July 2022: Inspector’s Corner-Products

Posted on - Friday, July 1st, 2022

July 2022: Inspector’s Corner

I do ADA inspections every Wednesday and I always find some interesting things that I wanted to share. Here are some interesting solutions and products that are good for accessibility, and I will show them in this newsletter.

Diaper Changing Counters and Cane Detection

A diaper changing counter will sometimes be located in a circulation path around the restroom and when it is left open it can be a protruding object. TDLR issued a technical memo on the topic. Here is the linkAt some of my inspections I have seen some interesting ways of handling this:

The figure above shows the requirements for objects mounted in a circulation path so they will not be hazards for people with visual impairments.

The photo above shows a diaper changing counter in the open position and located on the circulation path to the toilet compartments and exit door and is a protruding object.

Recently I have seen this Koala diaper counter installed. What is unique and interesting about it is that they are taking into consideration the “protruding object” concern and they have designed it so that the handle you use to open it, once it is in the down position, acts as cane detection.

This diaper counter’s handles will reach below 27″ a.f.f. if installed correctly and it acts as cane detection.


Reflective Surface at Mirrors

Most of us understand the rule about mirrors over lavatories or sinks. They must be located so that the reflective surface is not higher than 40″ a.f.f. I was recently at an inspection where the mirror had a frame as part of the mirror where the outer edge was the reflective surface, then frosted glass and back to the reflective surface. Obviously, the intent was for a person in a wheelchair to be able to see themselves in the mirror, so although technically there is a reflective surface at 40″ a.f.f., the real “mirror” was above that.

The mirror in the picture above has a frosted glass frame that has an outer edge made of the reflective surface of the mirror.

The “reflective” surface of the mirror (as the Standards intended) will be the one above the frosted glass, even though there is a reflective surface below the frosted glass.


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