting coverage to the listed entities and "other similar assembly areas," the revised guidelines clarify that assembly areas like libraries or restaurants are not required to comply with the requirements of 221.

Section 221.2 revises the number of wheelchair spaces required (Table 221.2.1). For a seating capacity up to 50 spaces, the requirement is the same as ADAAG 4.1.3(19). For a seating capacity of 51 to 150 seats, 4 wheelchair spaces are required, and for a seating capacity of 151 to 300 spaces, 5 wheelchair spaces are required. The remainder of the table coincides with ADAAG. The advisory committee recommended the scoping increase (although it recommended that 5 wheelchair spaces be provided starting at 101 seats instead of 151). Also, the advisory committee recommended that scoping for a seating capacity over 500 be reduced from 1% to 0.5% based on anecdotal information on usage. The Board is not persuaded by this anecdotal information and is proposing to retain the ADAAG requirement of 1%. Section 221.2 also states that wheelchair spaces shall be provided in each luxury box, club box, and suite. This is consistent with Department of Justice interpretations of ADAAG that treat each such box or suite as a discrete assembly area. Wheelchair spaces must be integrated into the general bowl design and seating plan and cannot be set aside on a separate platform or level where there is little or no other seating. Integration of wheelchair spaces will provide opportunities for social interaction with persons sitting in the closest seats.

The advisory committee recommended that wheelchair spaces be clustered and specified the number of wheelchair clusters permitted, which, in effect, served to govern the minimum level of dispersion. The advisory committee also recommended a reduced level of dispersion where sight lines require more than one step for a rise in elevation between rows and in alterations where dispersion is not technically feasible. The Board has not adopted this recommendation. The Board has included requirements for dispersion as a technical requirement (see 802).

Section 221.3 contains a requirement included by the Board that a companion seat be provided for each wheelchair space and that this seat be readily removable to create an additional wheelchair space. This is consistent with current interpretations of the requirement for one companion seat to be provided next to each wheelchair seating area. However, ADAAG 4.33.3 requires companion seats to be fixed but does allow readily removable seats to be installed in wheelchair spaces. The revised provision will afford greater flexibility in seating arrangements by allowing the choice of either a companion seat or another wheelchair space next to each required wheelchair space. The Board considered other options for addressing problems presented by fixed companion seating. Those options included: requiring a lesser number of fixed companion seats than wheelchair spaces in larger assembly areas; requiring that a specified number of wheelchair spaces be designated to accommodate a group of three or more persons using wheelchairs; or opting for no change from the requirement in the current ADAAG. The requirement for readily removable companion seating was chosen for simplicity, because it promotes greater flexibility in the seating configurations. However, the Board has included an exception providing that fixed companion seating is permitted in assembly areas with a capacity of 300 or fewer seats. This exception is provided because the requirement for removable companion seats would have a disproportionate impact on smaller assembly facilities where no more than five wheelchair and companion spaces are required.

Question 10: The Board seeks information on the impact of the requirement that each wheelchair space have an adjacent companion seat that can be removed to provide an adjoining wheelchair space. Of particular interest are recommendations on design solutions or alternative scoping requirements that will mitigate the space impact while affording a similar level of flexibility in seating arrangements.

Question 11: The Board believes that readily removable seats should provide a companion with virtually the same experience in terms of comfort and usability as fixed seats in the same assembly facility. What specific characteristics should the readily removable seat have when compared to other seats? While a metal folding chair is not equivalent to a plush theater-style seat, is it sufficiently comparable to a bleacher seat?

