I have received a number of questions on how to treat multi-family residential facilities that also have offices and other services, and whether these are considered multi-use facilities. And of course the answer is – it depends.
Recently, it has come to my attention that there is some confusion on passenger loading zones and what are the requirements. It is also difficult to determine if the requirements are misunderstood based on drawing review, since on-grade markings are shown. It is just that they are incorrectly placed in the pull-up space.
Time and again, I find that there is often confusion as to what Access means and who it is for. There is this overlying presumption that it is mostly for people who use wheelchairs. There are many types of disabilities. The question is – what are we doing and for who is it for.
One of the items that did not seem entirely clear to me was reflective or reflectorized signs for parking, and how do you recognize them, vs glossy or matt signs. At one point I looked for small dots in the signs but many of them seem to be faded with no added benefit that I could discern. And recently I have been seeing the signs with vertical type prism bands. So what is required, what is the difference, and what are we looking for?
Many times issues come up regarding the presence of animals in public spaces and places of public accommodation. Most building/business owners (hopefully) know enough to allow the service animal in and that they can not ask a person with an animal what their disability is. But the question is – is the animal really a service animal – how can they tell, and which animals are they required to allow to enter the premises?
When remodeling a kitchen, what are some issues you might consider? We generally think of the appliances and locations, and then the countertop material and color. But there are additional items to consider if this is your forever home or if this is the one and only kitchen remodel you are thinking to do. So what are some issues to consider so the kitchen is useful as you age along with your house?
I have been asked many times, what is a CASp (Certified Access Specialist program) and why is this program necessary. What I have found over the years is that Accessibility has become so complex, not only in the scoping and technical aspects but also which regulations apply. Typically this has been in the realm of architects, but determining which regulations and how to apply them many times depends upon money sourcing and whether it is a program of a public entity or a federal agency.
Lavatories have some of the more involved clearances below which impact reach ranges above. The question of why is this important to understand might be arising in your thoughts. The answer is the impact on the location of faucet controls, soap dispensers, and any other built-in items including electrical outlets and switches.
Earlier this year a law was passed in California stating that all single user toilet rooms are to be unisex — in other words we will no longer have a men’s restroom or a women’s restroom for one user. Since the rooms are required to have privacy locks they can now be used by either sex.
This is a relatively simple topic, but I have seen a number of new facilities where these are not specified or installed in a compliant fashion. The ADA standards does not require all of the machines to be accessible. In each accessible space, one minimum is required to be accessible for a dryer and one for a washing machine. And if there are more than 3 washers or 3 dryers, then two are required to be accessible of each. This is applicable whether it is in a laundromat, or a common space laundry room for public residential dwelling units, or student housing at a place of education, or social service center establishment sleeping rooms, or a mobility feature dwelling unit.