December  2008   Sharing the Knowledge
Through my reviews, inspections and seminars I come across interpretations and rulings that are not common knowledge.  These newsletters are a way I share that knowledge with you.  Enjoy!
4.7 Raised/Parallel Curb Ramps
A raised or parallel curb ramp is discussed on Technical Memorandum TM 99-11.  
This type of curb ramp is not shown on the ADA or TAS, but we are allowed to use it provided it meets the requirements spelled out in the memo and on TAS section 4.7 Curb Ramps. 
But what happens when the sloped sides are less than 5% (1:20)? 
A ramp (or curb ramp) only has to meet the requirements found on TAS 4.7, if they are between 1:12 and 1:20.  If the slope is shallower then it is only a sloped surface and does constitute a ramp thus does not require the surface texture or contrasting color per 4.7.4
What if the same curb ramp is exiting onto a parking lot or vehicular way?  Does it need a detectable warning? 
The intent of the detectable warning is used to warn people who are visually impaired that a hazardous area is found at the end of the ramp.  Because a sloped walkway less than 5% is not a ramp, it will not require a detectable warning.
The only time that a raised curb ramp that is less than 5% slope will require a detectable warning at the landing is when it is found in a public right of way.  This is noted on TM 08-01
In This Issue
4.7 Raised Parallel Curb Ramp
3.5.9 Alterations
Inspector's corner: Handrail Extensions
On the lighter side
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TAS 3.5.9 Definition of Alterations

There are many instances when a facilty is getting renovated by just changing the finishes.  Most of the time, these changes and renovations do not have to be reviewed for compliance since they are cosmetic by nature and do not fit the defintion of an alteration. 
The definition for alterations in TAS chapter 3, states:
"An alteration is a change to a building or facility... .. Normal maintenance, reroofing, painting or wallpapering, or changes to mechanical and electrical systems are not alterations unless they affect the usability of the building or facility."
If you notice the last statement..."unless they affect the usability of the building..."  This means that changing the floor , for example, could affect the usability because there may be a material that is not slip resistant, or one flooring material may be higher than an adjacent floor and therefore could affect its usability.  What this definition refers to are things that don't affect a person with a disability (i.e. wall finishes, ceiling finishes, mechanical system, roofing systems etc.)
So if your "maintenance" project includes flooring and it is over $50,000 you will be required to submit it for review and inspection.

7c-change in levels
Fig. 7c showing the maximum change in level we are allowed in flooring materials.
8f-carpet height
Fig. 8c showing the maximum height of a carpet. 
Inspector's corner: Ramp handrail extensions
A handrail, unless it is continuous, must extend 12" at the top and bottom of the ramp. 
The definition of a continuous handrail is a handrail that wraps around a switch back ramp or stair.  It would not be considered continuous to wrap the handrail around the corner 12".  The extension must be parallel to the ground and along the path of travel.

So the handrail in this photograph is not acceptable.
On the lighter side:

As we go about our serious business of making life better for those who are disabled, let's not loose sight of what is really important....
 toilet paper
Which one of these toilet paper rolls should I measure for compliance?
From everyone here at Abadi Accessibility we want to wish you a Happy Holiday Season and may 2009 be very prosperous and successful!
Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714