The following checklist, prepared by the Adaptive Environments Center Inc. and Barrier Free Environments Inc., can help businesses identify problems of accessibility in existing structures so they can be more usable to the disabled as is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Questions are listed below on the basis of ``highest'' to ``lowest'' priority for the convenience of those intending to bring their facilities into gradual compliance over a period of time. To use the checklist, merely write ``no'' next to those questions that cannot be answered in the affirmative.
A ``no'' answer to any of these questions indicates the need for corrective action.
This checklist does not cover all ADA requirements. Therefore, it should not be used in connection with new construction or building alterations for which total compliance with the law is required.
In such cases, dealers should obtain a full-text version the ADA Accessibility Guidelines by telephoning the U.S. Department of Justice at (202) 514-0301.
The Justice Department recommends that businesses develop an ``Implementation Plan,'' specifying what improvements will be made to remove existing barriers and when each solution is to be carried out. Having such a plan helps demonstrate a company's ``good faith'' effort to comply with the ADA, authorities said.
Path of travel
Is there a path of travel that does not require the use of stairs?
Is the path of travel stable, firm and slip-resistant?
Is this path at least 36 inches wide?
Can all objects protruding into the path be detected using a cane?
(In order to be detected using a cane, an object must be within 27 inches of the ground. Objects hanging or mounted overhead must be higher than 80 inches to provide clear head room. It is not necessary to remove objects that protrude less than 4 inches from the wall.)
Do curbs on the pathway have ``curb cuts'' at drives, parking and passenger drop-off locations?
Are the slopes of the ramps no greater than 1:12? (Meaning that ramp height increases one inch in every 12 feet.)
Do all ramps longer than 6 feet have railings on both sides?
Are railings sturdy and between 34 and 38 inches high?
Is the width between railings at least 36 inches?
Do these ramps have a non-slip surface?
Is there a 5-foot-long level landing located at every 30 feet as well as at the top and bottom of ramps and at switchbacks? (The ramp should rise no more than 30-inches between landings.)
Is an adequate number of handicap-accessible parking spaces available? (Each such parking space should include 8 feet of width for a car plus an additional 5-foot striped access aisle.) For guidance in determining the appropriate number to designate, the following table lists the ADA requirements for new construction and alterations:
Total spaces Accessible spaces
availablerequired under ADA
Are 16-foot-wide spaces, with 98 inches of vertical clearance, available for lift-equipped vans? (At least one of every eight accessible spaces must be van-accessible.)
Are the accessible spaces closest to the accessible entrance?
Are accessible spaces marked with the International Symbol of Accessibility? Are there signs reading ``Van Accessible'' at van spaces?
Is there an enforcement procedure to ensure that accessible parking is used only by those it is designed to serve?
If there are stairs at the main entrance, is there also a ramp or lift, or is there an alternative accessible entrance?
Do all inaccessible entrances have signs indicating the location of the nearest accessible entrance?
Can the alternate accessible entrance be used independently?
Does the entrance door have at least 32 inches of clear opening (for a double door, at least one 32-inch leaf)?
Is there at least 18 inches of clear wall space on the pull side of the door next to the handle?
Is the threshold level (meaning less than 1/4 inch) or beveled (up to 1/2 inch high)?
Are doormats 1/2 inch high or less, and secured to the floor at all edges?
Is the door handle no higher than 48 inches and operable with a closed fist?
Can doors be opened without too much force? (The maximum force allowed is 5 foot pounds.)
If the door has a closer, does it take at least three seconds to close?
Do all alarms have both flashing lights and audible signals?
Is there sufficient lighting in egress pathways such as stairs, corridors and exits?
Access to services
Does the accessible entrance provide direct access to the main floor, lobby or elevator?
Are all public spaces on an accessible path of travel?
Is the accessible route to all public spaces at least 36 inches wide?
Is there a 5-foot circle or a T-shaped space for a person using a wheelchair to reverse direction?
Do doors into public spaces have at least a 32-inch clear opening?
On the pull side of doors, next to the handle, is there at least 18 inches of clear wall space so that a person using a wheelchair can get near to open the door?
