This code contains scoping and technical requirements for accessibility to sites, facilities, buildings, and elements by individuals with disabilities. The requirements are to be applied during the design, construction, additions to, and alteration of sites, facilities, buildings, and elements.
Advisory 101.1 General. In addition to the 2004 ADAAG requirements, covered entities must comply with the regulations issued by the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Department of Justice regulations 28 CFR, Part 35 and 28 CFR, Part 36, the Department of Transportation 49 CFR, Part 37 and the requirements of Florida law Part II, chapter 553, F.S. have been incorporated in this code.
This code is adopted as part of the Florida Building Code by law, s.553.73(1)(a), Florida Statutes. The administrative requirements of the Florida Building Code, Building, Chapter 1 not specifically addressed by this code apply to construction necessary to comply with this code, e.g. permitting, construction documents, plans review and inspections, etc.
Removal of architectural barriers, pursuant to 28 C.F.R. s. 36.304, from buildings, structures or facilities shall comply with this code's requirements for alterations unless compliance would render the removal not readily achievable. In no instance shall the removal of an architectural barrier create a significant risk to the health or safety of an individual with a disability or others.
This code applies to alterations to existing facilities that are subject to the barrier removal requirement under Title III of the ADA to the extent required by regulations issued by the Department of Justice incorporated in 202.6.1 and to alterations undertaken by Title II entities to provide program access.
This document does not address existing facilities unless altered at the discretion of a covered entity. The Department of Justice has authority over existing facilities that are subject to the requirement for removal of barriers under Title III of the ADA. Any determination that this document applies to existing facilities subject to the barrier removal requirement is solely within the discretion of the Department of Justice and is effective only to the extent required by regulations issued by the Department of Justice.
Nothing in these requirements prevents the use of designs, products, or technologies as alternatives to those prescribed, provided they result in substantially equivalent or greater accessibility and usability. Departure from the explicit technical and scoping requirements of this code for any element voids any otherwise applicable presumption of rebuttable evidence that the element has been constructed or altered in accordance with the minimum accessibility requirements of the ADA.
Advisory 103 Equivalent Facilitation. The responsibility for demonstrating equivalent facilitation in the event of a challenge rests with the covered entity. With the exception of transit facilities, which are covered by regulations issued by the Department of Transportation, there is no process for certifying that an alternative design provides equivalent facilitation.
US Department of Justice "certification" of the Florida Accessibility Code as substantially equivalent to the ADA Standards for Accessible Design means the code meets or exceeds the minimum requirements of Title III of the ADA for accessibility and usability of facilities covered by Title III. Certification provides private entities, complying with the Florida code a "presumption of rebuttable evidence" of compliance with the ADA Title III regulations. However, the "presumption" applies only if the explicit requirements of the code are met. Equivalent Facilitation is authorized for alternate methods of providing accessibility but those alternate methods will not be afforded the "presumption."
All dimensions are subject to conventional industry tolerances except where the requirement is stated as a range with specific minimum and maximum end points.
Advisory 104.1.1 Construction and Manufacturing Tolerances. Conventional industry tolerances recognized by this provision include those for field conditions and those that may be a necessary consequence of a particular manufacturing process. Recognized tolerances are not intended to apply to design work.
It is good practice when specifying dimensions to avoid specifying a tolerance where dimensions are absolute. For example, if this code requires "1 inches," avoid specifying "1 inches plus or minus X inches."
Where the requirement states a specified range, such as in Section 609.4 where grab bars must be installed between 33 inches and 36 inches above the floor, the range provides an adequate tolerance and therefore no tolerance outside of the range at either end point is permitted.
Where a requirement is a minimum or a maximum dimension that does not have two specific minimum and maximum end points, tolerances may apply. Where an element is to be installed at the minimum or maximum permitted dimension, such as "15 inches minimum" or "5 pounds maximum," it would not be good practice to specify "5 pounds (plus X pounds) or 15 inches (minus X inches)." Rather, it would be good practice to specify a dimension less than the required maximum (or more than the required minimum) by the amount of the expected field or manufacturing tolerance and not to state any tolerance in conjunction with the specified dimension.
