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The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, revised in 2010 states regulations for universal handicap design based on averages for people with disabilities. These ADA guidelines are requirements for public buildings, basic guidelines for private residences.
When designing a bathroom or any space for accessibility it is best to consult an occupational therapist to tailor the design to fit specific needs, diagnosis, prognosis and physical sizes. Most times insurance will pay for occupational therapy home evaluations.
Below are the ADA guidelines for sink accessibility.
- Sinks should be installed with the counter or rim at a maximum height of 34 inches above the finished floor.
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- The sink basin should not have a depth greater than 6 1/2 inches.
- Knee clearance underneath sinks should have a minimum of 27 inches height, 30 inches wide, and 19 inches depth.
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Clear Floor Space
- There should be a clear floor space (with no physical obstructions) in front of the sink to allow a forward approach. This space should be 30 inches by 48 inches. It should be on a route easily accessible by a wheelchair and must extend a maximum of 19 inches underneath the sink.
- Exposed hot water or drain pipes should be insulated or protected to prevent contact. The area under the sink should be free of sharp or abrasive surfaces.
- Faucets should be equipped with a push-type, lever-operated, touch-type or electronically controlled mechanism.
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When designing a bathroom for someone who utilizes a wheelchair a wall mount sink is a great choice. A wheelchair can roll under a wall mount sink and in small bathrooms it keeps precious floor space clear to allow for wheelchair maneuverability.
For people who utilize walkers are able to stand, there is a tendency to utilize the sink for balance. Leaning on a wall mount sink will eventually cause it to come away from the wall, in these cases a roll-under vanity or a pedestal sink is a better option.
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