Hello and welcome to the ADA Distance Learning 2000 program. This series is offered monthly and hosted by your regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center. Sorry about starting a couple minutes late today. We have over 100 sites calling in, and at the top of the hour we only had about half of those sites on-line. So we''re a little late start but we think we can catch up okay. We have many new sites calling in for the first time today as part of the series, so for those of you that are new we would like to do a little housekeeping and give you an idea of what our format is, and for those of you would have joined us before if you could hold patient for a second. The format for today is a 90 minute session. The first half of the session is presentation by our featured speaker today, Marsha Mazz. Hi Marsha
The second part of our presentation is going to be open for questions and answers. So you can ask questions at that time. If you already have a burning question and would like to fax that in advance, we will take those here in Region 5 Chicago center. The fax number is (312) 413-1856. Now today''s session is also being real time captioned in our chat room on the Great Lakes web site. And you can also ask questions within the web site that will be turned over to the moderator in the chat room and forwarded onto Marsha. To log into the web site, you can go to the Great Lakes web site which is www.adagreatlakes.org. In addition, you should have received in advance a session outline which is a Powerpoint presentation that acts as supplemental information to today''s presentation. That Powerpoint, if you don''t already have it, don''t sweat it, is up on the Great Lakes web site and you can go and get that after today''s session. So from that point what I would like to do is turn the session over to our featured speaker Marsha Mazz. As I''m sure many of you are aware, the ADA Accessibility Guidelines have been going through several years of revision and we are now at a point of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Marsha is a Technical Assistance Coordinator for the U.S. Access Board. She joined the Access Board in 1989 and currently oversees the Technical Assistance program for the Access Board which includes their toll free technical assistance number. Marsha also provides technical input and oversight of the continued development of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. Over the last several years Marsha, would say you have become intimately familiar with the proposed rule? Marsha is also the Access Board''s representative to several model code organizations. She currently serves on the ICC, A 117 committee. If you ever have the opportunity to go and see Marsha speak, I would highly recommend it because she is one of the few people in the United States that has a very firm understanding of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines and no matter how much you know, she will definitely teach you something new that day. I''m going to turn the presentation over to you, Marsha
Thank you, Jennifer. I''m glad to be here. That was a warm welcome. I appreciate it. Getting right down to the subject before us, the Board has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise what we''ve all known as the ADAAG, as well as to revise the ABA, or the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines. Most people don''t know about the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guideline, because it is a document you never see. However, the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines is the basis for the Uniform Federal Accessibility Guidelines (UFAS ), which is a document that most people are familiar with. So the Board has responsibility to write the minimum guidelines, both for UFAS and ADA standard as issued by the Department of Justice. We''re now trying to bring all of this together into essentially one book. There are differences between the Architectural Barriers Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act that warrant our having two separate scoping documents. Most people know, the scoping document is the part of the document that tells you "how many" and "which" and "where" the technical provisions are to be applied. The reason we need two separate scoping documents, one for the Architectural Barriers Act and one for the Americans with Disabilities Act is that they are in fact different laws. We like to consider ourselves a slave with two separate Masters. For that reason, we wanted to keep it clean. We wanted people not to be confused as to when they were responding to the Architectural Barriers Act and when they were responding to the Americans with Disabilities Act. You''ll find a document in our Notice of Proposed Rulemaking consisting of three parts. The first part is the scoping document for the Americans with Disabilities Act, the second part is the scoping document for the Architectural Barriers Act, and all of the numbers there are preceded with the letter "F," and the third document is the common technical criteria for both parts 1 and 2. The common technical requirements don''t need to be modified per the Architectural Barriers Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act. These are the provisions that should never change according to what law you''re subject to. For example, this is a part of the document that addresses the kinds of clearances that are needed for knees. And needs don''t change just bus you''re subject tots barriers act versus the disabilities act. So that one common technical document is scoped in two ways; one by the Architectural Barriers Act and one by the Americans with Disabilities Act technical scoping. I hope that is clear to people. Two differences between the ABA vs the ADA is that in the Architectural Barriers Act, there are no provisions for equivalent facilitation. There are provisions, however, for waivers and modifications. That is part of the law. It is not something that the Access Board chose to do. It is imbedded in the Architectural Barriers Act itself. Another difference is that under the ABA, there are no exceptions for vertical access. None at all. So a federal facility that is newly constructed will have vertical access to all stories. Other differences are that the ABA addresses leased facilities. It makes no distinction between a leased facility or other types of facility, either newly constructed or altered or additions. In the ABA we have special technical criteria for a leased facility, because the government can''t go out and lease inaccessibility property. The federal government in leasing property has to go through a lot of various steps before they can determine that a property is acceptable under the ABA. That