According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010 nearly 56.7 million people had a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design were enacted to ensure that both public and commercial buildings are accessible to people with disabilities. Design professionals and facilities managers need to be familiar both with the regulations in the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design as well as with local accessibility guidelines, as many local codes have even more stringent guidelines than the national codes.
Understanding ADA terminology can help you better understand ADA regulations and building codes. The following key ADA terms and information can be found in the ADA national network website at adata.org:
Title III of the ADA pertains to Public Accommodations (private entities). Under ADA Title III, no individual may be discriminated against on the basis of disability with regards to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.
Universal design (UD) is also known as “inclusive design” and “design for all.” This is an approach to the design of products, places, policies and services that can meet the needs of as many people as possible throughout their lifetime, regardless of age, ability, or situation.
Public accommodations are private entities that own, operate, lease, or lease to places of public accommodation and include places such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, convention centers, retail stores, shopping centers, dry cleaners, laundromats, pharmacies, doctors’ offices, hospitals, museums, libraries, parks, zoos, amusement parks, private schools, day care centers, health spas, and bowling alleys.
Public entities are covered by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are defined as:
- Any State or local government
- Any department or agency of State or local government
- Certain commuter authorities
Fundamental alteration describes a modification so significant that it alters the essential nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations offered. If a public entity can demonstrate that the modification would fundamentally alter the nature of its service, program, or activity, it is not required to make the modification. If a public accommodation (private entity) can demonstrate that a modification would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations it provides, it is not required to make the modification.
Architectural barriers are obstacles or other features in the built environment that impede individuals with disabilities from gaining full and complete access to the goods and services being provided.
Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) addresses scoping and technical requirements for accessibility to sites, facilities, buildings, and elements by individuals with disabilities.
Readily achievable refers to an undertaking that is easily accomplished and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense. Public accommodations are required to remove barriers when it is readily achievable to do so.
Accessibility in the Commercial Restroom
When designing an ADA compliant public restroom, architectural design firms, property managers and facility directors, can be assured that Scranton Products bathroom partitions provide the most material choices, features, and options to meet your highest design and ADA compliance requirements.
To learn more about our ADA compliant products, or to find a dealer in your location, visit our website: https://www.scrantonproducts.com/where-to-buy/