Specifying dimensions in design in the manner described above will better ensure that facilities and elements accomplish the level of accessibility intended by these requirements. It will also more often produce an end result of strict and literal compliance with the stated requirements and eliminate enforcement difficulties and issues that might otherwise arise. Information on specific tolerances may be available from industry or trade organizations, code groups and building officials, and published references.
Copies of the referenced standards may be obtained from the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association, 355 Lexington Avenue, 17th floor, New York, NY 10017 (http://www.buildershardware.com).
ANSI/BHMA A156.10-1999 American National Standard for Power Operated Pedestrian Doors (see 404.3).
ANSI/BHMA A156.19-1997 American National Standard for Power Assist and Low Energy Power Operated Doors (see 404.3, 408.3.2.1, and 409.3.1).
ANSI/BHMA A156.19-2002 American National Standard for Power Assist and Low Energy Power Operated Doors (see 404.3, 408.3.2.1, and 409.3.1).
Advisory 105.2.1 ANSI/BHMA. ANSI/BHMA A156.10-1999 applies to power operated doors for pedestrian use which open automatically when approached by pedestrians. Included are provisions intended to reduce the chance of user injury or entrapment.
ANSI/BHMA A156.19-1997 and A156.19-2002 applies to power assist doors, low energy power operated doors or low energy power open doors for pedestrian use not provided for in ANSI/BHMA A156.10 for Power Operated Pedestrian Doors. Included are provisions intended to reduce the chance of user injury or entrapment.
Copies of the referenced standards may be obtained from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Three Park Avenue, New York, New York 10016 (http://www.asme.org).
ASME A18.1-1999 Safety Standard for Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts, including ASME A18.1a-2001 Addenda and ASME A18.1b-2001 Addenda (see 410.1).
ASME A18.1-2003 Safety Standard for Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts, (see 410.1).
Advisory 105.2.2 ASME. ASME A17.1-2000 is used by local jurisdictions throughout the United States for the design, construction, installation, operation, inspection, testing, maintenance, alteration, and repair of elevators and escalators. The majority of the requirements apply to the operational machinery not seen or used by elevator passengers. ASME A17.1 requires a two-way means of emergency communications in passenger elevators. This means of communication must connect with emergency or authorized personnel and not an automated answering system. The communication system must be push button activated. The activation button must be permanently identified with the word "HELP." A visual indication acknowledging the establishment of a communications link to authorized personnel must be provided. The visual indication must remain on until the call is terminated by authorized personnel. The building location, the elevator car number, and the need for assistance must be provided to authorized personnel answering the emergency call. The use of a handset by the communications system is prohibited. Only the authorized personnel answering the call can terminate the call. Operating instructions for the communications system must be provided in the elevator car.
The provisions for escalators require that at least two flat steps be provided at the entrance and exit of every escalator and that steps on escalators be demarcated by yellow lines 2 inches wide maximum along the back and sides of steps.
ASME A18.1-1999 and ASME A18.1-2003 address the design, construction, installation, operation, inspection, testing, maintenance and repair of lifts that are intended for transportation of persons with disabilities. Lifts are classified as: vertical platform lifts, inclined platform lifts, inclined stairway chairlifts, private residence vertical platform lifts, private residence inclined platform lifts, and private residence inclined stairway chairlifts.
This code does not permit the use of inclined stairway chairlifts which do not provide platforms because such lifts require the user to transfer to a seat.
ASME A18.1 contains requirements for runways, which are the spaces in which platforms or seats move. The standard includes additional provisions for runway enclosures, electrical equipment and wiring, structural support, headroom clearance (which is 80 inches minimum), lower level access ramps and pits. The enclosure walls not used for entry or exit are required to have a grab bar the full length of the wall on platform lifts. Access ramps are required to meet requirements similar to those for ramps in Chapter 4 of this code.