is another difference between the ABA and the ADA. One of the things I wanted to do today was to sort of answer the question that I keep getting asked which is "Why are you doing this?" Well, we''re doing it for a variety of reasons. One is that all guidelines need to be refreshed from time to time. It is not good for accessibility and it is not good for the ADA for the guidelines to become stagnant. So we are upgrading and updating the guidelines so that they become more consistent with what is technologically possible. I think that is our foremost reason. Another reason, and a very important reason, is that we have committed to making the guidelines more consistent with model building codes and standards. We did not have to do that. We chose to do it. We chose to do it because we really do believe here at the Access Board that to the extent that model building codes and standards reflect the requirement of the ADA, then we have a whole bunch of people out there in the real world that will be enforcing building code provisions that are consistent with the ADA that there will be little or no reason for litigation in the future. We think that using the code officials in this way is probably the very, very best way to ensure access. In fact when you''re dealing with the ADA-after the fact, the only way to ensure access is to file a complaint or to sue someone in federal civil court. So we would like to see that not have to happen. We are making our ADAAG as consistent with the model codes and standards that are used for building codes as we possibly can. Thirdly, we want to see guidelines that do meet the needs of people with disabilities, but that continue to evolve. There are some examples of this in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. For example, the signs provision really in the existing ADAAG are quite weak. They don''t provide for reasonable access for people who need accessible signs. You find a much more strengthened section on signs. You find a more strengthened sections on ATMs, reflecting what is possible as opposed to what was the status quo at the time of the issuance of the original ADAAG. There are a lot of other examples similar to this and we probably will touch on some of them as we get into the meat of the document. Some of the newer features that we have, this I think we decided to do just to confuse me, was that we have a new numbering system. It is consistent with the model codes numbering system and standard which is not particularly surprising since the new numbering system was invented by the advisory committee to the Access Board that helped to develop the first draft of the NPRM. So this new numbering system is now many digits long as opposed to our more simplified numbering system that we had in the original ADAAG. The other thing you''ll find with this new numbering system is that pieces are broken down into their smallest parts, and that every section has a title. This is to clarify the meaning of the section to the best of our ability. We don''t want things read into the text that the text does not intend. So the text is quite explicit. The sections are broken down into their smallest pieces. And when assembled together, then make for a, we hope, cohesive rule. We have streamlined in some way the structure and organization of the chapters. We have done that by adapting a "say it once" and "say it right" approach to the guidelines. That is, that we have provisions that are sort of universal that keep getting used over and over again every single time you try to make something accessible, you have to go back, you have to look and see what the maneuvering clearance are and use those maneuvering clearances. You have to look and see what is the requirement for knee and toe clearance or height. Controls and operating mechanisms that we''re now calling operable parts. These are themes that run throughout the document that are concepts that are used over and over and over again, and we''ve put all of them in Chapter 3 of the proposed rule. Then any time someone wishes to use the clearances or the regions as specified in Chapter 3, in another section, they simply reference back to the appropriate section in Chapter 3. Now, after a while, I think people will probably know those reference numbers by heart and won''t be turning their book backwards and forwards and backwards and forwards again. But for a little while, it is going to require some backwards and forwards flipping of the pages. Again we think this is real important because we have instances in existing ADAAG where there are inconsistencies, and those inconsistencies are not justified according to the element that we''re discussing. One of my favorite examples is that for some reason in the ADAAG and in the old ANSI, your knee clearance at a lavatory is 29 inches, when the same knees go under a table, the knee clearance height is 27 inches. We don''t think that people''s knees change when they roll up under a lav, so we have gone with the number 27, which is consistent with not only tables but a number of other elements. The 29 inch which was out of step with the others is now put aside. We''re not afraid of establishing a different number from the basic building block number, if we find that there is a justification for doing that. But we don''t want to continue to do that just because somebody else worked on it at a particular time and date. So here we have a situation where we''ve put it in one place, any time it gets tinkered with, if we get new information on knee and toe clearances, we''ll change it once. And when we change it that one time, it will affect everything that references knee and toe clearances. We have separated the non-mandatory language from the mandatory language. And in some cases we asked ourselves whether the non-mandatory text should become text, and in some cases it did. In other cases where the non-mandatory text was not helpful and whatnot, we lost it. We just simply took it out of the provision. We have also written text provisions everywhere that the old ADAAG used to reference a figure. We all know about those provisions that say "shall be as shown in figure..." or "see figure..." or "as shown in figure..." and so we''ve deleted all that. The text no longer references figures. The text in fact could stand alone without figures, but because we know that we are all to one degree or another visual learners, we have included figures to amplify the text. But the figures merely clarify or amplify the text. They are not in lieu of the text anymore. The figures now fall into that category of advisory, non-mandatory material. Again, no one should ever look at the figure in lieu of the text. That will help the lawyers who have to enforce this. And it