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School Accessibility An Overview for Professionals and Newcomers Griff Campbell Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Delaware Department of Labor Michael.

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Presentation on theme: "School Accessibility An Overview for Professionals and Newcomers Griff Campbell Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Delaware Department of Labor Michael."— Presentation transcript:

1 School Accessibility An Overview for Professionals and Newcomers Griff Campbell Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Delaware Department of Labor Michael Gamel-McCormick Center for Disabilities Studies University of Delaware

2 What will we cover today? ► Legislative background ► Physical accessibility requirements ► Educational accessibility guidelines ► Resources for support ► Funding strategies

3 But first… ► Take out a piece of paper and pen or pencil ► Relax and take a moment to think about your typical day ► From the moment you leave your house or apartment, what do you need to do to get into and settled at your workplace ready to work? ► Write down as many of the steps as possible

4 Now… ► Think back to when you were a student in  High school  Middle school  Elementary school  Preschool ► From the moment you left your house or apartment, what did you need to do to get to and settled in at school? ► Write down as many of the steps as possible

5 School Accessibility should be about… ► Making sure that all students and their families can  Get to school  Get in school  Interact with students, teachers, staff, and administration at school  Access the curriculum at school  Participate in all activities at school, including extra-curricular activities

6 Legislative Background Architectural Barriers ActArchitectural Barriers Act (1968)—first substantial federal law requiring accessibility to all buildings and facilities financed with federal funds (which includes most school buildings); requires access to facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with federal funds after 1968; requires buildings and facilities covered by the law meet accessibility standards. Architectural Barriers Act Uniform Federal Accessibility StandardsUniform Federal Accessibility Standards cover walks, ramps, curb ramps, entrances, elevators, and rest rooms; indicate how many of a certain item, such as accessible parking spaces, are required, where they must be located, and how they must be built or installed so they can be used by everyone; given structural constraints, it was difficult to retrofit buildings to attain compliance with the law. Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards

7 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (1977)— addendum to the Rehab Act; landmark ruling contains the strongest legislative language requiring all new construction and newly-altered facilities to be accessible; all postsecondary institutions receiving federal funds must provide individuals with disabilities accessibility to programs and activities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Americans with Disabilities ActAmericans with Disabilities Act (1990)—the most wide- ranging and specific law for accessibility; expands legislation to apply to all public and commercial facilities; provides precise and extensive definitions of reasonable accommodations; the ADA Accessibility Guidelines standardized accessibility definitions for such items as door frame widths, ramp elevations and turning radiuses, elevator dimensions, handrail heights, Braille signs, and many other architectural elements. ADA Accessibility Guidelines Americans with Disabilities ActADA Accessibility Guidelines Legislative Background (continued)

8 Physical Accessibility to School ► Parking ► Curbs, walkways and ramps ► Entrances, corridors, stairs, elevators ► Offices ► Classrooms ► Libraries ► Cafeteria ► Assembly areas ► Bathrooms ► Stadiums ► Alarms and warning systems

9 Physical Accessibility: Parking Spaces ► ALL lots must have spaces designated for persons with disabilities; symbol must be visible when a vehicle is parked in the space. ► At least 2% of all parking spaces in each lot must be accessible and must be located on the shortest possible accessible route to an accessible building entrance ► Spaces must be a minimum of 8 feet wide with an access aisle that has a minimum width of 5 feet and length of 20 feet ► For every eight accessible spaces, one space must be marked for vans ► Passenger loading zones (e.g., bus loading zones) must provide an access aisle adjacent and parallel to the vehicle pull-up space ► If there are curbs between the access aisle and the vehicle pull-up space, then an accessible curb ramp must be provided. accessible curb rampaccessible curb ramp

10 Physical Accessibility: Curbs, Walkways, and Ramps ► The simplest and most effective solutions for negotiating the campus terrain are curb ramps and ramps. ► Curb ramps must be provided wherever an accessible route crosses a curb. Curb cuts MUST be kept clear of obstacles! ► Ground, walk, and floor surfaces along accessible routes are to be stable, firm, and slip-resistant under all weather conditions. ► Ground, walk, and floor surfaces along accessible routes are to be stable, firm, and slip-resistant under all weather conditions. ► The maximum slope of a ramp should be 1:12 or 1 inch of vertical rise for every 12 inches of horizontal distance and have a landing with a 5 foot turning radius at the top and the bottom. ► Handrails on both sides are required on sidewalks and ramps with a vertical elevation rise greater than 6 inches or a horizontal run greater than 6 feet.

