Category Archives: Accessible Restrooms

ADA accessible Mirror: FAIL

Help!  I can’t see myself! ADA accessible Mirror FAIL!

A few nights ago, I was sitting on the potty in the accessible restroom at a classy private club.  I looked over at the ADA accessible mirror and realized that the bottom of the glass was at least 52″ above the floor. The required accessible mirror was more than a foot higher than the ADA 2010 Code rule.  I took the photo of the ADA accessible mirror while sitting down.  At 66″ tall when standing, I still needed to stretch a bit to check my lipstick.

I am not writing this to “out’ any business.  I just want to make the point of how small, often overlooked things can impact the life of a person living with a disability.

Just because your architect designed your building to meet the 2010 ADA codes, does not mean that it was built and furnished to code!

Private Clubs that allow non-members to attend functions, are not exempt from the Americans With Disabilities Act rules for Places of Accommodation.  Accessible restrooms must meet the ADA code requirements for dimensions, including each ADA accessible mirror at each accessible sink. Please see the diagram below for ADA restroom fixture code dimensions.

Even thought the club recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, having a small decorative mirror was someone’s  priority over providing a code compliant accessible mirror.  An ADA accessible mirror does not need to be ugly.  It just needs to be low enough for a person sitting in a wheelchair or a person of short stature to see their own reflection.

Why doesn’t at this business realize that situations like this provide a basis for someone with a disability to sue the business and the building owner for ADA compliance?

At Disability Smart Solutions, we work with businesses and building owners to survey their properties to ensure that they have all of the information they need in order to correct all areas to meet ADA compliance.  In 2013 the 2010 ADA Code became law in Florida.  Please give us a call.

It pays to have an impartial ADA Consultant inspect your business for code compliance.

In 2013,  Florida was one of the leading states in the total number of ADA discrimination lawsuits for architectural barriers.

Please read our article, “Top 10 Reasons for Access Violations,” for more information about areas where your business might FAIL for ADA compliance.

Accessible Restroom Coat Hook, FAIL

Accessible Restroom Coat Hook: FAIL

Handicapped Toilet Room Purse Hook
Accessible coat hooks should be a maximum of 48″ above the floor. Sometimes I think the accessible coat hooks are mounted by a 6′-3 man who mounts them at his eye level!

A few days ago I used the accessible restroom at a private club. I was sitting on the potty wondering if a 6′-6″ man had mounted the accessible restroom coat hook.

Had I been a wheelchair user, a person of short stature, a child, or someone with a limited range of motion, my Breast Cancer Month purse would have been on the floor!!

Sometimes business owners forget that accessible stalls are for anyone with any disability! Invisible hidden disabilities like shoulder injuries, elbow injuries, arthritis, MS, tendinitis, gout and nerve damage may limit a person’s ability to reach a hook that is mounted out of range.ADA-reach-forwd

As a designer, I know that coat hook detail dimensions are always part of commercial construction documents.  In the 1980’s, I worked as a designer  in the Walt Disney World Architecture and Design Department.  Even before the ADA Code was law, their standard practice was to always mount restroom door coat hooks midway down the toilet stall door, in order to  deter pickpockets from reaching over the door to snatch a purse.

Over the years, I have spent many days on construction sites.  I know  that typically an installer is handed a box of coat hooks and told to mount them.  He rarely takes the time to read the plans.   Armed with a screw gun, he goes toilet stall door to toilet stall door just mounting the hooks at a height that works for him.   During “punch list” time, if the punch-out person isn’t familiar with the ADA code, they are just checking off boxes that there is a coat hook!  Even if a business was built to the 2010 ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Code, it’s still a good idea to double check the details.

Accessible toilet coat hooks mounted too high are the type of little 2010 ADA Code violations that can really frustrate a person with a disability and inspire ADA Code litigation.  It might seem like a tiny detail, but if you are a person living with a disability, who needs to remove clothing or hang items while using the toilet, it becomes a BIG deal!

I know that if  I could not stand up to reach the high non-accessible coat hook, my beautiful Breast Cancer Month purse would be sitting on the germ filled floor.  If I needed to remove my jacket or any other clothing to take care of personal needs, my clean clothes would also be on the floor.  It’s often the little things that people who don’t live with a disability take for granted that make a HUGE difference in the life of a person living with a disability.

Ninja coat or hat hooks by Seletti
Ninja coat or hat hooks by Seletti

Let’s all do our own small part TODAY to make the world a little more accessible.  Grab a screw-driver and  check the coat hooks in your business restrooms.  If they are too high, please move them down.  A maximum  height of  48″ above the floor meets the 2010 ADA Code for accessible restroom coat hooks.   Together we can show consideration to our All-Ability guests and employees.

Do you like my purse?  October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Disability Smart Solutions is full-service ADA Consulting firm offering ADA Compliance Access Surveys, Project Consultation, Post-Compliance Audits, All-Ability Customer Service Training, Undercover Disabled Guest Mystery Shopping, Universal Design Product Review and Keynote Speaking.  Please contact us to review your accessibility needs.