Section 221.4 requires that 1% of seats be designated aisle seats. At least 25% of the designated aisles seats must be on an accessible route, and the remainder no more than two rows from an accessible route. ADAAG 4.1.3(19) provides a similar requirement that 1% of seats be aisle seats with removable, folding, or no armrests. This requirement is intended to serve people who may have difficulty walking between rows of seats, use assistive devices for ambulation, or wish to transfer from wheeled mobility aids. The advisory committee did not recommend retaining this requirement because, with respect to wheelchair transfers, questions arise about the proximate storage of mobility aids and the potential obstruction of aisles by mobility aids. Further, the advisory committee noted that ADAAG did not require an accessible route to such seats, which brought into question the usefulness of this requirement for people wishing to transfer from wheelchairs to seats. The Board has included a requirement for a portion of aisle seats to be on accessible routes for people using wheelchairs who wish to transfer to seats. Since aisle seats also benefit people who have difficulty walking, including between rows of seats, but who can use stairs, the remainder of seats can be separated from the accessible route by no more than two rows.

Question 12: At least 1% of seats must be designated aisle seats that have folding or removable armrests or no armrests. The Board seeks information on the cost and related design impacts of locating at least 25% of these designated aisle seats on an accessible route and of locating the remainder of such seats no more than two rows from an accessible route.

Section 221.5 provides a new requirement that where elevators or wheelchair lifts are provided on an accessible route to wheelchair spaces or designated aisle seats, they shall be provided in "such number, capacity, and speed" in order to provide a level of service equivalent to that provided in the same seating area to patrons who can use stairs or other means of vertical access. The Board added this requirement to ensure an equal level of convenience between accessible seating and inaccessible seating. Architects plan for efficient ingress and egress when they design assembly facilities, particularly stadiums. Designers should have available circulation data that is part of the architectural program and design. Generally, designers of new facilities have sufficient knowledge of the travel time between points (e.g., between the entry gate and seats or between the seats and concession stands) to comply with this requirement for equivalent vertical access.

222 Dressing, Fitting, and Locker Rooms

This provision is generally consistent with ADAAG 4.1.3(21), but it also specifically references locker rooms in order to clarify the intended application. An exception permitting unisex facilities for altered dressing, fitting, or locker rooms derives from a similar provision in ADAAG 4.1.6 (3)(h).

223 Medical Care Facility Patient or Resident Sleeping Rooms

This provision is substantively the same as ADAAG 6.1 in providing scoping for patient or resident sleeping rooms. The revised guidelines clarify coverage of "licensed medical and long-term care facilities." The description of the facilities covered has been simplified by removing the ADAAG reference to medical facilities "where persons may need assistance in responding to an emergency," as the advisory committee considered this portion of the description not useful. Scoping for alterations and additions in ADAAG 6.1(4) has been simplified in stating that the minimum percentage is to be based on the total number of sleeping rooms added or altered.

While section 223 specifies the minimum number of sleeping rooms required to be accessible in medical care facilities, it does not specify dispersion among different types of sleeping rooms. The Board believes that accessible bedrooms should be dispersed among all units or departments providing overnight stay and among different classes of rooms, such as private, semi-private, etc. Industry practice and needs assessment can be used to further determine the distribution. For example, a greater number of accessible sleeping rooms might be located in general surgical units than in pediatric or obstetric wards. However, the use and designation of units or types of rooms often change over time as needed.

Question 13: The Board seeks comment on how dispersion of accessible sleeping rooms can be effectively achieved and maintained in medical care facilities such as hospitals and long term care facilities. A requirement for such dispersion may be included in the final rule.

224 Transient Lodging Guest Rooms

The minimum number of accessible guest rooms required has not been changed from that provided in ADAAG 9.1.2. However, Table 224.2 clarifies that guest rooms with roll-in showers are to be provided in addition to the basic number of required accessible guest rooms. In addition, there are two substantive changes that are also based on the advisory committee's recommendations. First, section 224.3 is new and addresses the number of beds required to be accessible for situations such as homeless shelters, where a room may have a large number of beds. Scoping is provided in Table 224.3.