should be a very clear understanding between the lawyers and the architects as to what a provision means. Getting into the actual text of the rule, we have changed some of the application and some of the scoping. For example, now we simply say that all portions of sites and facilities subject to the guidelines shall be accessible unless otherwise noted. This is in fact putting into words the way the ADA guidelines had been used for many, many years. Essentially, the basic underlying rule is "if you build it, you make it accessible." And you can neglect to make it accessible if we give you an exception, or if we tell you for some reason something does not need to be accessible or only in few of many elements, many similar elements must be accessible. So, again, this is codifying, if you will, the way that most people have interpreted ADAAG in the past. However, ADAAG currently does not in fact say that. It simply says a facilities and elements shall be accessible as required by the standards. So it is a shift in emphasis. We have integrated the scoping for exterior and interior facilities. In the existing ADAAG, there is a very muddy line that distinguishes the elements on a site from the elements within a building, and it has not served us well. So we have simply put that back together and said that these provisions go for elements regardless of where they are. We do have some special provisions for site work. But that is not exhaustive, as 4.1.2 in the existing ADAAG. We have some new provisions that are new altogether. For example, in the existing ADAAG, there is no scoping for sinks. Sinks are now scoped in section 212. Laundry equipment, there are new technical provisions for laundry equipment and also some new scoping provisions. That would also clarify that laundry equipment, if it is in a hotel provided for the use of guests, for example, would be required to be accessible. In terms of transient lodging, this provision really goes to dormitories as much as anything else or any kind of congregate facility where you may have anywhere from ten to 100 beds in a single room, and there are some like this. There are some in detention and correction facilities as well. Self-service storage facilities, there are new provisions for these. Self-service storage facilities are those facilities where you drive up, you get a key from one building and then generally drive through locked gates to your storage locker and then leave by the same route that you entered. Technically, those are separate buildings. They are all on the site. And technically, under the current ADAAG, you could read that to say that each and every one of these storage buildings would have to have an accessible entrance and an accessible route connecting it to the other buildings. Since self-service facilities like this are atypical in that one doesn''t go to their storage locker and then visit a neighbor''s storage locker, we decided that we would have some special scoping provisions that clarified that all of the accessible storage units can under some circumstances be in the same building provided that the same variety of types of storage facilities are available to everyone. And that some storage buildings could simply be inaccessible and no accessible route is going to be required to link one building to another. We have new provisions for windows. We have never scoped accessible windows before, and now there are new provisions that will scope accessible windows. In fact, we found over the last couple of years that there are some fairly inexpensive add on window actuators available that can turn almost any window into an accessible window. We have new provisions for accessible residential facilities or dwelling units. This is housing. This would not be all housing, but it would primarily be the housing that is public housing, other subsidized housing or social service housing. It can include single family or multifamily facilities, but the single-family facilities that will be included will be those that are covered under Title II of the ADA, such as a president''s house in a university, or they would be covered under Title III of the ADA as part of a social service or other similar facility. Not your single-family homes out in the suburbs where everybody has their own house and a cat in the driveway. Those are not covered under this. And we don''t anticipate covering them. The next one is visual alarms in employee work areas. Under the current ADAAG, there are no requirements for accessibility in employee work areas whatsoever. The only requirement is that you can approach, enter and exit the work area. Because the Board felt that visual alarms were such a typical retrofit, the Board determined that providing the visual alarms at the time of the new construction in employee work areas is appropriate as a matter related to life safety, and so there are provisions now for approach, enter, exit and alarm the area. With respect to elevators, we have included new provisions for destination oriented elevators. These are elevators that you don''t see very much, but they are found largely in high security buildings with a high trip ratio. Usually these elevators are provided where you need to have a smart system to control the efficiency of the elevator. The way they''re designed is that there is a single point or several points out in the lobby where you press your floor number that you want to go to and then you''re instructed at that point to go stand in front of a certain number elevator and that elevator will take you to your floor. There are no controls within the elevator, and so if you''ve stood in front of the wrong elevator or pressed in the wrong floor, you have to wait until you get to another lobby and then change direction. So we felt that it was needed to have some special technical provisions for destination oriented elevators. There is no special scoping here. Just an elevator in design choice. But we do need to tell architects and designers how to make a destination oriented elevator accessible. In terms of other types of elevators, we have new provisions for a limited use limited application elevator that is known as a LULA. The LULA will be permitted anywhere where you would not be permitted in current ADAAG to have an elevator. And that would include a change in 4.1.3 (5) exception, where it currently says if you are not required to have an elevator but you nonetheless provide one, that the elevator has to comply with section 4.10. That is not true in the Noticed of Proposed Rulemaking that elevator can also comply with the provisions for LULAs. LULAs are slightly smaller than the 4.10, 2,000 pound elevators, but they include all the same safeties that a regular elevator have, and we had provided