Accessible Office Spaces & Interior Design

Thursday, July 28, 2016
2:30 PM Eastern Time Zone


Note: This session has been rescheduled from July 7 2016

The ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards apply to a wide range of spaces in the public and private sectors and specify which elements and spaces must be accessible. This session will review how to apply these criteria to office space and provide guidance on some common errors in design. A representative from the American Society of Interior Designers will provide an overview of the most common office design issues, including product selection, installation details, furniture placement and best practice design tips.

Continuing Education Recognition Available

Certificate Credit hours
Certificate of Attendance 1.5


Fernando Arias , Director, Strategic Initiatives at American Society of Interior Designers, American Society of Interior Designers

Rex Pace, Senior Accessibility Specialist and Technical Assistance Coordinator, US Access Board

Questions for presenters:

1 I would like to ask about portable furniture and equipment's to be accessible? ADA Do not enforce that but have proposed rule making in Equipment and furniture. Public is the key word in future. For employees is ADA I apply? It can be done only according to employee request? or according to Hr policies?
2 In employee common-use break rooms, what elements must be accessible and what is the applicable criteria that would exempt an element from having to comply? (ex. refrigerators, microwaves, coffeemakers, sink, soap dispenser, paper towel dispenser, counter surface, outlets/switches above the counter, toaster, vending, etc.)
3 In a common use employee lounge where there are small lockers for personal belongings, and there is an adjacent unisex toilet room that is often used by employees to change into or out of work clothes or street clothes, etc., is an accessible bench required in the unisex toilet room? …recommended?
4 Do the requirements for reach over an obstruction apply to ALL switches and outlets over a common-use break room counter? Is side reach okay as an alternate approach?
5 In a Hospital Patient wing where the Nurse Station operates as an employee work station, are there any requirements for accessibility other than the ability to approach/enter/exit? (e.g. desk height, turning space, knee/toe clearances, higher counter for charting, etc?)
6 Above and beyond the ADA/ABA minimum requirements for office design, can you give some examples of universal design (i.e. ‘good design practice’) that would be worth consideration? (please clarify what is required vs. best practices).
7 Study carrels at a library: for the 5% that are required to comply with 226.1 and 902 of the ADA, are power outlets for electronic devices required to meet the reach-over-an-obstruction provisions?
8 I was recently informed that there is an ADA requirement that there are two accessible rooms available for building use in an inaccessible building. I have not been able to find such a regulation. Thoughts?
9 What are the requirements for access to trash enclosures? Is access required when a trash enclosure is within a secure perimeter and accessed only by a limited number of employees?
10 A public library wants to provide some café style tables with seating. The proposed tables are 29 inches high, have a 30 inch diameter by 1 1/4 inch thick top with a 3/4 inch, 22 diameter pedestal base that will not provide adequate knee clearance for a front approach to work. Library staff feel these tables should not have to meet knee clearance since they are not intended to serve as a work space. These will be located in a lobby area of the building, outside a meeting room, and staff see this as an area for people to wait and possibly put something down (cell phone, coffee, etc) while waiting. Our concern is that the public may choose to use them for a computer, etc. while waiting even though that is not the Library's intention and other work areas are provided. Under Title II must some of these café tables be accessible? Could you suggest other compliant solutions?