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Access Denied: Common ADA Violations


ADA

What are the most common violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and how can managers avoid violations?

The most common violations are found at every juncture of a facility. They include:

Built environment. Violations range from curb ramps and ramps that are too steep to a lack of parking areas with a marked access aisle and signage. Ground markings do not count, since they can not be seen at night or when covered by snow.

Restrooms. The most common violations are toilets not mounted the correct distance from wall or partition — a.k.a. the water closet center line — and toilet flush valves installed on the wrong side. If it is not on the wide side, users must reach over the toilet to flush it.

Operations. The most common operational violations — meaning they were not designed or constructed that way — include:

• Housekeeping and maintenance staff placing a garbage can next to a restroom exit door. A clear space next to a door — a.k.a. maneuvering clearances — give someone in a wheelchair the space to approach the door, reach the handle and open the door.  A user can not do that if a garbage can is there. Another violation is placing garbage cans or ash urns directly in front of an elevator’s call buttons. This violation also impacts the ability of someone using a wheelchair or a walker to reach the buttons.

• Retail establishments placing merchandise, information racks, etc. in the aisles, which reduce path of travel.

• Wall-mounted objects that project 4 inches or more from the wall.  If the objects are 27 inches to 80 inches from the floor, someone with a visual disability will miss the item on a cane sweep and walk right into the object, risking injury.

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