for a minimum amount of space on that elevator which in fact exceeds the amount of space that is provided on any platform left. And requires that the controls be accessible and everything else that has to be accessible in the regular elevator. The LULA has a limited travel distance. You won''t find them used in a lot of facilities. You''re only going to find them in two, maybe three-story buildings where there would have been an elevator exception anyway or in alterations you may find them. And it was our feeling that a LULA can be preferable to a platform lift which is currently permitted in alterations. So we did permit the LULAs in this application, so the main change here is to permit a LULA when you provide an elevator in a previously exempted new building. And we think that is appropriate. There are a number of scoping changes for TTYs and we think this is very important. It is a big change. Currently the requirement is that if you have one interior telephone and a minimum of four phones total interior and exterior, that you get one TTY in a facility. That can be interpreted to mean one per university campus, which it would be, of course, ridiculous. The TTYs that work with pay phones are continuing to come down in price. They are now made for the exterior sites. And so we have very vastly expanded the requirements for TTYs. In fact, it is now one per bank and there are some exceptions for banks that are, I think, within 200 feet of one another. And if you don''t have banks on your floor, you don''t escape because it is one per floor if you have pay phones. And if you don''t have a pay phone on every floor, it is a minimum of one per building, one per site. So it is a complex scheme of scoping, but does ensure that there will always be a TTY for individuals who need them. There are some changes that we did not make that I think we will probably be interested in. Our advisory committee recommended to us that we provide for access to employee workstations, in other words an accessible route to each workstation as opposed to the approach, enter and exit rule for employee work areas. The Board chose not to do this, but did seek for additional input on this matter. There are some definitional discussions that are going on right now in terms of work areas/stations. We think we know pretty well what a work area is, but we''re not certain that we can define as a workstation, and so that is one concern. There are a number of questions in the NPRM that you may want to look at. Right now, again, we still have the approach, enter and exit rule. Some of the model codes are going beyond that to require an accessible route to workstations. And, again, the model codes are not defining workstations. So it is going to be interesting to see how that is enforced. Companion seating and aisle seating and assembly areas are addressed more clearly. Right now it is somewhat unclear and has had to be further interpreted by the Department of Justice how many companion seats per how many wheelchair seats. It is one to one, and that is the way it has always been interpreted. Now the document says that. The document also requires that visual alarms be provided in transient lodging facilities, but provides that those visual alarms be permanently installed. If this provision survives, it will be the end of the portable alarm in a hotel. The portable alarms the Board does not feel provide the same amount of safety coverage as is provided for hearing people by a permanently installed or hard wired alarm. I think I''ve already talked to you a little bit about some of the ABA application and scoping changes that we''ve made. We have modifications and waivers in there that is different from ADA. We have addressed additions somewhat differently from the way we have in the ADA. There are exceptions for military housing, F 234. The exception is in included in the statute. So it is not going to be something that we have an option on. So be aware of that. We have asked for some responses from you on some of the exceptions, not actually on the exception for military housing, but whether or not that exception should be broadened to include other categories where all the residents are presumably not disabled. For example, Coast Guard facilities, Coast Guard is not military. And I didn''t know that until I started working here. They fall under the Department of Transportation. In the ADA scoping, we did not include any ABA provisions exceptions for work areas, because the statute itself does not provide for exceptions in work areas. It requires areas where people who have disabilities may be employed to be accessible. So there is no such exception. And there are a few other sections that sorts of cross over the lines from the ABA to the ADA. Not many. Addressing the common technical requirements. I said before that they are referenced by both the ABA and the ADA scoping documents. They are based on the recommendations from the advisory committee and the current rules of ADAAG, as well as the UFAS . We have new provisions for elevators, laundry equipment, residential facilities. We have a new section on existing elevators. Those of you who use ADAAG a lot know that in 4.1.6 there is an exception for existing elevators that have a 48 by 48 inch floor plan where the hoist account be enlarged. We have a similar type of provision in here for existing elevators. One provision we have in scoping that I forgot to mention, there has been a longstanding debate about whether an owner can make one elevator accessible by lowering the elevator control pad and thereby satisfy the requirements for either an accessible path of travel or an accessible route to an upstairs area. This provision says that if you alter one control panel, you alter them all. And I can''t hear you all out there, but I imagine there are some people who are cheering at that one, because if you have six banks in an elevator and only one of them is accessible and you don''t know which one, you may be out there for hours waiting for the accessible elevator to show up. So this just is common sense. I think there is some provisions here for laundry equipment, but I feel that we''re running out of time, so I''m going to skip over the exact provisions for laundry equipment. Suffice it to say that the requirement that washing machines be front mounted is now an option and there is also an option for top loading machines, provided that they meet certain requirements in terms of the height of the door opening and the locations of the controls
Marsha. Can you talk about the issue of the toilet rooms, the ambulatory style vs the non-wheelchair accessible compartments. And then the wheelchair seating and assembly areas and we''ll see where we are in terms of time.
