Those pesky dimensions!          October 2008
Recently I was challenged by some seminar participants on rules I was explaining.  As I researched a bit more to get a better handle on the rule, here is what I found:
Fig. 31 Lavatories and sinks and Fig. 27 EWC


  I know I've spoken before about Fig. 31 and the dimension that shows 6" max (toe clearance).  Since the drawing shows the dimension from the wall, I receive drawings showing exactly that: a protective skirt that is angled so that it is not more than 6" from the wall. 

Fig. 31


In reality, the 6" maximum defines one side of a space where nothing can occupy.  So that means that it should be free from obstructions and equipment.  This requirement is based on anthropometric measurements for wheelchair users. It was determined that an object cannot extend more than 6" from the back wall and it must be at least 9" above the floor in order for a person in a wheelchair to be able to position themselves for a frontal approach to the elements and be able to reach all necessary parts or controls.
So if there is a pipe, for example that is below 9" a.f.f. then it cannot extend more than 6" from the back wall. 
This is not dimensioning the distance that the skirt must be away from the back wall.
See the sketch below which comes from the Access Board who wrote the guidelines.  You MAY have the protective skirt MORE than 6" away from the wall.  It can even go straight up and down as long as you have 8" horizontally back from the front of the apron and 9" below for toe kick.


Notice the 6" is not touching the wall.  Hope this clear things up a bit.

In This Issue
Fig. 31 Lavatories and Fig. 27 EWC
Fig. 30(a) Toilet Stalls
Inspector's corner: Protruding object
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Fig. 30(a) Toilet Stalls
Have you ever really looked at Fig. 30 (a) to try to understand how this toilet partition must be laid out? 
toilet stall
The door MUST be opposite of the water closet.  And the door should not be more than 4" from the side wall.  So the drawing below is not correct.

 toilet stall
Inspector's corner
 I've inspected restrooms where there has been a hand dryer or paper towel dispenser that is protruding more than 4" from the wall.   This is considered a protruding object because a person who uses a cane to get around cannot detect it if it is mounted above 27" a.f.f. 
So a good solution is to place a permanent object below the toilet accessory that is within can detection.  But keep in mind that the permanent object has to be as deep as the accessory it is protecting.  The rule is that the "leading" edge must be no more than 4" off the wall. 

trash under paper towel disp
If you have any questions on these or any other topics relating to accessibilty, feel free to contact me anytime. 
And if you would like to be part of my beta testing for a free webinar on Barrier Free Design Self Reporting CEU, let me know.
Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714