Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
This document was developed utilizing Part III (28 CFR Part 36), Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Buildings: Final Rule, developed by the Department of Justice and Part IV (49 CFR Parts 27, 37, and 38), Transportation for Individuals With Disabilities; Final Rule, developed by the Department of Transportation.
Part III addresses accessibility to commercial buildings and Part IV the vehicles and terminals for transporting disabled individuals.
The following recommendations were obtained from Part III and IV of the ADA regulations, the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (Appendix A to the ADA regulations), and the Appendix to the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. Although the ADA Accessibility Guidelines are mandatory if required under the regulations, note that the Appendix to the ADA Accessibility Guidelines is only advisory and does not alter the duty to comply with the requirements of the ADA Guidelines themselves. These requirements are also cross-referenced with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) documents, which are incorporated in part into the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. The information below provides a list of Johnsonite products that currently meet the requirements of the ADA.
It should be noted that wall base, cove cap moldings, cove fillers, tub moldings, corner bumper guards, and track base are not regulated by the law.
Common Recommendations from Part III and IV:
Section #4.5 - Ground and Floor Surfaces
#4.5.1 and #A4.5.1 - General:
Ground and floor surfaces along accessible routes and in accessible rooms and spaces including floors, walks, ramps, stairs and curb ramps shall be stable, firm and slip-resistant. A static coefficient of friction shall be 0.6 for accessible routes and 0.8 for ramps.
This section affects Johnsonite's rubber floor tile, ComforTech rubber sheet flooring, landing tile, rubber and vinyl stair treads, and vinyl stair nosings.
All of Johnsonite's flooring products are tested to ASTM D-2047, Coefficient of Friction utilizing the James Machine, which is one of the test methods recognized by the ADA. The results of the test are as follows:
#4.5.2 - Changes in Level:
Changes in level up to 1/4" (6mm) may be vertical and without edge treatment. Changes in level between 1/4" and 1/2" (6mm and 13mm) shall be beveled with a slope no greater than 1:2. Changes in level greater than 1/2" (13mm) shall be accomplished by means of a ramp.
This area affects Johnsonite's adapters, transitions, reducers and edge guards. The following products currently meet this requirement:
Section #4.9 - Stairs
#4.9.2 - Treads and Risers:
On any given flight of stairs, all steps shall have uniform riser heights and uniform tread widths. Stair treads shall be no less than 11" (28cm) wide, measured from riser to riser. Open risers are not permitted.
#4.9.3 - Nosings:
The undersides of nosings shall not be abrupt. The radius of curvature at the leading edge of the tread shall be no greater than 1/2" (13mm). Risers shall be sloped or the underside of the nosing shall have an angle not less than 600 from the horizontal. Nosings shall project no more than 1-1/2" (38mm).
#4.9.5 - Detectable Warnings at Stairs (Reserved):
These areas apply to Johnsonite's rubber and vinyl stair treads and vinyl nosings. All Johnsonite stair treads exceed the minimum width requirement of 11" (28 cm).
Although the uniform riser height requirements are not given in the ADA, the ANSI guidelines require a 4" (10cm) minimum to 7" (18cm) maximum.
All Johnsonite risers meet this requirement.
Johnsonite round nose treads and nosings have a radius greater than 1/2", therefore, they do not meet this requirement and are unacceptable for ADA installations. All Johnsonite square nose treads and nosings are manufactured with an internal angle of 900 or less and meet the requirement, but many steel pan manufacturers have incorporated the 600 angle in their designs, which creates a problem with sufficient product flexibility to adapt to the increased angle and hold during installation.
To address this requirement, Johnsonite is currently modifying its square nose treads and nosings to provide additional flexibility in the nosing area. This was accomplished by removing a small amount of material in the internal angle of these products and creating a "hinge" effect, which should accommodate all angle variations encountered in the field.
In addition to the "hinge," we are increasing the length of the nose to 2" on all square nose treads and visually-impaired vinyl nosing products to accommodate the additional length required to meet the riser. (Note: All standard and visually impaired vinyl treads, vinyl nosings and Roundel Round and Square Pattern and One-Piece Round Pattern Rubber Treads are currently available with these modifications.)
Section 4.29 Detectable Warnings:
(See Detectable Warnings Suspension Update Below.)
Detectable Warnings required by 4.1 and 4.7 shall comply with 4.29.
#4.29.2 Detectable Warnings on Walking Surfaces:
Detectable warnings shall consist of raised truncated domes with a diameter of nominal 0.9" (23mm), a height of nominal 0.2" (5mm) and a center-to-center spacing of nominal 2.35" (60mm) and shall contrast visually with adjoining surfaces, either light-on-dark or dark-on-light.
#4.29.3 Detectable Warnings on Doors to Hazardous Areas: (Reserved)
#4.29.4 Detectable Warnings on Stairs: (Reserved)
#4.29.5 Detectable Warnings at Hazardous Vehicular Areas:
If a walk crosses or adjoins a vehicular way, and the walking surfaces are not separated by curbs, railings or other elements between the pedestrian areas and vehicular areas, the boundary between the areas shall be defined by a continuous detectable warning which is 36" (915mm) wide, complying with 4.29.2.
