Quick Notes About Accessibility Standards
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and ICC A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities have certain standards for doors and hardware to provide better access to buildings. Here are just a few quick notes to be aware of.
Door openings are required to have a minimum clear opening width of 32 inches. The clear width dimension for a swinging door is measured from the face of the door and the stop with the door open 90 degrees.
Additionally, projections into the clear width are not permitted on the door below 34 inches above the floor. Above 34 inches and up to 80 inches above the floor projections are allowed but cannot be over 4 inches into the minimum clear width opening.
Thresholds are not permitted to be more than 1/2 inch in height. If changes in level are greater than 1/2 inch in height are required to have ramps.
Handles, pulls, latches, locks, and other operable parts on accessible doors must have a shape that is easy to grasp with one hand and does not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate.
The operable parts of this hardware has to be mounted at a minimum of 34 inches above the floor and no higher than 48 inches above the floor.
Exception: Locks used only for security purposes and are not used for normal operation do not have to comply with these requirements, such as auxiliary dead bolts.
The door surface within 10 inches of the floor measured vertically has to be a smooth surface on the push side for the full width of the door. Sliding doors are not required to comply with this standard.
Glazing panels in accessible doors or sidelight frames must have the bottom located no higher than 43 inches above the floor. On wood doors this can present a light-lock conflict so be aware of the limitations.
These are obviously just a few quick notes, the full code should be referenced when seeking direction on the ADA requirements.
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