Each of the lift types addressed in ASME A18.1 must meet requirements for capacity, load, speed, travel, operating devices, and control equipment. The maximum permitted height for operable parts is consistent with Section 308 of this code. The standard also addresses attendant operation. However, Section 410.1 of this code does not permit attendant operation.
Copies of the referenced standards may be obtained from the American Society for Testing and Materials, 100 Bar Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania 19428 (http://www.astm.org).
ASTM F 1292-99 Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment (see 1008.2.6.2).
ASTM F 1292-04 Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surfacing Materials Within the Use Zone of Playground Equipment (see 1008.2.6.2).
ASTM F 1487-01 Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use (see 106.5).
ASTM F 1951-99 Standard Specification for Determination of Accessibility of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment (see 1008.2.6.1).
Advisory 105.2.3 ASTM. ASTM F 1292-99 and ASTM F 1292-04 establish a uniform means to measure and compare characteristics of surfacing materials to determine whether materials provide a safe surface under and around playground equipment. These standards are referenced in the play areas requirements of this code when an accessible surface is required inside a play area use zone where a fall attenuating surface is also required. The standards cover the minimum impact attenuation requirements, when tested in accordance with Test Method F 355, for surface systems to be used under and around any piece of playground equipment from which a person may fall.
ASTM F 1487-01 establishes a nationally recognized safety standard for public playground equipment to address injuries identified by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. It defines the use zone, which is the ground area beneath and immediately adjacent to a play structure or play equipment designed for unrestricted circulation around the equipment and on whose surface it is predicted that a user would land when falling from or exiting a play structure or equipment. The play areas requirements in this code reference the ASTM F 1487 standard when defining accessible routes that overlap use zones requiring fall attenuating surfaces. If the use zone of a playground is not entirely surfaced with an accessible material, at least one accessible route within the use zone must be provided from the perimeter to all accessible play structures or components within the playground.
ASTM F 1951-99 establishes a uniform means to measure the characteristics of surface systems in order to provide performance specifications to select materials for use as an accessible surface under and around playground equipment. Surface materials that comply with this standard and are located in the use zone must also comply with ASTM F 1292. The test methods in this standard address access for children and adults who may traverse the surfacing to aid children who are playing. When a surface is tested it must have an average work per foot value for straight propulsion and for turning less than the average work per foot values for straight propulsion and for turning, respectively, on a hard, smooth surface with a grade of 7% (1:14).
Copies of the referenced standard may be obtained from the International Code Council, 5203 Leesburg Pike, Suite 600, Falls Church, Virginia 22041 (www.iccsafe.org).
International Building Code, 2000 Edition (see 207.1, 207.2, 216.4.2, 216.4.3, and 1005.2.1).
International Building Code, 2001 Supplement (see 207.1 and 207.2).
International Building Code, 2003 Edition (see 207.1, 207.2, 216.4.2, 216.4.3, and 1005.2.1).
Advisory 105.2.4 ICC/IBC. International Building Code (IBC)-2000 (including 2001 Supplement to the International Codes) and IBC-2003 are referenced for means of egress, areas of refuge, and railings provided on fishing piers and platforms. At least one accessible means of egress is required for every accessible space and at least two accessible means of egress are required where more than one means of egress is required. The technical criteria for accessible means of egress allow the use of exit stairways and evacuation elevators when provided in conjunction with horizontal exits or areas of refuge. While typical elevators are not designed to be used during an emergency evacuation, evacuation elevators are designed with standby power and other features according to the elevator safety standard and can be used for the evacuation of individuals with disabilities. The IBC also provides requirements for areas of refuge, which are fire-rated spaces on levels above or below the exit discharge levels where people unable to use stairs can go to register a call for assistance and wait for evacuation.
