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Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

ADA is intended to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities. The act gives civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities similar to the protections afforded individuals on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, age or religion.

In broad terms, ADA requires public entities to provide equal access to receive goods and services in the most integrated setting possible. The Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) and the ADA accessibility guide lines are excellent reference materials. In some areas, state and local regulations may have other requirements.

The official website of ADA is:

Some general ADA issues that affect science room design:

  • If you're renovating a room, decide early how ADA compliance will be achieved given the space constraints you have
  • Look at adjustable height workstations and fume hood bases
  • Provide clearance dimensions that meet general ADA requirements:
    - Maximum work surface height: 34"
    - Work surface depth: 24"
    - Maximum sink depth: 6"
    - Door clearance: 32"
    - Aisle width: 36" minimum
    - Clearance required to turn a wheelchair: 60"
    - Knee clearance: 27-32"
    - Maximum height of controls: 48"  (Ex. Fume Hood controls)

In general, the recommendation is to integrate ADA requirements into the science room. Use of mobile carts, tables and workstations can help. New products such as the adjustable height fume hood bases can also help.

Note: We recommend strongly that you review ADA issues and room designs with local authorities, to ensure compliance with federal, state and local ADA-related codes.