Americans with Disablities Act

By Jeff Dinardo
Americans with Disablities Act

Contents supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. In celebration, we are happy to present a 15% discount to members with disabilities. We stock exit devices and many other useful products such as door closers to improve life quality.

The following information concerning ADA hardware requirements comes from the ADAAG. The basic hardware requirements are as follows:
The doorway must have a minimum clear opening of 32" with the door open 90 degrees, measured from the face of the door and the opposite stop; 5/8" is allowed for the latch.
Thresholds at doorways shall not exceed 1/2" except for exterior sliding doors, which is 3/4". Raised thresholds and floor level changes at accessible doorways shall be beveled with a slope no greater than 1:2.
 Door hardware such as handles, pulls, latches, locks, and other operating devices on accessible doors shall have a shape that is easy to grasp with one hand and does not require tight grasping, tight pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate. Lever-operated mechanisms, push-type mechanisms, and U-shaped mechanisms are acceptable designs. Hardware required for accessible door passage shall be mounted no higher than 48" above the finished floor.
 If a door has a door closer, then the sweep period of the closer shall be adjusted so that from an open position of 70 degrees the door will take at least 3 seconds to move to a point 3" from the latch, measured to the leading edge of the door.
 The maximum door opening force, as measured directly above the lock, for pushing or pulling open a door shall be as follows: Fire doors shall have the minimum opening force allowable by the appropriate administrative authority. In the ADA there is no requirement for exterior doors due to environmental factors such as wind and pressure differences.
 In Oregon, Washington and many other states (through their new building codes, which have now adopted the ADA) the exterior doors must have a maximum opening force of 8-1/2 lbs.. When this is not feasible due to environmental conditions an automatic or power-assisted door must be provided. Interior and sliding or folding doors must have a maximum force of 5 lbs. These forces do not apply to the force required to retract latch bolts or disengage other devices that may hold the door in a closed position.
 Automatic and power-assisted doors shall not open to backcheck faster than 3 seconds and shall require no more than 15 lbs. of force to stop door movement.
The diameter or width of the gripping surface of a handrail or grab bar shall be 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" or the shape shall provide an equivalent gripping surface. If handrails or grab bars are mounted adjacent to a wall, the space between the wall and the grab bar shall be 1-1/2".

Related Articles