ADA compliance applies to every part of your client’s space, but the restroom seems especially tough to get right when you compare its small space to the number of objectives you have to meet. To raise the stakes even higher, there’s no variance for measurements that are even a half-inch off the requirement and no cure period to fix
it later. If the original design or its execution are faulty, the building owner will
pay the price in court.
To understand why ADA compliance in restrooms is such a worrisome
issue for building owners, designers, and guests with disabilities, put yourself
in the user’s shoes. A wheelchair user may be able to find a work-around for a
ramp that’s a little too steep, but not being able to fit into a stall with a mobility
aid is another hurdle altogether.
“When a person is denied access to use the restroom, you are at a much
greater risk of that person not only being denied access, but being thoroughly
ticked off,” said David Meihls, principal consultant for ADA Consultants of
Indiana. “Let’s say he ends up having an accident and has to go home, take
a shower, change his clothes—all of that stuff. There’s a pretty good chance
he’s going to sue, whereas if someone just had to help him get up a curb
ramp, that’s not as big a deal. I think that’s why restrooms are such a hot-
Your clients and their guests are relying on you to get this right the first
time, so watch out for these common mistakes and misconceptions.
Certain ADA compliance issues seem to crop up more frequently than others,
but it’s important to note that the following is not an exhaustive list. Your best
bet is to engage an architect or consultant who specializes in ADA to assist
with design from the beginning. To see all of the ADA compliance requirements,
see the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design at www.ada.gov.
32 interiors+sources july2018 interiorsandsources.com
By Janelle Penny
PUTTING A REST TO
ADA MISTAKES IN
Keeping in mind the common mistakes in ADA-compliant bathrooms keeps end users comfortable
and building owners out of court.