The recreation facilities requirements of this code references two sections in the IBC for fishing piers and platforms. An exception addresses the height of the railings, guards, or handrails where a fishing pier or platform is required to include a guard, railing, or handrail higher than 34 inches (865 mm) above the ground or deck surface.
Copies of the referenced standards may be obtained from the National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, Massachusetts 02169-7471, (http://www.nfpa.org).
Advisory 105.2.5 NFPA. NFPA 72-1999 and NFPA 72-2002 address the application, installation, performance, and maintenance of protective signaling systems and their components. The NFPA 72 incorporates Underwriters Laboratory (UL) 1971 by reference. The standard specifies the characteristics of audible alarms, such as placement and sound levels. However, Section 702 of these requirements limits the volume of an audible alarm to 110 dBA, rather than the maximum 120 dBA permitted by NFPA 72-1999.
NFPA 72 specifies characteristics for visible alarms, such as flash frequency, color, intensity, placement, and synchronization. However, Section 702 of this code requires that visual alarm appliances be permanently installed. UL 1971 specifies intensity dispersion requirements for visible alarms. In particular, NFPA 72 requires visible alarms to have a light source that is clear or white and has polar dispersion complying with UL 1971.
Accessible Means of Egress. A continuous and unobstructed way of egress travel from any point in a building or facility that provides an accessible route to an area of refuge, a horizontal exit, or a public way.
Alteration. A change to a building or facility that affects or could affect the usability of the building or facility or portion thereof. Alterations include, but are not limited to, remodeling, renovation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, historic restoration, resurfacing of circulation paths or vehicular ways, changes or rearrangement of the structural parts or elements, and changes or rearrangement in the plan configuration of walls and full-height partitions. Normal maintenance, reroofing, painting or wallpapering, asbestos removal, or changes to mechanical and electrical systems are not alterations unless they affect the usability of the building or facility.
Amusement Attraction. Any facility, or portion of a facility, located within an amusement park or theme park which provides amusement without the use of an amusement device. Amusement attractions include, but are not limited to, fun houses, barrels, and other attractions without seats.
Amusement Ride. A system that moves persons through a fixed course within a defined area for the purpose of amusement.
Assembly Area. A building or facility, or portion thereof, used for the purpose of entertainment, educational or civic gatherings, or similar purposes. For the purposes of these requirements, assembly areas include, but are not limited to, classrooms, lecture halls, courtrooms, public meeting rooms, public hearing rooms, legislative chambers, motion picture houses, auditoria, theaters, playhouses, dinner theaters, concert halls, centers for the performing arts, amphitheaters, arenas, stadiums, grandstands, or convention centers.
Assistive Listening System (ALS). An amplification system utilizing transmitters, receivers, and coupling devices to bypass the acoustical space between a sound source and a listener by means of induction loop, radio frequency, infrared, or direct-wired equipment.
Boarding Pier. A portion of a pier where a boat is temporarily secured for the purpose of embarking or disembarking.
Boat Launch Ramp. A sloped surface designed for launching and retrieving trailered boats and other water craft to and from a body of water.
Boat Slip. That portion of a pier, main pier, finger pier, or float where a boat is moored for the purpose of berthing, embarking, or disembarking.
Building. Any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy.
Catch Pool. A pool or designated section of a pool used as a terminus for water slide flumes.
Characters. Letters, numbers, punctuation marks and typographic symbols.
Circulation Path. An exterior or interior way of passage provided for pedestrian travel, including but not limited to, walks, hallways, courtyards, elevators, platform lifts, ramps, stairways, and landings.
Designated Public Transportation. Transportation provided by a public entity (other than public school transportation) by bus, rail, or other conveyance (other than transportation by aircraft or inter-city or commuter rail transportation) that provides the general public with general or special service, including charter service, on a regular and continuing basis.
Disability. With respect to an individual, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.
Elevated Play Component. A play component that is approached above or below grade and that is part of a composite play structure consisting of two or more play components attached or functionally linked to create an integrated unit providing more than one play activity.