#4.29.6 Detectable Warnings at Reflecting Pools:
The edges of the reflecting pools shall be protected by railings, walls, curbs or detectable warnings complying with 4.29.2.
#4.29.7 Standardization: (Reserved)
Detectable Warnings Suspension Update: A joint final rule was released April 12, 1994, by the Department of Justice, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board and Department of Transportation to temporarily suspend the requirements for detectable warning surfaces for curb ramps, hazardous vehicular areas and reflecting pools. Detectable warnings at stairs have been reserved since the initial release of the Federal Register.
This ruling was based on recent studies performed by various organizations representing individuals with physical impairments (i.e., Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association, National Easter Seal Society and the National Federation of the Blind, etc.), which analyzed the effectiveness and difficulties in negotiating the truncated dome profile, as described in section 4.29 of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines.
Initially, the suspension took effect May 12, 1994 and extended through July 26, 1996, but the Access Board has continued suspension until July 26, 2001.
Although 4.29 of the of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Detectable Warnings has been suspended, the ANSI standards and the standards used in several states' building codes provide guidance as to what may be used for detectable warnings.
ANSI A117.1 (1992) provides a general statement regarding detectable warnings, not specific or currently required at or on stair surfaces, which states that they should be uniform within the facility and provide sufficient contrast in material, texture and color to the adjoining walking surfaces, where required.
The State of Illinois Environmental Barriers Act (IEBA), issued in 1988, references the detectable warnings as outlined in ANSI specification A117.1 (1986).
ANSI A117.1 (1986) provides diagrams of three (3) recommended detectable warning surfaces. These surfaces are required at the top of all stair runs, except those in dwelling units, in enclosed stair towers or set to the side of the path of travel. The detectable warning surface shall extend the full width of the staircase and for a depth of 36" at the top of the stair run. These warning surfaces also apply to doors leading into hazardous areas, vehicular areas and reflecting pools.
Johnsonite's Standard and Visually Impaired Tactile Warning Strips (TW-XX and VITW-XX) comply with ANSI A117.1 (1986) design requirements.
The State of California developed a specification, which has been adopted by six other western states' building codes (Texas, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico) for stair surface striping for the visually impaired.
Section #2-3306(r) of the California Building Code states that the upper approach and lower tread of each stair case (interior and exterior) shall be marked by a strip of clearly contrasting color at least 2" wide and placed parallel to and not more than 1" from the nose of the step or landing to alert the visually impaired. The strip shall be of material that is at least as slip-resistant as the other treads of the stair.
All Johnsonite visually impaired stair treads and nosings currently meet this California building code requirement.
Section #4.13 - Doors
#4.13.8 - Thresholds at Doorways:
Thresholds at doorways shall not exceed 3/4" (19mm) in height for exterior sliding doors or 1/2" (13mm) for other types of doors. Raised thresholds and floor level changes at accessible doorways shall be beveled with a slope no greater than 1:2.
Johnsonite's VT1-XX and VT2-XX thresholds meet this requirement.
Recommendations from Part IV - Department of Transportation
Section #10.1 - Transportation Facilities - Every station, bus stop, terminal, building or other transportation facility shall comply with the previously listed requirements and other related provisions in this section.
#10.3.1(8) - Platform edges bordering a drop-off and not protected by platform screens or guard rails shall have a detectable surface warning.
Such detectable warnings shall comply with 4.29.2 and shall be 24" wide, running the full length of the platform drop-off.
Part 38 - Accessibility Specifications for Transportation Vehicles Subparts B (Buses/Vans), C (Rapid Rail Vehicles), D (Light Rail Vehicles), E (Commuter Rail), F (Intercity Rail) and G (Over The Road Buses).
#49 C.F.R. sections 38.25, 38.59, 39.79 and 38.153 - Requirements for floors, steps, and thresholds:
Johnsonite Rubber Floor Tile and ComforTech rubber sheet flooring meet the coefficient of friction requirements of the ADA and are suitable for installation in aisles, lift platforms, securement areas and other walking areas within transportation facilities and transportation vehicles.
Johnsonite visually impaired stair treads and nosings are suitable for installation on lift platforms and step edges within transportation facilities and transportation vehicles.
The information outlined in this document was obtained from current federal registers, specifications and building codes generated by the ADA, the specifications set out in the ADA Accessibility Guidelines, ANSI, the State of California and the State of Illinois.
Many individual states have developed building codes with more stringent accessibility requirements than those listed in this document. Reference your respective state requirements prior to specifying and recommending products for accessibility applications.
Certain areas of these documents are still being reviewed and modified. Any modifications or updated information to these documents will be circulated when available.
Disclaimer: The ADA regulations, the ADA Accessibility Guidelines and the Appendix to those Guidelines may change from time to time. Johnsonite does not represent or warrant that the recommendations set out above meet the current requirements of the ADA or that the recommendations provide a comprehensive list of the ADA requirements that may apply in your situation. You should conduct an independent evaluation of the current ADA requirements applicable to your situation and the impact that the ADA will have on your particular application.
Revision 4, Released August, 1999