Okay. The change in the so-called ambulatory styles and the non-wheelchair accessible compartment is only in name. There really isn''t a change there. We simply didn''t like the word ambulatory. And first and foremost, it is not good grammar. The stalls don''t get up and walk around. So we tried to find another way to express what we meant. I think we''re open to suggestions on this. Very open. Because we don''t like what we have there in terms of non-wheelchair either. So if you have suggestions as to a better term, please let us know. We had removed in toilet rooms, however, a provision that some people are beginning to notice now. We removed the alternate stalls, the 36 inch and the 48 inch toilet stalls. We removed that because there is already a provision for technical and feasibility in the same way the current ADAAG has a current for fees interest. So if it is infeasible to provide that 60 inch stall, you are going to be allowed to make a smaller stall. That smaller stall doesn''t have to be 36 or 48 inches. It can just be smaller. If you read current ADAAG, you see a general exception in 4.1.6 for anything that is technical infeasible. And 126.96.36.199 you see technical provisions that say that you can do a 36 or 48. Well, in fact if you find that 36 inch stall technically infeasible, you can do something else. Although it has never been terribly clear. It is almost like an exception to an exception. So we simply remove the middle part, which confuses people, leaving only the 60 inch stall with the provision that you can do less if it is technically infeasible. In regards to assembly seating we''ve made some fairly major changes there. In facilities with 300 or more seats, we have required that the companion seat not be fixed, but be readily removable. This is a big change. And on top of that, we have required that once removed, that the companion seat provide space for an additional wheelchair. So that an individual who uses a wheelchair can elect to bring a couple of friends in wheelchairs or a group of friends who use wheelchairs or non-disabled people. We''ve been uncomfortable with restricting who you can sit next to and who your companion might be. So this does revise this so that the companion can be one or the other. We also provided this break point start at 300 seats. We did not carry it over into the smaller theaters and arenas, most particularly movie theaters, because we think by and large people are pretty spontaneous about going to the movie theaters and they''re unlikely to be calling ahead to the movie theater saying "for your 6 o''clock show I want you to remove the seat." Also movie theaters are frequently entered in the dark and we thought this would require quite a bit of maneuvering. So we did put an exception in there, also it saves the small theaters some space. So that is a change in assembly. Another change in assembly is the requirement that 25 percent of the seats with removable aisle armrests be on an accessible route or within one or two rows of an accessible route. That was not part of the requirement, either. A big thing in the assembly seating is with regard to the ingress and the circulation route to your seat. We have provided that individuals who need to get to wheelchair seats be able to get to those seats in substantially the same amount of time as anyone else. So it may mean in assembly facilities that they either use their elevators more efficiently or that they provide more elevators to get to accessible seating. We think that will provide a great improvement in access. We know some people who are complaining that the game is over by the time they get to their seat. Just to backtrack a little bit with respect to toilet and bathing facilities, we have provided some wiggle room in the location of the water closet. We''ve said that it has to be 16 to 18-inches on center as opposed to 18-inches absolute, no errors. However, in providing that range, 16 to 18-inches, it is my personal feeling that whenever you have a range, you''re losing your right to claim an industry tolerance, a conventional tolerance. I think we may want to clarify that in the final rule. But where there is a range, you really shouldn''t need a tolerance. You shoot for the middle of the range and you''ll be successful in complying. We do have an advisory note to that effect. We have provided that the lavatory cannot be in the clearance for the water closet. I know folks in Florida had been dealing with this for some time, and it is a requirement now for anyone who puts a lavatory in the accessible stall. Also we provided that if you have an accessible lavatory in the stall, that the lavatory cannot be the only accessible lav, so that you don''t force individuals with disabilities to wait to get into the stall, perhaps just to wash their hands. We don''t think this is onerous, although I''ve had a few calls from people who are a little bit upset about it. We don''t think this is at all onerous, since any lavatory if properly installed can be accessible. So we think that this is going to be a pretty easy one for people to deal with.
Let us open it up to questions and I know that the Access Board has asked some questions for public comments in the NPRM. So if you want to throw some of those in, too, as we go to Q and A. Right now in the chat room, there are instruction on how to submit a question on-line. Marsha, we have many Building Code officials and architects meeting right now listening to this session from Nevada to Wisconsin to New York. We already have a question from the great state of Wisconsin. And they have an issue with the proposal... or maybe interpretation of means of egress. The question is, are accessible means of egress required from floors above or below the accessible level (that would be the second floor level) if an accessible route is not provided between the floor levels? Meaning that only stairways are provided between the levels, there are no ramps, lifts or elevators provided between the floor level. They pull out the different sections, section 207.1, 201.1 and 206. Is it the intent to not require accessible means of ingress or areas of refuge at inaccessible stairways from the floors above or below the accessible level if an accessible route has not been provided to the floor levels?
No. That is not the intent
That was an easy one then.
This is Jo Holzer. I was wondering how do the ADAAG requirements impact the construction of new buses? We have a real problem with some of our people who cannot access public buses because of the very constricted space at the entrance. After they get off the lift and make the turn.
We''re not currently revising the vehicle guidelines. The vehicle guidelines will probably need the same facelift that all of the guidelines need from time to time. I don''t have a schedule for the vehicle guideline revisions, but it will happen.
Thanks, Marsha. We''re going to go over to your chat room and I believe Robin has a question over there.
I have a question from those on line today. Are there any change requirements for captioning at movie theaters in the new ADAAG revision?
We do have a question on captioning. The question that is actually not on captioning itself, because captioning is part of a film, not something that we have any jurisdiction over-the film itself. But we did ask a question regarding any provisions that we could require for the building that would make services possible. And of course one of the technologies I have in mind when I ask that question is Rear Window technology. Which is part of the building. Why? You attach screens to the seats, etc. So that is what we have in the ADAAG proper. And captioning itself is within the purview of DOJ, not us.
Thanks, Marsha. Andrea, do we have our next question?
Is there any law currently in regards to bathrooms in the proximity in the paper towel dispensers to the sinks?
No, there is no requirement for the paper towel dispensers to be proximate to the sinks.
