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1138A.1 Space Allowances
1138A.1.1 Single Wheelchair Passage Width
The minimum clear width for single wheelchair passage shall be 36 inches (914 mm) continuously. (See Figure 11A-1E.)
See Section 1113A for minimum clear width of sidewalks, and Section 1120A for minimum clear width of interior accessible routes.
Exception: 32 inches (813 mm) in width is acceptable at a point not to exceed 24 inches (610 mm) in length. The segments with reduced width shall be separated by segments that are 48 inches (1219 mm) long minimum and 36 inches (914 mm) wide minimum.
1138A.1.2 Width for Two Wheelchairs Passing
The minimum width for two wheelchairs to pass is 60 inches (1524 mm) (See Figure 11A-1E).
An accessible route (exterior and interior) with a clear width less than 60 inches (1524 mm) shall provide passing spaces at intervals of 200 feet (60 960 mm) maximum. Passing spaces shall be either: a space 60 inches (1524 mm) minimum by 60 inches (1524 mm) minimum; or, an intersection of two walking surfaces providing a T-shaped space complying with Section 1138A.1.3.1, where the base and arms of the T-shaped space extend 48 inches (1219 mm) minimum beyond the intersection. (See Figure 11A-1L.)
1138A.1.3 Wheelchair Turning Space
The space required for a wheelchair to make a 180-degree turn shall be a circular clear space of 60 inches (1524 mm) diameter minimum (See Figure 11A-1D(a)); or a T-shaped space complying with Section 1138A.1.3.1. The circular turning space shall be permitted to include knee and toe clearance complying with Section 1138A.2
If a person in a wheelchair must make a turn around an obstruction, the minimum clear width of the accessible route shall be as required in Section 1138A.1.5.
1138A.1.3.1 T-Shaped Turning Space
A T-shaped turning space shall be within a 60 inch (1524 mm) square minimum with arms and base 36 inches (914 mm) wide minimum. Each arm of the T shall be clear of obstructions 12 inches (305 mm) minimum in each direction, and the base shall be clear of obstructions 24 inches (610 mm) minimum. The space shall be permitted to include knee and toe clearance complying with Section 1138A.2 only at the end of either the base or one arm. (See Figure 11A-1D(b).)
1138A.1.3.2 Surfaces of Turning Spaces
Turning spaces for wheelchairs shall be stable, firm, slip resistant, and shall comply with Section 1110A.3 or Section 1119A.2. Changes in level are not permitted. Slopes not steeper than 1:48 shall be permitted
1138A.1.4 Clear Floor or Ground Space for Wheelchairs
1138A.1.4.1 Size and Approach
The minimum clear floor or ground space shall be 30 inches by 48 inches (762 mm by 1219 mm). The minimum clear floor or ground space may be positioned for forward or parallel approach to an object (See Figure 11A-1G). Clear floor or ground space may be part of the knee and toe space required under some objects unless otherwise specified.
1138A.1.4.2 Relationship of Maneuvering Clearances to Wheelchair Spaces
One full unobstructed side of the clear floor or ground space for a wheelchair shall adjoin an accessible route or adjoin another wheelchair clear floor space.
If a clear floor space is located in an alcove or otherwise confined on all or a part of three sides, additional maneuvering clearances shall be provided in accordance with the following: (See Figure 11A-1H).
  1. Forward approach. Alcoves shall be 36 inches (914 mm) wide minimum when the depth exceeds 24 inches (610 mm).
  2. Parallel approach. Alcoves shall be 60 inches (1524 mm) wide minimum when the depth exceeds 15 inches (381 mm)
1138A.1.4.3 Surfaces of Wheelchair Spaces
Clear floor or ground spaces for wheelchairs shall be stable, firm, slip resistant, and shall comply with Section 1110A.3 or Section 1119A.2. Changes in level are not permitted. Slopes not steeper than 1:48 shall be permitted.
1138A.1.4.3.1 Gratings
Gratings located in ground and floor surfaces along accessible routes shall be limited to spaces no greater than 1/2-inch (12.7mm) wide in one direction. If gratings have elongated openings, they shall be placed so that the long dimension is perpendicular to the dominant direction of traffic.
1138A.1.5 Turn Around Obstruction
When the accessible route makes a 180 degree turn around an element which is less than 48 inches (1219 mm) wide, clear width shall be 42 inches (1067 mm) minimum approaching the turn, 48 inches (1219 mm) minimum at the turn and 42 inches (1067 mm) minimum leaving the turn. When the clear width at the turn is 60 inches (1524 mm) minimum, the clear width when approaching and when leaving the turn shall be 36 inches (914 mm) minimum. (See Figure 11A-1C (b).)
When the accessible route makes a 90 degree turn around an element which is more than 48 inches (1219 mm) wide, clear width shall be 36 inches (914 mm) minimum approaching the turn, at the turn and leaving the turn. (See Figure 11A-1C (a).)
1138A.2 Knee and Toe Space
When space beneath an accessible element is included as part of a clear floor space, or turning space, the space shall comply with this section. Additional space shall not be prohibited beneath an element but shall not be considered as part of the clear floor space or turning space. (See Figure 11A-9D.)
1138A.2.1 Knee Space
Space under an element between 9 inches (229 mm) and 27 inches (686 mm) above the finish floor shall be considered knee space. The knee space shall be clear and unobstructed.
Exceptions:
  1. For lavatories required to be accessible, the knee space shall be at least 29 inches (737 mm) high at the front face and reducing to not less than 27 inches (686 mm) at a point 8 inches (203.2 mm) back from the front edge.
