Accessible Products

Posted on - Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Every time I go to conventions and Expos I am fascinated by all the different products that are coming out that deal with accessibility and ADA.  I just came back from the 2013 National AIA convention in Denver and there were some interesting new products that I wanted to share with you.

Even though I am sharing with you some of the products I saw at the Expo, it does not constitute an endorsement of the product.  We suggest you find out about it and figure out if it will be a good product for your project.

Plumbing Fixtures

There were some very interesting plumbing fixtures that were exhibited.  The first one I saw was a very cool faucet with built in hand dryer by Dyson.  It was very universally designed.  If built correctly (into an accessible counter with proper knee clearances) it meets ADA compliance.  Click on the image and it will take you to a video of how it works


Even though bariatrics patients are not included in the ADA and measurements for these individuals were not taken into consideration in the Standards, manufacturers are becoming more aware of this condition and are designing products for them. One company Zurn, was displaying a water closet that can withstand 1,000 lbs of force.  I only wish I would have sat on it so I could show you the size in context.  If you notice the tile below is 12″x12″ so the width of the water closet is close to 24″ in width.  It was very impressive.


Accessible showers are always also displayed at Expos.  What I like to see when I go is the innovative products for curbless showers.  There were three companies that I saw that had excellent drainage products for their accessible showers: Zurn, Quick Drain USA and Schlutter


In addition to drains, products such as shower seats and grab bars were also showcased by different companies.  A nice permanent wooden bench that also closes easily was displayed by Best Bath Systems. The same company had nice grab bars (by Great Grabz)  that met the requirements without looking institutional.


Door and Window Hardware

There were some interesting sliding door hardware and locks from Hafele.  One of the locks allows a person without grasping and pulling or twisting of the wrist to operate it (although it might require more than 5 lbs to operate, so you should inquire more).  At a closed position it is flush with the door so that it does not decrease the clear width when fully recessed into the pocket cavity.  To operate it, a person would use a knucle to push the button and release the handle which can then be pulled to close the door.



Locker hardware was another type of hardware that was displayed.  The accessible options for lockers are push button type locking mechanism.  Remember that 5% of locker must be accessible and that they will also have to have proper operating mechanism.


Window hardware, which is now required to be accessible by the 2010 ADA Standards, were also displayed.  Marvin windows had a great example of a push out casement window hardware that was easy to open with a closed fist


Interesting products

There was an interesting elevator that is powered by air.  It was called “Pnuematic Vaccuum Elevator”.  This elevator is for residential applications and does not meet the ADA (yet).  It is very interesting and maybe they will come up with one for commercial applications.


Upcoming Continuing Education Opportunities

Below are some upcoming seminars where I’ll be teaching for AIA approved CEU:

August 15: Metrocon13 in Dallas Texas: “Applying the ADA in Interiors Spaces” Two sessions one at 12:30 and one at 2:00

November 7: TSA Convention in Ft. Worth

Announcing the release of our second book: “Applying the ADA” published by Wiley.  It is available for sale now. .


Download the android app for my book (Applying the ADA) and my website (Marcela Abadi Rhoads)

If you want to learn more about the new Standards, The ADA Companion Guide explains the 2004 ADAAG Guidelines  with commentary and explanations throughout.  The 2004 Guidelines were adopted by the DOJ to create the 2010 Standards and by Texas to create the 2012 TAS.  This book explains the technical requirements for both.

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714