Assembly Areas

Thursday, June 3, 2021
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern Time Zone


It is important to properly integrate accessibility into the design of assembly areas, including movie theaters, lecture halls, grandstands, performing arts centers, stadiums, and arenas. This webinar will review the scoping and technical requirements for assembly areas in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards. Presenters will discuss provisions for wheelchair spaces, companion seats, accessible routes, designated aisle seats, bleacher seating, as assistive listening systems, and press boxes. Presenters will also cover frequently asked questions and common sources of confusion.

Continuing Education Recognition Available

Certificate Credit hours
California Architects Board 1.5
Certificate of Attendance 1.5
ICC 1.5


Bill Botten, Training Coordinator, Senior Accessibility Specialist, Office of Technical and Information Services, U.S. Access Board

Randall Duchesneau, Accessibility Specialist, U.S. Access Board

Questions for presenters:

1 Can you discuss the installation of adult changing facilities for adults with disabilities who are incontinent? Here is a website with some examples of facilities:
2 Can a new school raked auditorium be built with a slope that exceeds the slope for a ramp? If a school auditorium uses risers, do the ADA dispersion requirements, require accessible seats in the middle rows (not front rows closest to stage or rear or last rows)? If accessible seats in the middle rows are required, is a DIRECT accessible route to the stage required? If accessible seating is not required in the middle rows, of a school auditorium, is a DIRECT accessible route from the back of the auditorium to the stage required in new construction?
3 What is the rule for unobstructed line of sight? Is a stadium allowed to put the accessible seating so deep in the stadium that view of the game is blocked?
4 When assembly areas such as school auditoriums have sloped aisles leading to the stage, what is the maximum running slope allowed under the 2010 ADA Standards? Are they considered walkways (5% max) or ramps (8.3% max)?
5 Can a public building, a public library, simply decide because of the pandemic, to remove all the chairs for users without violating any law? If the City Attorney advises them that providing a few chairs distributed around the floors of the library building labeled with signs "for accessibility only" be considered correct or appropriate legal advice?
6 Can a shared local government building (with both City and County offices) be locked and prevent ingress based on the County's 9-5 "business day" schedule even thought the shared chambers for both city and county meetings is used after 6 p.m. by the City for their regular public open meeting that can and has continued to midnight historically? The handicapped palm pad has not always worked for ingress or egress there. Also for another public building, the art center, when the doors are locked, the handicapped palm pad has been prevented from opening the door which I think is based on the assumption that an able bodied person will always be there to open the door for disabled / wheelchair users that is not necessarily valid.
7 In many venues the accessible seating is located at the top of the section or the last row. In Chicago the ticket price is the same as the front row. When I visited New York, the accessible seating in the last row was priced at the lowest ticket cost. The Chicago system is not fair because if you require a wheelchair seat your only choice is the last row no matter how early you purchase the ticket. Therefore, the ticket cost should not be the same as the better seats in that section. Does the law address this issue or is it left up to the municipality? How can we can we change the Chicago policy to equal New York policy? Thank You
8 Can you discuss amphitheater and sports field ADA access and seating requirements for outdoor recreation areas?

Session Questions

This session is accepting questions from registered users. After you have registered to participate in this session you can submit your questions on your Account Manager page. Please note: the number of questions will be limited and submissions will be closed well before the session starts to provide time to prepare answers.

Privacy Statement

In order to register for this webinar you will need to create an account and provide, at a minimum, your name, email address, phone number, city, and country. If you do not wish to create an account, you may watch this webinar after it has been recorded. Webinars are typically posted 2 days after the live session. You can access our previously recorded webinars at this link. Be advised that in order to obtain continuing education credits you must register and create an account. See Continuing Education Recognition Request Policy.