Monday, November 19, 2007

Accessible Restrooms

Vol 1, Issue 6

Accessible Restrooms
One of the first things we think of when we design for accessibility are the restrooms. Do they have the turning radius, do they have grab bars, does the door swing into the clear space of fixtures. But there are many little details that we may not be aware of. Here are a few examples which will help you have an easier time deciphering the Standards.

Family Restrooms

- If you are designing a family restroom that serves both adults and kids, both the water closets have to be accessible. You will use the table in TAS Section 2 of the Texas Accessibility Standards for the allowable heights of water closets, grab bars, lavatories, urinals etc. for children based on their age.

If you have read the Standards carefully, you might notice that the only plumbing fixture that requires that "one of each" be accessible is the lavatory. However, based on Texas Accessibility Standard (TAS) 4.22.1, TAS 4.1.1(1)(b), 2.1.2, to adequately meet the needs of the mixed-use population with disabilities served in family toilet rooms TDLR has determined that at least one of each type of fixture, controls, etc. that is provided for each user must comply with applicable provisions of TAS.

Pedestal Sinks
- Pedestal sinks are sometimes used in restrooms, but because the design is not such that you can get the minimum depth underneath of 17" (per fig. 32), then they can never be the accessible fixture.

Multiple fixtures in accessible stalls
TAS 4.22.6 states that "Accessible lavatories and mirrors shall not be located within toilet stalls unless other accessible lavatories and mirrors are provided in the toilet room". So that could lead us to believe that other plumbing fixtures may be installed in the accessible stall. But TDLR came up with a Technical Memoradum TM99-19 which states that the same rule applies to the rest of the plumbing fixtures and accessories. Therefore, if you provide an accessible shower in the accessible stall, then another accessible shower must be provided somewhere in the bathing room.

Quick Links
Abadi Accessibility
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
The Access Board

If you have any questions on these or any other topics relating to accessibilty, feel free to contact me anytime.

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Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714