Transient Lodging

Posted on - Friday, July 1st, 2016

It is summer and it is time to take vacations! As you travel you might stay at hotels or motels. People with disabilities also enjoy traveling and the ADA has requirements for guest rooms in hotels (as well as other type of transient lodging) that will accommodate mobility impairments, visual impairments and hearing impairments as well. This newsletter outlines a few of the requirements for designing transient lodging facilities for people with disabilities.

Guest Rooms with Mobility features

A hotel must have  a certain number of rooms provided with features that people in wheelchairs and other mobility equipment will use.  The number of guest rooms required is based on the total number of guest rooms in the hotel and based on the table below
This table will also tell you how many rooms without “roll in showers” are required.   Once you have more than 50 guest rooms then you will need to provide a roll in shower (and it the number gets greater as the number of guest rooms increase).  When a guest room states that a room should not have roll in showers, then a accessible tub or transfer shower should be provided.
In addition, these rooms must be dispersed by type of rooms, type of beds and type of amenities provided in the room.
Other items that are required for mobility are the following:
1) All doors in the hotel must have a clear width of 32″ min.  Since traveling is a social activity, and people with disabilities would travel with friends and family, they should be able to go “visit” another room.  The clear width makes that possible.  Mobility rooms doors must also meet the requirement in Section 404
2) Living and dining areas within the guest room must be accessible.
3) At least one sleeping area shall provide a clear floor space complying with 305 on both sides of a bed. The clear floor space shall be positioned for parallel approach to the side of the bed.
4) At least one bathroom that is provided as part of a guest room shall comply with 603. No fewer than one water closet, one lavatory, and one bathtub or shower shall comply with applicable requirements of 603 through 610. In addition, required roll-in shower compartments should have a seat within.
This restroom is not compliant due to the fact that there is no enough clearance at the toilet, the mirror is mounted too high and the flush control is located opposite of the transfer side.  There are other issues with the shower.
5) If vanity counter top space is provided in non-accessible guest toilet or bathing rooms, comparable vanity counter top space, in terms of size and proximity to the lavatory, shall also be provided in accessible guest toilet or bathing rooms.
6) Kitchens and kitchenettes shall comply with 804.
7) Turning space shall be provided within the guest room.
8) Where operable windows are provided in accessible rooms for operation by occupants, at least one opening shall comply with 309.
9) Other elements must comply with the standards, such as reach ranges for closet rods, locks, and other fixed elements.

Guest Rooms with Communication features

In addition to mobility features, a certain number of rooms must also provide communication features.  These would be for people that are hearing impaired and visually impaired.  The number of rooms with communication features are found in the table below:
These rooms must be dispersed also by type of rooms.  Only 10% of the communication rooms can also be a mobility rooms.Factors to be considered in providing an equivalent range of options may include, but are not limited to, room size, bed size, cost, view, bathroom fixtures such as hot tubs and spas, smoking and nonsmoking, and the number of rooms provided.
Some other requirements for these rooms are:
  1. Where emergency warning systems are provided, alarms complying with 702 shall be provided in rooms with communication features
  2. Visible notification devices shall be provided to alert room occupants of incoming telephone calls and a door knock or bell. Notification devices shall not be connected to visible alarm signal appliances. Telephones shall have volume controls compatible with the telephone system and shall comply with 704.3. Telephones shall be served by an electrical outlet complying with 309 located within 48 inches (1220 mm) of the telephone to facilitate the use of a TTY

Need CEUs

July 12th: “Applying the ADA and Fair Housing in Residential Facilities” at 11:00 a.m. for the ASID Dallas July Event: Day of CEUs and Happy Hour @ Daltile
August 11th “How Accessible Is your Workplace” Metrocon16  at 3:00 p.m.
August 12th.”How Accessible is your Workplace” Metrocon16 at 7:30 a.m
August 16th: “ADA and Urban Regeneration” at AIA Dallas (Time TBD)
If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes

If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:


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