20th Anniversary of the ADA

July 26, 2010

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of the ADA and despite the vocal opinions of some ignorant fools, the Americans with Disabilities Act continues to improve life for people with disabilities.  But there is still a long road ahead to change the attitudes and practices that deny access to people with disabilities.

Here are some example of comments that I hear in my day to day work as an accessibility specialist:

“We couldn’t hire a person with a disability.”

“People in wheelchairs never come here.”

“A handicapped person couldn’t do this job.”

“We don’t have to comply.”

“Now my building discriminates against everyone else.”

And then there is this picture that I took this morning.  Presumably, they were having a big party to celebrate the ADA 20th Anniversary at this bar and decided to put the stage on top of the accessible parking to make it easier for the wheelchair users to find.  Of course this is located in an area of town that is very short on parking in the evenings, so they wouldn’t want to block any of those “useful” parking spaces.

Temporary stage blocks the only accessible parking.


Covered Parking – Accessible Parking Required

October 15, 2009

The title of this blog post sums it up.  But to say it with a few more words, if you provide covered parking, you must provide covered accessible parking.

And to say it with even MORE words:

The Standards (TAS) do not specifically state that covered accessible parking must be provided, but this interpretation is supported by section 4.1.1(1)(b) and 4.1.2(5)(a).  Section 4.6.5 provides the vertical clearance requirement when covered accessible parking is provided.

4.1.1(1)(b) Appropriate Number and Location. The standards for determining the appropriate or minimum numbers contained in this document are considered minimal and the commissioner shall have the authority to make adjustments when it is determined that the standards would cause the numbers or locations to be insufficient to adequately meet the needs of people with disabilities based on the nature, use and other circumstances of any particular building or facility. In determining the appropriate number and location of a particular element, space, or fixture, the following factors shall be among those considered:

(i) population to be served;

(ii) availability to user;

(iii) location relative to distance and time;

(iv) location relative to isolation and separation;

(v) function of the building or facility; and

(vi) equal treatment and opportunity.

4.1.2(5)(a) If parking spaces are provided for self-parking by employees or visitors, or both, then accessible spaces complying with 4.6 shall be provided in each such parking area in conformance with Table 2 below (link).

Spaces required by the table need not be provided in the particular lot. They may be provided in a different location if equivalent or greater accessibility, in terms of distance from an accessible entrance, cost and convenience is ensured.

4.6.5 Vertical Clearance. Provide minimum vertical clearance of 114 in (2895 mm) at accessible passenger loading zones and along at least one vehicle access route to such areas from site entrance(s) and exit(s). At parking spaces complying with4.1.2(5)(b), provide minimum vertical clearance of 98 in (2490 mm) at the parking space and along at least one vehicle access route to such spaces from site entrance(s) and exit(s).

The requirement for covered accessible parking applies regardless of who the covered parking serves.  Examples include contract parking or Doctor/Executive parking.  However, it is acceptable to provide covered parking for commercial or fleet vehicles.  Also, valet-only parking facilities do not require accessible parking although it is recommended.