11 Physical Accessibility: Entrances, Corridors, Stairs, & Elevators ► Entrances:  There should be a smooth transition to the closest accessible building entrance  Accessible entrances must be visible/clearly marked from the accessible parking  Primary entrances must be unlocked or a signaling device available if the entrance must be locked during certain hours  Minimum entrance clearance is 32 inches wide with a minimum of 60 x 60 inches of level space centered in front of the accessible entrance  Doors at accessible exterior entrances must be able to be opened with 8.5 lbs. of force  Interior doors must be able to be opened with 5 or less lbs. of force  All handles, pulls, latches, locks, and other operating devices on accessible doors must be easily grasped with one hand  Hardware for accessible door passages must be mounted no higher than 48”

12 Physical Accessibility (continued): Entrances, Corridors, Stairs, & Elevators ► Corridors and Stairs:  Protruding and hanging objects (e.g., telephones) with a leading edge 27 to 80 inches above the floor, can protrude no more than 4 inches into the path of travel.  Walks, halls, corridors, passageways, aisles, or other circulation spaces are required to have a minimum head clearance of 80 inches.  Risers on stairs and steps must be closed and have a uniform height of 4 to 7 inches. Stair treads must have a uniform depth of 11 inches or more. Stair treads must have non-slip surfaces.  Handrails on the sides of stairs must extend at least 12 inches beyond the top riser and 12 inches plus the width of one tread beyond the bottom tread. Handrails must be mounted 34 to 38 inches above the tread. There must be a clear space of exactly 1- 1/2 inches between the handrail and the wall

13 Physical Accessibility (continued): Entrances, Corridors, Stairs, & Elevators ► Elevators:  The facility must have a passenger elevator, on the typical route of passage, that provides access to all levels of the facility.  Elevators must have minimum side dimensions of 54 x 80 inches and a clear door opening of 36 inches.  The elevator is to stop within 1/2 inch above or below the outside floor surface on each level. The elevator should be equipped with a safety system that automatically opens the door when it becomes obstructed by an object or a person.  All buttons are to be at least 3/4 inches in diameter with Braille and raised lettering located to the left of each control or button. All controls or buttons on the elevator control panel are to be mounted no higher than 48 inches from the floor. There must be both visual and audible signals used to identify direction of elevator travel. ► Areas of Rescue  Except in fully sprinkled buildings, there must be an area of rescue assistance that is identified by a sign and meets one of the following requirements: ► Smoke-proof stairway landing, exterior exit balcony, one-hour fire restrictive corridor, fire-resistive vestibule, stairway landing within an exit enclosure which is vented

14 Physical Accessibility: Offices and Classrooms ► All public spaces must be accessible. This includes offices, meeting rooms, classrooms, laboratories, auditoriums, cafeterias, bookstores, and libraries. Accessible rooms and spaces are to be centrally located in the facility to prevent unnecessarily long travel for people with mobility or visual impairments. ► Floors must be non-slip, level, and negotiable by persons in wheelchairs or with other mobility aids ► There must be adequate space for seating at least two people using wheelchairs. The spaces for people using wheelchairs are required to be dispersed throughout the room within easy viewing of the presentation or activity and placed near accessible exits. A temporary ramp for a podium or head table must be available. ► Aisles between tables must be at least 36” wide; spaces for wheelchair access at the tables must be at least 30” wide; tables must have a clear opening for knee space of at least 27” height, 30” width, and 19” depth; top surface of the table needs to be 28” to 34” from the floor.