Are they going to put one in?
No, I don''t see one proposed.
Too bad. That is rather annoying. In existing auditoriums, what can you do when there aren''t handicapped seating that allows for the removing of a chair, just having one person, are you going to keep it one to one? A lot of people that go to auditoriums have families, and seating for your family can be quite a problem.
It is only one companion seat per one wheelchair location. However, the wheelchair location and the companion seat do have to be integrated into the overall seating plan. So in new design, you should not have a situation where you have one wheelchair seat and a companion seat with nothing around it. The seating should be integrated. Your question also went to existing facilities. I can''t answer what is going to happen to existing facilities because I don''t work for the Department of Justice. It would be their role when they revise their Titles 2 and 3 regulations to incorporate this new document as a standard. It would be their responsibility at that time to say what they would expect existing facilities to do under the barrier removal provisions, as well as any other provisions that might apply.
Marsha, it does bring up an interesting point, though, and the whole purpose of doing this session is that we''re trying to educate people on what is in the proposed rule. If they strongly feel one way or another this is the ideal opportunity to comment and submit that to the Access Board. The period of public comment is opened to March 15th. Do you see that being the hard and fast deadline to submit comment or do you see that being extending.
That is the deadline for comment. However, we have always and we always will review late comments to the extent practical. We are not bound to review late comments, but as long as we are still working on the subject, we will involve late comments.
This is John Berry. I''m a hotel architect. I''ve had one situation where it has been interpreted that an entry door from a corridor into a non-accessible guest room is on an accessible path on the corridor''s side. Is that the intent of the current ADAAG and is there anything in the new proposed rules that will address this situation?
I''m a little bit confused about what you mean. You said that it has been interpreted that an entry door to an accessible or inaccessible
To a non-accessible, that it is part of an accessible route on the corridor side thereby requiring the 12-inch clearance on the latch side.
No, no. If it is not an accessible room, the only provision that applies to that door is the clear width provision. That is in section 9.4 of the ADAAG.
Thank you very much.
Let us go to our next question. For those of you that might be calling on a speaker phone, if you do have a handset option, it is much easier to hear your question on the handset.
I''m asking about the ABA and the enforcement that we can expect for that law. There have been many complaints against federal buildings out here, and there seems to be no remedy in sight.
The Access Board enforces the ABA. We enforce it by way of complaint and within our authority. There are times when as much we would like to, we can''t do anything because the law doesn''t provide for it. We cannot require under the Architectural Barriers Act a facility to become accessible unless that facility has been designed in a way that is inconsistent with the standards that were in place at the time of construction or alteration or lease. So if you''ve got a federal building that was built in 1960, and not ever altered or modified, then that building predates the effective date of the law and the standards, so we can''t do anything about it.
A brand new building that has any barriers that brand new building must comply with UFAS . And depending on what federal agency controls the purse on that building, it may also by policy have to comply with the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. GSA, General services Administration, Department of Defense. Those are the two biggest federal builders. Both of them have policies that require builders with these types of facilities to comply with UFAS and ADAAG, whichever is more stringent. But in terms of enforcement here, we can only enforce the law, not the policy. So we enforce UFAS . And that is why we''re so eagerly trying to change the UFAS standard.
I''m up to my eyeballs here in faxes. Let us go to stadiums then we''ll go to the restroom. A couple of different questions here on stadiums or stadium style seating. Marsha, what is the Access Board''s position as far as stadium style of seating in theaters with oversized screens as far as the location of the accessible seating?
We have no position vis-a-vi oversized screens. We know that the rule now is equivalent sight lines, and the bigger the screen, the smaller the seating bowl, the more difficult it may be to provide equivalent sight lines
This is Ann Graver from the Illinois Attorney General''s office. We all look at slide 32, at least the people here, and we see "what''s next." Could you describe the process that''s going on for rulemaking. This goes to DOJ and they decide whether or not to adopt certain guidelines, can you just share that information with us? And also predict when, if any time you could see this actually being an enforceable regulation
First off, you know that I don''t work for DOJ. My favorite phrase: I don''t work for DOJ. But certainly, the Department of Justice doesn''t get to pick and choose from pieces. The Department of Justice is required by the statute to establish a standard that is consistent with the provisions of the ADAAG. I don''t think there is any intent on the part of the Department of Justice to rewrite the rule. I think that because they''re on our board, they participated in good faith in the board meetings and that the next step will be for the Department of Justice to issue a standard. And there is a lot to issuing a standard besides just picking up the reference standard. There are things like effective dates and who has to comply when and all that. But I think their intent is to issue a standard consistent with the final rule in as short a time as they possibly can.
This is Rick Edwards from the State of Indiana. I had a question about powered up doors. Does the new ADAAG address the requirement for installing powered up doors?
No. The new ADAAG does not require automatic door openers. Neither does the existing ADAAG. But the new ADAAG, just like the existing ADAAG, has technical provisions for what an automatic door needs to look like, when you use one.
Hi. My name is Roger. And we had a question concerning the height of tables in lavatories, the minimal height being 27 and the maximum being 34. Several members of our group felt that if they went from 27 to 34, that those would be inaccessible.