Second, the Board has significantly revised the scoping provisions in section 224.4 for the number of guest rooms equipped with accessible communication features, including visual alarms and devices that provide visual notification of incoming telephone calls and door knocks or bells. ADAAG 9.1.3 provides a minimum number according to a sliding scale based on the total number of rooms provided. It requires 1 in 25 rooms to comply up to a guestroom count of 100. Scoping successively decreases to 1 for every 50 rooms for the next 101 to 200 rooms and to 1 for every 100 rooms for the next 201 to 500 rooms. For facilities with 501 to 1000 rooms, 2% of rooms must comply and where the room count exceeds 1000, the scoping drops to 1%. ADAAG 9.2.2(8) requires that all wheelchair accessible rooms be equipped with accessible communication features in addition to a number of rooms required to provide communication access only. The Board is proposing to increase the minimum number of rooms that provide accessible communication features to 50% of the total number of guest rooms provided. This increase is proposed for several reasons. The communication features addressed in this requirement address life safety in providing visual notification of fire alarms for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Higher scoping will also afford greater flexibility in the guest room assignment of people who are deaf or hard of hearing, particularly in light of revisions to technical requirements for visual alarms in section 702.3 that effectively preclude the use of portable visual alarm devices. Further, anecdotal evidence indicates that operational alternatives used in accommodating individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, including the use of portable devices and facility staff to directly alert guests of the need to evacuate the facility, are unreliable and ineffective.

Question 14: Permanent installation of visual alarm appliances is considerably cheaper and easier to achieve as part of facility design and construction than as a retrofit. The Board requests information on the new construction cost difference between providing visual alarms and notification devices for incoming telephone calls and door knocks or bells according to the scoping in ADAAG 9.1.3 and the proposed 50% scoping requirement. Information is also sought on whether exceptions should be provided for altered facilities or additions.

Question 15: It is the Board's understanding that some transient lodging facilities, particularly hotel chains, have adopted voluntary policies requiring permanently installed visual alarms in all or a majority of newly constructed guest rooms. Please provide information regarding those transient lodging facilities that have such a policy. Are there less costly alternatives to providing visual alarms in fifty percent of guest rooms that will provide guests who are deaf or are hard of hearing a comparable level of life safety?

Section 224.5 requires dispersion of accessible rooms among the various classes of rooms provided, including room type, bed type, and other amenities to a degree comparable to the choices provided other guests. This is similar to a requirement in ADAAG 9.1.4(1). A clarification has been added that when complete dispersion is not possible due to the number of rooms required to be accessible, dispersion is to be provided in the following order of priority: room type, bed type, and amenities. The advisory committee recommended that the factors for dispersion were more appropriate for advisory information. The Board has retained this provision in the text of the rule since it contains mandatory direction. Consistent with the advisory committee's recommendation, section 224.5 also requires communication access in 50% of the wheelchair accessible guestrooms in addition to the requirement in section 224.4. This differs from ADAAG 9.2.2(8) which requires that all wheelchair accessible guestrooms be equipped with accessible communication features.

225 Self-Service Storage Facilities

This is a new requirement recommended by the advisory committee. ADAAG does not specifically address self-service storage facilities, and many ADAAG users questioned how access should be provided. Scoping as provided in Table 225.1 is 5% but drops to 2% after the first 200 spaces. Accessible storage spaces are required to be dispersed among the various classes of units provided to the extent the number of accessible spaces allows. Where a facility is comprised of multiple buildings, accessible spaces can be clustered in one building. This provision addresses concerns raised by the self-storage industry regarding the number of entrances required to be accessible in facilities that may have more than fifty entrances to separate spaces. The advisory committee believed these unique circumstances warranted specific attention.

226 Dining and Work Surfaces

Scoping for dining and work surfaces is consistent with ADAAG 4.1.3(18). This provision integrates requirements for dispersion and dining counters that derive from the section on restaurants and cafeterias in ADAAG 5.1 and 5.2, respectively. However, the revised guidelines apply the dispersion requirement generally to all dining and work surfaces, whereas ADAAG 5.1 requires dispersion only for restaurant and cafeteria seating.

