More about accessible dressing rooms

Posted on - Monday, April 26th, 2010

I performed an inspection of a day spa where a dressing room was provided. The dressing room was not accessible .  Here is a summary of the requirements of an accessible dressing room per ADA 4.35

1. An accessible dressing room with a sliding or swing door requires a 180 degree turning circle
2. A dressing room requires a fixed bench (and I spoke about the layout of the bench on an earlier post)
3. The door cannot swing into the clear floor space of the dressing room

The dressing room in question
1. Had a door that swung into the clear floor space.
2. The bench was not fixed
3. and mainly, the room was 48″x56″ wide (not large enough for a 180 degree turning)

The client wondered how they could fix this without much expense…in this case, they were able to remove the door which, per ADA 4.35.2, states

“…Turning space shall not be required in a private dressing room entered through a curtained opening at least 32 in (815 mm) wide if clear floor space complying with section 4.2 renders the dressing room usable by a person using a wheelchair.”

So by removing the door and adding curtains the turning space issue will be resolved.
Remember that a dressing room is found any place that a space is designated for dressing and undressing.  It can be found in an exam room of a doctor’s office, a restroom in gym or a treatment room in a spa/massage facility.  It may not be a traditional separate room, and if that is the case, the requirements of an accessible dressing room would still apply.