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3 standards bathrooms must meet to be accessible to all

On Behalf of | Aug 10, 2023 | ADA |

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it illegal for businesses and other parties to discriminate against those with disabling medical conditions. The law imposes obligations on numerous parties to help ensure that those with disabilities have the same opportunities and rights as anyone else.

There are implications for employers and landlords within the ADA. There are also requirements for businesses that are open to the public. Having appropriately accessible facilities and amenities, like websites, is crucial for a business to remain ADA-compliant. Those expanding or starting a business will generally need to invest some effort into ensuring their company is as accessible as possible.

The bathroom is one of the most important spaces when it comes to business accessibility for the public. What are some of the ADA rules for accessible bathrooms?

Adequate space for access

Although the ADA does not technically impose specific size requirements on an accessible bathroom stall, most experts recommend providing at least 56 by 60 in of clearance, if not more. The space should be large enough for someone to maneuver in while in a wheelchair or using crutches. The stall should also be big enough to accommodate an individual and their caregiver simultaneously. Adequate space and large doors are of utmost importance for compliance.

Clearance around fixtures

There needs to be adequate space around the toilet and the sink for someone to navigate and access them for the layout to be ADA-compliant. There should be room for another person or a wheelchair near each amenity in the space, including the sink. The sink itself should allow for easy access by someone in a wheelchair by having open space underneath. There will typically also need to be accommodations like grab bars to allow someone to maneuver themselves within the space.

Spaces should integrate accessible facilities when possible

Guidance on accessibility makes it clear that single-use, unisex facilities are not the ideal solution. Instead, the goal should always be to make the multi-user facilities as accessible as possible. In pre-existing spaces, such changes may not be feasible. All new construction or large remodeling projects, however, should seek to make the primary washrooms as accessible as possible.

Following best practices when installing or remodeling bathrooms can go a long way toward helping ensure a business’s ADA compliance.