15 Physical Accessibility: Libraries ► Libraries have special requirements for making their facilities accessible; specifically, they must ensure that the design of reading and study areas, stacks, reference rooms, reserve areas, and special collections are accessible ► At least 5%, or a minimum of one, of fixed seating areas, tables, and study carrels in reading and study areas must be accessible to individuals who use wheelchairs; clearance between fixed accessible tables and study carrels must be 36” to allow passage of a single wheelchair, with a preferred aisle space of 42” ► At least one lane in all check-out areas must have a counter which is at least 36” in length with a maximum height of 36”; this lane must be on an accessible route; if there are traffic control or book security gates, an accessible gate or door must be provided ► For card catalogs, magazine displays, and computer terminal, the lowest shelf must be 18” above the floor; the preferred maximum reach height for such areas is 48” from the ground; the minimum clear aisle width between stacks is 36”, with a preferred aisle space of 42”

16 Physical Accessibility: Cafeterias and Restaurants ► Accessible seating an integral part of the overall seating plan so that people who use wheelchairs are not isolated from others ► Food service areas must be accessible for reaching food items, utensils, and condiments ► At least 5% of fixed tables must be accessible ► The same services and decor are provided in an accessible space usable by the general public; and the accessible areas are not restricted to use by people with disabilities. ► Food service lines must be accessible ► For self-service shelves at least 50% must be within the following reach ranges:  a maximum height of 48” and forward reach of 15” or for side approach, a maximum height of 54” and at least 9” above the floor.  All self-service shelves and dispensing devices for tableware, dishware, condiments, food and beverages must accessible ► Vending machines should be within the following reach ranges:  For forward approach, a maximum height of 48 inches and forward reach of 15 inches or  For side approach, a maximum height of 54 inches and at least 9 inches above the floor.

17 Physical Accessibility: Assembly Areas ► Wheelchair areas must be part of any fixed seating plan; seating must be arranged so that people with physical disabilities have a choice comparable to those for members of the general public ► Front or rear seat access must have a minimum space of 48” deep by 66” wide; side accessed seating must have a minimum space of 60” deep by 66” wide; all seating must connect to an accessible route ► At least one companion fixed seat must be provided next to each wheelchair seating area ► When seating capacity exceeds 300, wheelchair spaces must be provided in more than one location ► Wheelchair seating must be arranged to have a line of sight comparable to the general public ► In standing assembly areas wheelchair locations must provide a line of sight over standing spectators ► Changes in the floor level greater than 1/2 inch must be accomplished by means of an accessible ramp accessible ramp accessible ramp ► If carpet is used, then it must be securely attached, have a firm cushion, pad, or backing, or no cushion or pad; have a level loop, textured loop, level cut pile, or level cut/uncut pile texture; and have a pile thickness of 1/2 inch or less ► Requirements for assistive listening systems (ALS) are specific to the venue; types include: magnetic induction loops and infra-red and radio frequency systems ► If the listening system is to serve individual fixed seats, then these seats must be located within a 50 feet viewing distance of the stage or playing area with a complete view of the stage or playing area

18 Physical Accessibility: Bathrooms ► Accessible bathrooms for each gender must be clearly marked with an International Symbol of Accessibility sign, must to be mounted 60” above the floor, have raised characters, including Braille, and be mounted on the latch side of the door ► The entrance must have a clear opening of 32 inches and include maneuvering clearance adjacent to the push and pull side of the door ► The interior of a multi-fixture bathroom must have clear floor space of a minimum diameter of five feet of turning radius; in private bathrooms there must be five feet of turning radius ► The lavatory (sink) must have sufficient floor clearance to allow for a forward approach ► The lavatory is to be mounted so that the counter surface is no higher than 34” and must extend out at least 17” with an under-side clearance space of at least 29” ► Drainpipes must be mounted so that there is at least 9” of clearance from the floor surface; insulation or other protective covering is to be used on the hot water and drainpipes under the lavatory ► Faucets must be controlled by a hand lever, push button, or electronic control which is easily operated by one hand, does not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting, and uses a maximum of 5 pounds of force for operation; self- closing valves are to stay open for a minimum of 10 seconds

