Numerous individuals across the country live with disabilities. Those disabilities affect each person differently, and as a business owner, you certainly understand that everyone faces different challenges. Because you also want to ensure that your patrons do not have to deal with unnecessary hardships when visiting your establishment, you undoubtedly want to make sure that all areas of your establishment meet requirements set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In particular, bathroom areas can often pose challenges for individuals with disabilities. In hopes of avoiding undue struggles, the ADA has guidelines for business owners to follow when it comes to ensuring that their bathrooms have adequate accessibility. If your bathrooms do not meet these guidelines, you could potentially face legal issues for not complying.
The various amenities in the bathroom must meet certain height requirements. These requirements can help individuals in wheelchairs or who have other needs more comfortably maneuver within the range of their abilities. ADA height requirements include:
- At least one sink, or lavatory, in the bathroom must be at a minimum 29 inches off the floor and must not exceed a height of 34 inches. Additionally, countertop space from the edge of the counter to the sink must not exceed 2 inches.
- The height of toilet seats that meet ADA requirements range from 17 inches to 19 inches off the floor. Plus, the flush handle cannot reach a height that exceeds 44 inches.
- Grab bar handrails are also required in handicap bathrooms. The height of these bars must stay between 34 and 38 inches above the floor. The bars must also come away from the wall or other mounted surface at least 1.5 inches.
If your bathroom does not meet these height requirements, you could potentially be found out of compliance with ADA regulations, which could result in fines or legal issues.
Other spatial requirements
In addition to height requirements, ADA-compliant restrooms must also meet other requirements in relation to space. For instance, in order to accommodate a wheelchair, handicap bathrooms must have dimensions of at least 30 inches by 48 inches. You must also provide enough room for the wheelchair to move unhindered in a 180-degree turn. A 60-inch diameter typically represents enough space for this motion and meets ADA requirements.
Lack of compliance
In addition to these bathroom requirements, others also exist. Therefore, you will certainly want to ensure that your establishment complies with regulations. If you face accusations of not complying with ADA requirements, you could face legal action. Luckily, you can defend against these allegations, and information on your legal options may prove beneficial.