That is an appropriate comment to make during this rule making. I''m not sure that you understand the provision. Maybe it is just the way you stated it. But 27 inches is for the knee clearance. 34 inches is for the top of the table, or top of the surface. And that is kind of high for some people. And generally they''re not installed that high. But sometimes they are.
The feeling was that maybe 27 wasn''t enough for knee clearance. I have a gentleman sitting beside me that would crash his knees if the table was 27 inches. And he wondered why it was lowered to make it to 27 instead of 29
Because everything else that the ADAAG covers was at 27 inches. We don''t get complaints that there isn''t enough height in the knee clearance in the other things. I think that the 29 inches in the lavatories was an anomaly and it happened because the lavatory provisions were written without consideration of the internal inconsistency that was caused. But if your colleagues feel that they want to make that comment, it is certainly an appropriate comment to make "You picked the wrong number."
And who can I make that comment to? The Access Board?
To the docket at the Access Board, 1331 F Street, NW, Washington, D.C.. 20004: By March 15th
Also we would like to point out that on the Access Board''s web page at www.access-board.gov that there is also instruction on how to submit that public comment. While we''re waiting for the next question to come in, Marsha, I will ask you about edge protection or guardrails for landings that are less than 30 inches above grade. Is there are any new requirements for edge protection?
I think what we have done is we have provided either for edge protection or that the landing size itself be increased beyond the handrails. So that if you go sliding under that handrail and you''re using a chair and there is nothing to stop you, you will slide under the handrail, we don''t want your wheels to just dump off without edge protection. That is exactly what would happen. So what we did was provided for an increased landing size. That is an option. Either edge protection or increased landing size.
My name is Susan. I have a question as to whether or not the changes address privacy screens that are being installed in bathrooms
Not explicitly. However, your question is a good one because it is something that has been one of my pet peeves. When you install a privacy screen or modesty panel between shower stalls, for example, you cannot install the screens so as to just block off, provided the screens are deeper than 15-inches. You can''t install them just to box off the minimum clear floor space. You have to increase the minimum clear floor space because you have created at that point an alcove situation which is addressed in 4.2 of the ADAAG. So ADAAG currently addresses it, but I think folks tend not to thread these things together. And it will continue to be addressed in that way
Hello. My name is Catherine Williams. Our question is the proposed standards for TTYs, does that pertain to public buildings or private buildings or both?
Both. In fact, there are some scoping provisions for public buildings that go beyond the scoping provisions for privately owned buildings
And what section is that?
Off the top of my head. I think it is 217.
Probably challenging learning all those new numbers again.
This has messed me up more than anybody.
We have a question on-line.
Does the proposed ADAAG do anything for maximum opening for exterior doors and if not, why not?
The proposed new ADAAG does not address maximum opening force for exterior doors, it is for the same reason that the old ADAAG didn''t address that. We really have difficulty in establishing that opening force in a building where we don''t know the wind loads, we don''t know what other kinds of conditions are going to affect that door blowing up in a fire emergency. And so we''ve been extremely cautious about that. I know that it creates accessibility problems, and I know that some advocates would like to see a requirement for an automatic door opener where we can''t address the opening force on an exterior door.
This is Joe. We have gotten some e-mail from a group of people of small stature about the side reach of 48 inches. Is that being addressed in the provisions?
The ANSI committee reduced the high side reach from 54 inches to 48 inches in response to requests by Little People of America. An A117 committee member, who satisfied them that they had good reason to reduce the high side reach. We have not done that in the proposed rule but we have asked questions about it, and so the door is still open.
Marsha, when you bring up the issue of asking the questions, can you talk about some of the questions that you ask? Like the drinking fountains
Sorry, I know I messed up...
You messed me up. Let me see. I can probably do it more easily if I can get into my document.
It is one on the shower sheets, the rectangular versus the L shape
It doesn''t prohibit an L-shaped. It simply doesn''t require an L shaped.
I think one of the other one was TTYs and the height of the display.
To make the TTY readable. We simply have proposed some appropriate heights. And what we want to know is whether it is that we proposed are appropriate. We''ve also tried to integrate requirements that would make the TTY usable by someone who uses a wheelchair, which currently doesn''t happen in existing ADAAG. So that is why we did that.
The next question asks why we have said instead of means very egress in the same number as required by local building code, etc. why instead have we said two means of egress. And it is simply a shift in the way we understand means of egress. The way codes and other documents deal with means of egress, the means of egress is required from whereever a person is in a building, not from a building as a whole. So you''re looking at two means of egress from any point that a person can be in as opposed to four means of egress in a building which may in fact never serve someone in the northwest corner of the building. The whole means of egress thing in ADAAG, I think is difficult because it tries to treat means of egress in a way differently than means of egress is treated by designers and by people who do codes. Generally, if you have to have more than one way out, and almost always you have to have two. But generally if you have to have more than one way out from a space, that doesn''t assume that anyone can use three ways out, any one person. The space is so big that it requires three ways out because people can be in any quadrant of that space. So this change will make it so that there is always two ways out. Which under current ADAAG doesn''t happen. There is not always two accessible ways out under current ADAAG. There may be two ways out, but they won''t always meet the criteria for a means of egress in terms of travel distance and fire separation and everything else.