Entrance. Any access point to a building or portion of a building or facility used for the purpose of entering. An entrance includes the approach walk, the vertical access leading to the entrance platform, the entrance platform itself, vestibule if provided, the entry door or gate, and the hardware of the entry door or gate.
Golf Car Passage. A continuous passage on which a motorized golf car can operate.
Housing at a Place of Education. Housing operated by or on behalf of an elementary, secondary, undergraduate, or postgraduate school, or other place of education, including dormitories, suites, apartments, or other places of residence.
Key Station. Rapid and light rail stations, and commuter rail stations, as defined under criteria established by the Department of Transportation in 49 CFR 37.47 and 49 CFR 37.51, respectively.
Mail Boxes. Receptacles for the receipt of documents, packages, or other deliverable matter. Mail boxes include, but are not limited to, post office boxes and receptacles provided by commercial mail-receiving agencies, apartment facilities, or schools.
Maximum Extent Feasible. The phrase "to the maximum extent feasible," as used in this code, applies to the case where the nature of an existing facility makes it virtually impossible to comply fully with applicable accessibility standards through a planned alteration. In these circumstances, the alteration shall provide the maximum physical accessibility feasible. Any altered features of the facility that can be made accessible shall be made accessible. If providing accessibility in conformance with this section to individuals with certain disabilities (e.g., those who use wheelchairs) would not be feasible, the facility shall be made accessible to persons with other types of disabilities (e.g., those who use crutches, those who have impaired vision or hearing, or those who have other impairments).
Mezzanine. An intermediate level or levels between the floor and ceiling of any story with an aggregate floor area of not more than one-third of the area of the room or space in which the level or levels are located. Mezzanines have sufficient elevation that space for human occupancy can be provided on the floor below.
Occupant Load. The number of persons for which the means of egress of a building or portion of a building is designed.
Places of Lodging. See "Place of Public Accommodation."
Primary Function. A major activity for which the facility is intended. Areas that contain a primary function include, but are not limited to, the customer services lobby of a bank, the dining area of a cafeteria, the meeting rooms in a conference center, as well as offices and other work areas in which the activities of the public entity, public accommodation or other private entity using the facility are carried out. Mechanical rooms, boiler rooms, supply storage rooms, employee lounges or locker rooms, janitorial closets, entrances, and corridors are not areas containing a primary function. Restrooms are not areas containing a primary function unless the provision of restrooms is a primary purpose of the area, e.g., in highway rest stops. Areas of transportation facilities that involve primary functions include, but are not necessarily limited to, ticket purchase and collection areas, passenger waiting areas, train or bus platforms, baggage checking and return areas and employment areas (except those involving non-occupiable spaces accessed only by ladders, catwalks, crawl spaces, very narrow passageways, or freight (non-passenger) elevators which are frequented only by repair personnel).
Play Component. An element intended to generate specific opportunities for play, socialization, or learning. Play components are manufactured or natural; and are stand-alone or part of a composite play structure.
Private Building or Facility. A place of public accommodation or a commercial building or facility subject to title III of the ADA and 28 CFR part 36 or a transportation building or facility subject to title III of the ADA and 49 CFR 37.45.
Professional Office of a Health Care Provider. A location where a person or entity, regulated by a State to provide professional services related to the physical or mental health of an individual, makes such services available to the public. The facility housing the "professional office of a health care provider" only includes floor levels housing at least one health care provider, or any floor level designed or intended for use by at least one health care provider.
Public Building or Facility. A building or facility or portion of a building or facility designed, constructed, or altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public entity subject to title II of the ADA and 28 CFR part 35 or to title II of the ADA and 49 CFR 37.41 or 37.43.
Public Way. Any street, alley or other parcel of land open to the outside air leading to a public street, which has been deeded, dedicated or otherwise permanently appropriated to the public for public use and which has a clear width and height of not less than 10 feet (3050 mm).