Can doors be opened without too much force? (5 foot pounds maximum)?
Are door handles 48 inches high or less and operable with a closed fist?
Are all thresholds level (less than 1/4 inch) or beveled (up to 1/2-inch high)?
Rooms and spaces
Are all aisles and pathways to all goods and services at least 36 inches wide?
Is there a 5-foot circle or T-shaped space for turning a wheelchair completely?
Is carpeting low-pile, tightly woven and securely attached at edges?
In routes through public areas, are all obstacles cane-detectable (within 27 inches of the floor or protruding less than 4 inches from the wall), or are they higher than 80 inches?
Do signs designating permanent rooms and spaces, such as rest room signs, exit signs, and room numbers, comply with the appropriate ADA requirements?
Are all controls available for public use (including electrical, mechanical, window, cabinet and self-service controls) at an accessible height?
Seats, tables and counters
Are the aisles between chairs or tables at least 36 inches wide?
Are the tops of tables or counters between 28 and 34 inches high?
Are knee spaces at accessible tables at least 27 inches high, 30 inches wide,and 19 inches deep?
Are there ramps or elevators to all levels?
On each level, if there are stairs between the entrance and/or elevator and essential public areas, is there an accessible alternate route?
Do stair treads have a non-slip surface?
Are there both visible and verbal or audible door opening/closing and floor indicators (one tone for up, two tones for down)?
Are the call buttons in the hallway no higher than 42 inches?
Do the controls outside and inside the cab have raised and Braille lettering?
Is there a sign in raised and Braille letters on the jamb at each floor identifying that floor?
Is the emergency intercom usable without voice communication?
Are there Braille and raised-letter instructions for the communication system?
Can the lift be used without assistance? If not, is a call button provided?
Is there at least 30x48 inches of clear space for a person using a wheelchair to approach to reach the controls and use the lift?
Are controls between 15 and 48 inches high (up to 54 inches if a side approach is possible)?
Is at least one rest room (either one for each sex, or unisex) fully accessible?
Are there signs at inaccessible rest rooms that give directions to accessible ones?
Is there tactile signage identifying rest rooms?
Is the doorway at least 32 inches clear?
Are doors equipped with accessible handles (operable with a closed fist), 48 inches high or less?
Can doors be opened easily? (Maximum 5 foot pounds force.)
Does the entry configuration provide adequate maneuvering space for a person using a wheelchair?
Is there a 36-inch-wide path to all fixtures?
Is the stall door operable with a closed fist, inside and out?
Is there a wheelchair-accessible stall that has an area of at least 5 feet x 5 feet, clear of the door swing, or is there a stall that is less accessible but that provides greater access than a typical stall? (Either 36x69 inches or 48x69 inches.)
In the accessible stall, are there grab bars behind and on the side wall nearest to the toilet?
Is the toilet seat 17 to 19 inches high?
Does one lavatory have a 30-inch-wide x 48-inch-deep clear space in front?
Is the lavatory rim no higher than 34 inches?
Is there at least 29 inches from the floor to the bottom of the lavatory apron? (Excluding pipes.)
Can the faucet be operated with one closed fist?
Are soap and other dispensers and hand dryers 48 inches high or less and usable with one closed fist?
Is the mirror mounted with the bottom edge of the reflecting surface 40 inches high or lower?
Is there at least one fountain with clear floor space of at least 30x48 inches in front?
Is there one fountain with its spout no higher than 36 inches and another with a standard height spout (or a single ``hi-lo'' fountain)?
Are controls mounted on the front or on the side near the front edge and operable with one closed fist?
Does the fountain protrude no more than 4 inches into the circulation space?
If pay or public phones are provided, is there clear floor space of at least 30x48 inches in front of at least one?
Is the highest operable part of one phone no higher than 48 inches (54 inches if a side approach is possible)?
Does the phone protrude no more than 4 inches?
Does it have push-button controls? Volume control?
Is it hearing aid compatible?
Is the phone with volume control identified with an appropriate sign?
Is one of the phones equipped with a text telephone (TT or TDD)?