227 Sales and Service Counters

This section corresponds to requirements for business and mercantile facilities in ADAAG 7. Section 227.2 provides scoping for check-out aisles that is consistent with ADAAG 7.3. This scoping however is not limited to business and mercantile occupancies and applies to all facilities with check-out aisles. It replaces a requirement in ADAAG 8.3 specific to check-out areas in libraries that requires at least one lane at check-out areas to comply. There is a substantive change to exceptions from the scoping requirement. ADAAG 7.3 permits only one check-out aisle to be accessible where selling space is less than 5000 square feet. It also permits one check-out aisle of each design to be accessible in alterations of facilities with more than 5000 square feet of selling space. This is required until the number of accessible check-out aisles of each design equals the number required in new construction. The advisory committee recommended retaining these exceptions. However, the Board has removed the exception for facilities with less than 5000 square feet of selling space because small facilities rarely have more than one check-out aisle. In fact, small facilities generally have point of sales and service counters in lieu of check-out aisles. The exception for alterations has been retained but has been made generally applicable and is not limited to facilities with more than 5000 square feet of selling space. Requirements for identification of accessible check-out aisles in 227.2.1 includes a clarification that, where all check-out aisles are accessible, such identification is not required.

Section 227.3 covers point of sales and service counters. This provision is consistent with ADAAG 7.2 except that no distinction is made between counters with cash registers and those without, which the advisory committee considered insignificant.

Requirements for food service lines in ADAAG 5.5 have been integrated into the scoping provision in 227.4. A new provision for queues and waiting lines at 227.5 clarifies that an accessible route is to be maintained where a defined circulation route is provided. A requirement for an accessible route through security bollards in ADAAG 7.4 has been clarified and relocated to section 206.8. Section 206.8 clarifies that security may not obstruct ingress or egress.

228 Storage

Provisions for storage are consistent with those in ADAAG 4.1.3(12). Examples of the types of storage elements covered have been moved to an advisory note. A new provision is provided in 228.2 that requires at least 5% of lockers to be accessible. Requirements for self-service shelving in section 228.3 are consistent with ADAAG 4.1.3(12). The Board has removed a reference to display units because displays are not to be touched and therefore cannot be self-service. The requirement has been made generally applicable to all facilities types, not just mercantile occupancies, and effectively replaces requirements in ADAAG 8.5 specific to library stacks. A new provision is added for coat hooks and folding shelves in 228.4 to clarify, that where such elements are provided in toilet rooms or compartments, locker rooms, or dressing and fitting rooms, at least one of each type shall be accessible.

229 Depositories, Vending Machines, Change Machines, and Mail Boxes

This provision represents a change from ADAAG 5.8 which addresses vending machines and other equipment in restaurants and cafeterias. ADAAG provides only for clear floor space at such equipment. Consistent with the advisory committee's recommendation, requirements have been added for wheelchair turning space and the location of operable controls within accessible reach ranges in accordance with section 309 at vending machines. In addition, the Board has added a requirement that operable controls meet the operating characteristics specified. The Board also has added specific references to "depositories, change machines, and mail boxes" and an exception that exempts drive-up only depositories from compliance. In view of the coverage of residential and other commercial facilities, the Board has included a provision that 5% of mail boxes be accessible where provided in an interior location. In residential facilities where interior or exterior mail boxes are provided on site, access is required to mail boxes serving dwelling units that are required to be accessible. The Board does not intend that this provision address U.S. Postal Service mail boxes in the public right-of-way because these elements may be provided in communities without accessible routes.

230 Windows

The technical provisions for windows are reserved in ADAAG. Where glazed openings are provided for operation by the occupants of accessible spaces, the revised guidelines include a new provision which requires access to at least one glazed opening. In accessible rooms or spaces, access is also required to each glazed opening required by the administrative authority to be operable. The advisory committee and the Board reasoned that if windows are to be operable, they must be operable by all potential building occupants, including people with disabilities. Furthermore, new technology, including mechanical or electrical devices makes providing accessible windows possible.

