The technical criteria in Chapters 3 through 9, and Sections 1002, 1003 and 1005 of this standard make sites, facilities, buildings and elements accessible to and usable by people with such physical disabilities as the inability to walk, difficulty walking, reliance on walking aids, blindness and visual impairment, deafness and hearing impairment, incoordination, reaching and manipulation disabilities, lackof stamina, difficulty interpreting and reacting to sensory information, and extremes of physical size. The intent of these sections is to allow a person with a physical disability to independently get to, enter, and use a site, facility, building, or element.

Section 1004 of this standard provides criteria for Type B units. These criteria are intended to be consistent with the intent of the criteria of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines. The Type B units are intended to supplement, not replace, Accessible units or Type A units as specified in this standard.

This standard is intended for adoption by government agencies and by organizations setting model codes to achieve uniformity in the technical design criteria in building codes and other regulations.

Sites, facilities, buildings, and elements required to be accessible shall complywith the applicable provisions of Chapters 3 through 9.


1.Accessible units shall comply with Section 1002.

2.Type A units shall comply with Section 1003.

3.Type B units shall comply with Section 1004.

4. Dwelling units and sleeping units required to have accessible communication features shall comply with Section 1005.

The technical criteria in this standard are based on adult dimensions and anthropometrics. This standard also contains technical criteria based on children’s dimensions and anthropometrics for drinking fountains, water closets, toilet compartments, lavatories and sinks, dining surfaces and work surfaces.

Nothing in this standard is intended to prevent the use of designs, products, or technologies as alternatives to those prescribed by this standard, provided they result in equivalent or greater accessibility and such equivalency is approved by the administrative authority adopting this standard.

Where specific criteria of this standard differ from the general criteria of this standard, the specific criteria shall apply.

Dimensions that are not stated as “maximum” or “minimum” are absolute. All dimensions are subject to conventional industry tolerances.

Graphic Convention for Figures

Unless specifically stated, figures included herein are provided for informational purposes only and are not considered part of the standard.
The terms floor or floor surface refer to the finish floor surface or ground surface, as applicable.
Unless specifically stated otherwise, a reference to another section or subsection within this standard includes all subsections of the referenced section or subsection.
The standards listed in Section 105.2 shall be considered part of this standard to the prescribed extent of each such reference. Where criteria in this standard differ from those of these referenced standards, the criteria of this standard shall apply.
MUTCD – 2000 (The Federal Highway Administration, Office of Transportation Operations, Room 3408, 400 7th Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20590)
NFPA 72–2002 (National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269–9101)
ANSI/BHMA A156.19–1997 (Builders Hardware Manufacturers’ Association, 355 Lexington Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10017)
ANSI/BHMA A156.10–1999 (Builders Hardware Manufacturers’ Association, 355 Lexington Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10017)
ASME/ANSI A17.1–2000 and Addenda A17.1 a–2002 (American Society of Mechanical Engineers International, Three Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016–5990)
ASME/ANSI A18.1–1999, with Addenda A18.1 a–2001 and A18.1 b– 2001 (American Society of Mechanical Engineers International, Three Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016–5990)
For the purpose of this standard, the terms listed in Section 106.5 have the indicated meaning.
Terms specifically defined in a referenced standard, and not defined in this section, shall have the specified meaning from the referenced standard.
The meaning of terms not specifically defined in this standard or in a referenced standard shall be as defined by collegiate dictionaries in the sense that the context implies.
Words, terms, and phrases used in the singular include the plural, and those used in the plural include the singular.

accessible: Describes a site, building, facility, or portion thereof that complies with this standard.

administrative authority: A jurisdictional body that adopts or enforces regulations and standards for the design, construction, or operation of buildings and facilities.

characters: Letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and typographic symbols.

children’s use: Spaces and elements specifically designed for use primarily by people 12 years old and younger.

circulation path: An exterior or interior way of passage from one place to another for pedestrians.

counter slope: Any slope opposing the running slope of a curb ramp.

cross slope: The slope that is perpendicular to the direction of travel (see running slope).

curb ramp: A short ramp cutting through a curb or built up to it.

destination–oriented elevator system: An elevator system that provides lobby controls for the selection of destination floors, lobby indicators designating which elevator to board, and a car indicator designating the floors at which the car will stop.

detectable warning: A standardized surface feature built in or applied to floor surfaces to warn of hazards on a circulation path.

dwelling unit: A single unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.

element: An architectural or mechanical component of a building, facility, space, or site.

elevator car call sequential step scanning: A technology used to enter a car call by means of an up or down floor selection button.

facility: All or any portion of a building, structure, or area, including the site on which such building, structure, or area is located, wherein specific services are provided or activities are performed.

key surface: The surface or plane of any key or button that must be touched to activate or deactivate an operable part or a machine function or enter data.

marked crossing: A crosswalk or other identified path intended for pedestrian use in crossing a vehicular way.

operable part: A component of an element used to insert or withdraw objects, or to activate, deactivate, or adjust the element.

pictogram: A pictorial symbol that represents activities, facilities, or concepts.

ramp: A walking surface that has a running slope steeper than 1:20.

running slope: The slope that is parallel to the direction of travel (see cross slope).

sign: An architectural element composed of displayed textual, symbolic, tactile, or pictorial information.

site: A parcel of land bounded by a property line or a designated portion of a public right–of–way.

sleeping unit: A room or space in which people sleep that can also include permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, and either sanitation or kitchen facilities but not both. Such rooms and spaces that are also part of a dwelling unit are not sleeping units.

tactile: Describes an object that can be perceived using the sense of touch.

TTY: An abbreviation for teletypewriter. Equipment that employs interactive, text–based communications through the transmission of coded signals across the standard telephone network. The term TTY also refers to devices known as text telephones and TDDs.

vehicular way: A route provided for vehicular traffic.

walk: An exterior pathway with a prepared surface for pedestrian use.