19 Physical Accessibility: Bathrooms (continued) ► Dispensers and accessories must be mounted so the highest control or operable part is no more than 48” ► Mirrors must be mounted at a maximum height of 40 inches from the floor to the bottom edge of the reflective surface ► Toilet paper and seat cover dispensers are to be located within easy reach of the person using the toilet ► At least one toilet stall must be available with a clear opening of 32 inches; stall doors are to swing outward; there must be a minimum depth of 56” and a width of 60” ► Alternative plans for seating stalls are available ► When a side transfer in a stall is required grab bars must be mounted 33 to 36 inches from the floor; the grab bar must support 250 pounds ► For six or more stalls; one additional stall must be provided that is 36 inches wide with grab bars on both sides ► Toilet seat tops must be 17” to 19” from the floor; the center of the toilet must allow 18” from both sides of the stall ► Flush controls must be mounted no higher than 44” and be able to be operated with one hand and not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist, or more than 5 pounds of force

20 Physical Accessibility Stadiums ► The ADA requires all new stadiums to make accessible seating an integral part of the seating plan ► At least 1% of seating must be accessible for people using wheelchairs ► A conventional companion seat must be provided next to each wheelchair location ► Removable or folding seats can be used so the facility does not lose revenue when all wheelchair seating locations are not ticketed ► Wheelchair seating locations must be provided in all areas including sky boxes and specialty areas ► For stadiums with more than 300 seats, wheelchair seating locations must be provided in more than one location ► All concessions must be accessible (condiments and self-serve food must be within reach of a person using a wheelchair) ► Passenger drop-off areas must be accessible and an accessible route must connect each accessible drop-off area with the accessible entrances) ► Half the drinking fountains must be wheelchair accessible and the other half must accommodate standing users.

21 Physical Accessibility: Alarms, Warnings, & Signage ► Visual alarms must be provided in restrooms, general usage areas, hallways, lobbies, and areas for common use ► Visual alarms are to be integrated into the facility alarm system; if audible alarms are provided, then visual alarms must be provided ► Visual alarms must have a lamp with a xenon strobe type or equivalent, use unfiltered or clear filtered white light, have a maximum pulse duration of 0.2 seconds with a maximum duty cycle of 40%, have an intensity of at least 75 candela; and have a flash rate between 1 and 3 Hz. ► Visual alarms are to be placed 80 inches above the highest floor level within the space or 6 inches below the ceiling, whichever is lower ► On walking surfaces, detectable warnings must consist of raised truncated domes with a diameter of at least 0.9 inches, height of at least 0.2 inches, and center-to-center spacing of at least 2.35 inches. ► The warning must contrast visually with adjoining surfaces, either light-on-dark, or dark- on-light ► Letters and numbers on signs must have a width-to-height ratio between 3:5 and 1:1 and a stroke-width-to-height ratio between 1:5 and 1:10. ► For signs with raised or Brailled characters, letters and numerals must be raised a minimum of 1/32 inches; upper case, sans serif or simple serif type; accompanied with Grade 2 Braille; and 5/8 to 2 inches high. ► Pictograms must have the equivalent verbal description placed directly below the pictogram

22 Educational Accessibility: Universal Design for Learning ► Making all curricula accessible to all students ► National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standards  Sets standards for all publications  Sets guidelines for print, audio, electronic file of instructional materials

23 Show me the Money: Funding Sources ► MCI funds – MCI is a match tax fund with a 60/40 match rate; the State allocates money ($.60 per dollar) each year to the districts under MCI based on student enrollment; local districts must match the state allocation; funds are usable for three years and can be used for projects less than $500,000; the local district must prioritize how the dollars will be spent for accessibility; allocations range from as little as $60,000 to approximately $1,000,000; total allocations are $7,173,800 ► Major Capital funds – are obtained through referendum; state and local split with the state paying anywhere from 60% to 80% of the cost of major construction; when schools are renovated through a Major Capital program they need to be brought into ADA compliance with a review/approval from the architectural accessibilities board ► General operating funds – the final option for funding is to use general operating money allocated to building maintenance budgets; these budgets typically are not capable of addressing major renovations for accessibility purposes

24 Resources ► U.S. Department of Justice: ► Disability Law Resource Project: Architectural Accessibility l.html l.html l.html ► Adaptive Environments: hp hp hp ► Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST): Universal Design for Learning (UDL): ► National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standards:


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