  2. For lavatories and sinks required to be accessible, the dip of the overflow shall not be considered in determining knee and toe clearances.
1138A.2.1.1 Minimum Width
Knee space shall be 30 inches (762 mm) wide minimum.
1138A.2.1.2 Maximum Depth
Knee space shall extend 25 inches (635 mm) maximum under an element at 9 inches (229 mm) above the finish floor.
1138A.2.1.3 Minimum Depth
When knee space is required under an element as part of a clear floor space, the knee space shall be 11 inches (279 mm) deep minimum at 9 inches (229 mm) above the finish floor, and 8 inches (203 mm) deep minimum at 27 inches (686 mm) above the finish floor, measured from the front edge of the element.
Exceptions:
  1. Combined knee and toe space shall extend 19 inches (483 mm) minimum under sinks required to be accessible.
  2. Combined knee and toe space shall extend 19 inches (483 mm) minimum under built-in dining and work surfaces required to be accessible.
1138A.2.1.4 Clearance Reduction
Between 9 inches (229 mm) and 27 inches (686 mm) above the finish floor, the knee space shall be permitted to be reduced at a rate of 1 inch (25 mm) in depth for each 6 inches (152 mm) in height.
1138A.2.2 Toe Space
Space under an element between the finish floor and 9 inches (229 mm) above the finish floor shall be considered toe space.
1138A.2.2.1 Minimum Width
Toe space shall be 30 inches (762 mm) wide minimum.
1138A.2.2.2 Maximum Depth
Toe space shall extend 25 inches (635 mm) maximum under an element.
1138A.2.2.3 Minimum Depth
When toe space is required under an element as part of a clear floor space, the toe space shall extend 17 inches (432 mm) minimum under the element, measured from the front edge of the element.
Exceptions:
  1. Combined knee and toe space shall extend 19 inches (483 mm) minimum under sinks required to be accessible.
  2. Combined knee and toe space shall extend 19 inches (483 mm) minimum under build-in dining and work surfaces required to be accessible.
1138A.2.2.4 Additional Clearance
Space extending greater than 6 inches (152 mm) beyond the available knee space at 9 inches (229 mm) above the finish floor shall not be considered toe space.
1138A.3 Reach Ranges
1138A.3.1 Forward Reach
  1. Unobstructed. When the clear floor space allows only forward approach to an object, the maximum high forward reach allowed shall be 48 inches (1219 mm) and the minimum low forward reach shall be no less than 15 inches (381 mm) above the finish floor. (See Figure 11A-1I(a)).
  2. Obstructed high reach. When the high forward reach is over an obstruction, the clear floor space shall extend beneath the element for a distance not less than the reach depth over the obstruction.
The high forward reach shall be 48 inches (1219 mm) maximum when the reach depth is 20 inches (508 mm) maximum. When the reach depth exceeds 20 inches (508 mm), but is not more than 25 inches (635 mm), the high forward reach shall be 44 inches (1118 mm) maximum. (See Figure 11A-1I(b).)
1138A.3.2 Side Reach
  1. Unobstructed. When a clear floor space allows a parallel approach to an element, and the side reach is unobstructed, the high side reach shall be 48 inches (1219 mm) maximum, and the low side reach shall be 15 inches (381 mm) minimum above the finish floor. (See Figures 11A-1J(a) and 11A-1J(b).)
    Exceptions:
    1. An obstruction shall be permitted between the clear floor space and the element when the depth of the obstruction is 10 inches (254 mm) maximum.
    2. Bookshelves shall be permitted to be 54 inches (1372 mm) maximum above the finish floor. Bookshelves may be greater than 54 inches (1372 mm) above the finish floor when an attendant is available to assist persons with disabilities.
  2. Obstructed high reach. When a clear floor space allows a parallel approach to an element and the high side reach is over an obstruction, the height of the obstruction shall be 34 inches (864 mm) maximum and the depth of the obstruction shall be 24 inches (610 mm) maximum.
    The high side reach shall be 48 inches (1219 mm) maximum for a reach depth of 10 inches (254 mm) maximum. When the reach depth exceeds 10 inches (254 mm), but no more than 24 inches (610 mm), the high side reach shall be 46 inches (1168 mm) maximum. (See Figure 11A-1J(c).)
    Exception: Kitchen countertops in dwelling units, and the top of washing machines and clothes dryers shall be permitted to be 36 inches (914 mm) maximum above the finish floor.
1138A.4 Controls and Operating Mechanisms
Note: See also Section 1142A for receptacle, switch and control installation.
1138A.4.1 General
Controls and operating mechanisms in accessible spaces, along accessible routes or as part of accessible elements shall comply with this section.
1138A.4.2 Clear Floor Space
Clear floor space complying with Section 1138A.1.4 that allows a forward or parallel approach by a person using a wheelchair shall be provided at all controls and operating mechanisms.
1138A.4.3 Height
Controls and operating mechanisms shall be located no higher than 48 inches (1219 mm), and no lower than 15 inches (381 mm), above the finished floor measured to the center of the grip. If the reach is over an obstruction (for example, washer or dryer), controls and operating mechanisms shall be located within the reach ranges specified in Section 1138A.3. Controls and operating mechanisms that do not satisfy these specifications are acceptable, provided that comparable mechanisms, controls or outlets, that perform the same functions, are provided within the same area and are accessible.
1138A.4.4 Operation
Controls and operating mechanisms shall be operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist. The force required to activate controls and operating mechanisms shall be no greater than 5 pounds (22.2 N).

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