Thank you. We''re going to go back to the chat room and our online questions.
Yes. I have a question. I understand that there is an official interpretation on the current ADAAG that prohibits the use of stairs as part of an accessible route. However, section 409.1 appears to contradict this requirements by stating, "each required accessible means of egress shall be continuous and shall consist of one or more of the following components: Access stairways complying with 409.2" Can you please clarify?
Yes. An exit stairway complying with 409.2 is essentially where you get to areas of refuge or areas of rescue assistance. It is not the stairway itself. It is the part of the stairway that complies with 409.2. You need to go there and read that. An exit stairway alone is not a means of egress, however, an exit stairway containing an area of refuge could be a means of egress. At least as far as getting you to the area of refuge and then providing for the wider stair.
This is Judith. I have a pretty specific question. You address water coolers in the proposed changes, and we''ve been batting around here just what is the definition of a water cooler? Is it a fountain that also cools water? Or is it a thing that you use cups at?
Actually, I''m glad you asked that. I had to ask the same question when I came to work here. A water cooler can be a drinking fountain, plain and simple. If you look in architectural graphic standards there are a bunch of examples. Many of them are plumbed fixtures, look just like drinking fountains to me. Others are these portable things like a spring water or any other type of spring water that gets brought in and propped in a big water jug on the floor. When we address water coolers, we are addressing the thing that are fixed because ADAAG does not address anything that is not fixed
Hello. I notice that what you said about front mounting on the laundry facilities, I was wondering if that would include the tactile markings for people that need that?
There are no provisions for tactile markings on laundry equipment. None proposed.
Hello. Yes. This is Kent with the ADA project, and my question is over the next couple years as the new ADAAG is being finalized and hopefully becomes part of the law, in providing technical assistance to individuals and designers and so forth, what is your advice, Marsha, on explaining the differences between the new and old ADAAG and when there is a difference, which one should you use?
I think that is a trick question.
It is a trick question. In terms of explaining to designers the major differences, I think you can urge them to look to our preamble, because that does explain most of the major differences between the proposed rule and the model codes and standards, and since either ADAAG or the model code standards are going to apply in the jurisdiction most likely, that is really what they need to know. In terms of what they go with, I always advise that they elect to go with the more stringent, but with a caveat that it is a proposed rule and can change. And so anything that they do that is above and beyond the requirements of the current rule, they do because they think they''re right, not so much because they think that they''re going to get caught later on down the line.
Thanks, Marsha. I know that we have several other questions out there and we don''t have time to get to them, but we will give you more information before we wrap up this session on how to continue to ask those questions. Marsha, if you have a couple closing comments to leave us with.
Sure. In terms of what is next, somebody asked about that before, I think I clarified that the Department of Justice is not going to take pieces of this and throw it away. They are participating with the Board to issue a final rule. And I think they will be issuing their proposed rule, and understand that no federal agency can do anything without first proposing it to the public. So the Department of Justice will have to propose to the public to adopt the final rule for ADAAG. And they will have to accept comment and then they will have to determine whether or not they go forward or how they go forward based on the public comment. And so that is how this document finally will get into a regulation. In terms of what we do, we''ll begin to analyze that public comment and the staff will work with the Board to make changes in the final rule, and hopefully we will be able to issue a final rule in July of next year. That is our target date right now. So the standard setting agencies for the ABA as well as for the ADA need to issue those proposed rules to adopt our revised guidelines relatively soon. I would expect to see those within the next six months or so. In terms of comment, I would ask one thing of commenters, and that is that commenters do their best to look at the proposed rule and to propose specific modifications to us. It will be in your best interest to tell us exactly how you would like to see a provision changed as opposed to a discussion that I may have to read and guess at exactly what you want to have happen. So I recommend to people that they do try and work with the proposed document, show us what words we should change, what provisions we should change, and how. That will be most helpful. And I thank everybody for participating. I can always be reached at the Access Board, either by telephone or you can send questions to TA@access-board.gov or you can reach me on the phone at (202) 272-5434. And also please contact your DBTACs for more information.
Thanks so much for taking time out of your day, Marsha, to discuss the proposed rule with us. It definitely is a challenging rule to go through, but you''ve definitely given us more insight into it and more opportunity to participate in the period of public comment. As you said before, the Access Board''s phone number is (800) USA-ABLE. If you have technical assistance. Certainly if you have more questions on the technical provisions of the proposed rule or the existing ADAAG, consider contacting your regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center at (800) 949-4232. For those of you that are members of AIA, there are learning units available for this session and our upcoming architectural session May 16th on the Principals of Universal Design, which will feature John Salmen. For those of you who participate on a monthly basis, our next session scheduled for March 21 on Effective Communication with Mark Charmatz from the National Association of the Deaf. Again Marsha, thank you so much for talking with us today. And I would like to thank all of our sites, too, that called in. We hope to have you participate in future sessions.