Qualified Historic Building or Facility. A building or facility that is listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, or designated as historic under an appropriate State or local law.
Readily Achievable. Easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense.
Residential Dwelling Unit. A unit intended to be used as a residence, that is primarily long-term in nature. Residential dwelling units do not include transient lodging, inpatient medical care, licensed long-term care, and detention or correctional facilities.
Resort Condominium. (Section 509.242, F.S.). A resort condominium is any unit or group of units in a condominium, cooperative, or time-share plan which is rented more than three times a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days or one calendar month, whichever is less, or which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented for periods of less than 30 days or one calendar month, whichever is less (see also, Places of Lodging).
Self-Service Storage. Building or facility designed and used for the purpose of renting or leasing individual storage spaces to customers for the purpose of storing and removing personal property on a self-service basis.
Site. A parcel of land bounded by a property line or a designated portion of a public right-of-way.
Soft Contained Play Structure. A play structure made up of one or more play components where the user enters a fully enclosed play environment that utilizes pliable materials, such as plastic, netting, or fabric.
Specified public transportation. Transportation by bus, rail, or any other conveyance (other than aircraft) provided by a private entity to the general public, with general or special service (including charter service) on a regular and continuing basis.
Story. That portion of a building or facility designed for human occupancy included between the upper surface of a floor and upper surface of the floor or roof next above. A story containing one or more mezzanines has more than one floor level.
Structural Frame. The columns and the girders, beams, and trusses having direct connections to the columns and all other members that are essential to the stability of the building or facility as a whole.
Tactile. An object that can be perceived using the sense of touch.
Technically Infeasible. With respect to an alteration of a building or a facility, something that has little likelihood of being accomplished because existing structural conditions would require removing or altering a load-bearing member that is an essential part of the structural frame; or because other existing physical or site constraints prohibit modification or addition of elements, spaces, or features that are in full and strict compliance with the minimum requirements.
Teeing Ground. In golf, the starting place for the hole to be played.
Theme Park Or Entertainment Complex. (Section 509.0013(9), F.S.). Theme park or entertainment complex means a complex comprised of at least 25 contiguous acres owned and controlled by the same business entity and which contains permanent exhibitions and a variety of recreational activities and has a minimum of 1 million visitors annually.
Transient Lodging. A building or facility containing one or more guest room(s) for sleeping that provides accommodations that are primarily short-term in nature. Transient lodging does not include residential dwelling units intended to be used as a residence, inpatient medical care facilities, licensed long-term care facilities, detention or correctional facilities, or private buildings or facilities that contain not more than five rooms for rent or hire and that are actually occupied by the proprietor as the residence of such proprietor.
TTY. An abbreviation for teletypewriter. Machinery that employs interactive text-based communication through the transmission of coded signals across the telephone network. TTYs may include, for example, devices known as TDDs (telecommunication display devices or telecommunication devices for deaf persons) or computers with special modems. TTYs are also called text telephones.
Use Zone. The ground level area beneath and immediately adjacent to a play structure or play equipment that is designated by ASTM F 1487 (incorporated by reference, see "Referenced Standards" in Chapter 1) for unrestricted circulation around the play equipment and where it is predicted that a user would land when falling from or exiting the play equipment.
Walk. An exterior prepared surface for pedestrian use, including pedestrian areas such as plazas and courts.
Wheelchair. A manually-operated or power-driven device designed primarily for use by an individual with a mobility disability for the main purpose of indoor or of both indoor and outdoor locomotion. This definition does not apply to Federal wilderness areas; wheelchairs in such areas are defined in section 508(c)(2) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12207(c)(2).
Work Area Equipment. Any machine, instrument, engine, motor, pump, conveyor, or other apparatus used to perform work. As used in this code, this term shall apply only to equipment that is permanently installed or built-in in employee work areas. Work area equipment does not include passenger elevators and other accessible means of vertical transportation.