Section 230 requires that the operable parts of windows be accessible, but it does not address the height of glazed openings. Requirements for toilet room mirrors specify that the bottom edge of the reflecting surface be no more than 40 inches from the floor (section 603.3), and provisions for automatic teller machines require display screens to be visible from a point 40 inches above the center of the clear floor space in front of the machine (section 707.5.4).

Question 16: Should a maximum sill height for the glazed area of those windows required to be accessible be specified in the final rule so that people who use wheelchairs, located on any floor, can look through the window to view ground level activities? If so, what should this height be? The Board also seeks information on any design requirements, practices, or considerations that would specify installation above an accessible height in certain occupancies for security or safety reasons, such as to guard against break-ins or to prevent improper use by building occupants, including children. Information is sought on any other design impacts, such as the use of the space or cavity below windows for mechanical or other building systems.

231 Two-Way Communication Systems

In amending ADAAG to cover State and local government facilities, the Board added a requirement that where a two-way communication system is provided to gain admittance to a judicial, legislative, or regulatory facility, audible and visual signals must be provided. Also included was a requirement that handsets have a cord at least 29 inches long. In the revised guidelines, the Board has made this requirement applicable to all types of facilities where such two-way communication systems are provided.

232 Judicial Facilities

This provision integrates scoping requirements for judicial facilities contained in ADAAG 11 without substantive change. Provisions in ADAAG 11 for legislative and regulatory facilities have been integrated into other scoping provisions of Chapter 2.

233 Detention and Correctional Facilities

This section covers scoping for detention and correctional facilities, including the minimum number of holding and housing cells required to be accessible. These provisions are based on ADAAG 12 and have been edited to be consistent with the format of the revised guidelines. In addition, several substantive changes have been made. ADAAG 12.4.5 reserves scoping for accessible holding or housing cells in alterations. In publishing final amendments for State and local government facilities, the Board acknowledged that prison operators commenting on the proposed amendments urged that access not be required in altered correctional facilities because some existing facilities would not be able to support inmates with disabilities even if cells were made accessible. These comments also pointed to difficulties in complying due to design constraints unique to correctional facilities. In response, the Board had reserved a proposed scoping requirement for altered cells, but noted that public entities, including correctional entities, have an obligation to provide program access, as required by the Department of Justice (DOJ) title II regulations. Further, the Board noted that the program access requirement may effectively determine the degree of access necessary in an alteration. In the revised guidelines, the reserved provision has been replaced with an exception at 233.2 which states that in the alteration of holding or housing cells or rooms accessibility is required "to the extent determined by the Attorney General." DOJ's title II regulation states that public entities must operate each service, program, or activity so that the service, program, or activity, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. DOJ may revise its title II regulation to provide more specific guidance as to the extent to which the requirements for accessible cells or rooms in detention and correctional facilities apply to alterations. A similar exception also is provided for special holding and housing cells or rooms in section 233.3.

Exceptions are provided at F223.2 and F233.3 for corresponding provisions for detention and correctional facilities covered by the ABA. These exceptions, however, refer to applicable agency regulations implementing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act for determining the extent to which access is required in the alterations of cells or rooms in detention and correctional facilities. The lack of a specific requirement for alterations to cells or rooms does not excuse a Federal agency or a federally funded entity from providing access to all of a prison's programs and services, when viewed in their entirety, if required under applicable section 504 regulations.

In addition, two other changes have been made by the Board:

  • guidance is provided on the number of beds required to be accessible within a room as specified for transient lodging facilities in Table 224.3; and
  • scoping for accessible communication features in wheelchair accessible cells has been reduced from 100% to 50%, consistent with revised scoping for transient lodging facilities.

234 Accessible Residential Facilities

The Board has added new scoping requirements for accessible residential housing covered by the ADA. This section requires that at least 5% (but no less than one) of the total number of dwelling units be accessible. An additional 2% minimum of the dwelling units are required to be equipped with accessible communication features but are not required to be wheelchair accessible. Dispersion of accessible units is required among the various types of units provided so that people with disabilities have choices of dwelling units comparable to and integrated with those available to other residents.