Accessibility for the Disabled

- A Design Manual for a Barrier Free Environment -

PHOS Platform Handicap en Ontwikkelingssamenwerking Platform Disability and Development Cooperation Tivolistraat 45 box 3 1020 Brussels BELGIUM Tel.+32-2-421 24 33
supported by

Accessibility for the Disabled
- A Design Manual for a Barrier-Free Environment -

About this publication About PHOS Introduction 1. Purpose 2. Application 3. Target group 4. Structure of this publication References Dimensional Data Architectural Design Considerations 1. Ramps 2. Elevators 3. Platform Lifts 4. Stairs 5. Railings and Handrails 6. Entrances 7. Vestibules 8. Doors 9. Corridors 10. Restrooms 4 4 4 4 5 5

5 9 12 15 19 23 27 29 35 37

Appendixes: Implementation Check lists I. Trouble Shooting II. Anthropometrics

49 52


About this publication
This publication is prepared for NGO’s and their partners in developing countries who want to take the needs of disabled people into account. The presented guidelines for a barrier-free environment can be used for creating accessible buildings for disabled people in the context of development projects. An accessible environment is a precondition for disabled people to take part in education, training or work or to benefit from services which are offered by NGO’s and their partners. Barrier-free environments are essential for full participation and equality of disabled people. If you want to read more about accessibility for disabled people, please consult the website of PHOS, or This publication is a summary of some materials available at the Enable website of the United Nations.

About PHOS
PHOS is a Belgium-based NGO who’s objective is to enhance the opportunities of people with disabilities from the South to make their voice heard and to improve their living conditions. Our strategy is facilitating the mainstreaming of disability in the programmes and activities of NGO’s and their partners in developing countries. We support mainstreaming of disability in NGO’s by research, publications, training and consultation.


We are all physically disabled at some time in our lives. A child, a person with a broken leg, a parent with a pram, an elderly person, etc. are all disabled in one way or another. Those who remain healthy and able-bodied all their lives are few. As far as the built-up environment is concerned, it is important that it should be barrier-free and adapted to fulfil the needs of all people equally. As a matter of fact, the needs of the disabled coincide with the needs of the majority, and all people are at ease with them. As such, planning for the majority implies planning for people with varying abilities and disabilities.


This publication is a design manual on accessibility for the disabled. It is a design guide made for the purpose of providing architects and designers with the basic information and data necessary for a barrier-free environment. It is meant to establish standards and recommendations that will improve your construction projects to meet the needs of all target groups. The manual is expected to be a stimulus that will lead, in the long run, to the establishment of national building and planning legislation covering access for disabled people.


The manual does not cover all the requirements of disabled people in detail. It is a straightforward guide expected to be the first in a series of publications having the same topic. Most of the recommended measures have been tested and have proven to be effective. Practical advice from legal, professional and academic institutions as well as individuals with disabilities is also of the utmost importance in shaping the final form of an accessibility code. 3. Target group

The target group is composed of five major categories:
(a) Wheelchair users (b) People with limited walking abilities (c) The sightless (d) The partially sighted (e) The hearing impaired Other categories may benefit to some extent from the proposed measures.

4. Structure of this publication
Each chapter is composed of four parts: 1) Problem identification This part defines problems encountered by the disabled in the built-up environment owing to the absence or improper application of a certain measure or provision.


2) Planning principle This part identifies the target group, the general goal and the need for a certain measure. 3) Design considerations This part deals with the technical and architectural aspects of implementing certain measures with regard to general and particular application characteristics, criteria, minimum dimensions and measurements, materials, etc. 4) Existing constructions This part identifies the problems encountered in existing constructions which hinder the implementation of a certain measure. Accordingly, alternative solutions and modifications are suggested.

The information provided is based on the accessibility codes and relevant knowledge available in various countries. A comparative study of the available sources was conducted regarding each measure. The information was then synthesized and organized according to the needs of the target group.

Dimensional Data
Dimensional data are given in metric units. The graphic illustrations show only the minimum allowable dimensions. Where appropriate, the maximum or approximate dimension or an allowable range is given. For your information: 1 cm = 0,394 inch and 1 inch = 2,54 cm.


3. 3. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION Inaccessible building entrances due to difference between indoor and outdoor levels. Fig 2. Ideally. RAMPS 1. (c) Switch back or 180 turn (fig.ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS 1. the entrance to a ramp should be immediately adjacent to the stairs. PLANNING PRINCIPLE To provide ramps wherever stairs obstruct the free passage of pedestrians. 3). Lack of or improper design of ramps. 2. 2). Fig. Inaccessible routes due to differences in level.1 General An exterior location is preferred for ramps. 3. mainly wheelchair users and people with mobility problems. Indoor ramps are not recommended because they take up a great deal of space. Very steep and/or long ramps with no resting landings. (b) 90 turn (fig. 6 . 1). Fig 1.2 Ramp configuration (1) Ramps can have one of the following configurations: (a) Straight run (fig. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS 3.

.. 6% 1:14 i. 7 .12 m 0. 12% 3. 10% 1:08 i.. configuration and slope.. The landing should have a minimum length of 1. Maximum slope 1:20 i.20 m and a minimum width equal to that of the ramp 3.e.3. at every change of direction and at the top and bottom of every ramp.90 m. 4). 3. maneuvering and avoiding excessive speed. Landings should be provided every 10.. 9% 1:16 i.50 m 0. 4.e.06 m Fig.25 m 0.5 m Maximum rise 0.40 m high m st be placed along the f ll length Maximum length 8m 5m 2m 1. 8% 1:10 i. The minimum width should be 0.4 Slope The maximum recommended slope of ramps is 1:20..e.4 Landings Ramps should be provided with landings for resting.35 m 0. Steeper slopes may be allowed in special cases depending on the length to be covered (fig.e.3 Width Width varies according to use.00 m.5 Handrail A protective handrail at least 0.15 m 0. 7% 1:12 i.e.e.

10 Mechanical Ramps Mechanical ramps can be used in large public buildings but are not recommended for use by persons with physical impairments. The distance between handrails when both sides are used for gripping should be between 0. Carpets should be avoided.00 m wide. For ramps more than 3.9 Obstacles The same clearance considerations that apply to pathways apply to ramps (see Obstructions). The marking strip width should not be less than 0. The maximum width should be 1. the slope should not exceed 1:12. 5).90 m and 1.6 Surface The ramp surface should be hard and non-slip.8 Drainage n Adequate drainage should be provided to avoid accumulation of water.of ramps. If the ramp is to be used by a wheelchair-confined person. 5). 8 .40 m (fig.00 m to avoid slipping. an intermediate handrail could be installed (fig. 3. 3.60 m. 3.7 Tactile marking A coloured textural indication at the top and bottom of the ramp should be placed to alert sightless people as to the location of the ramp. 3. 3.

4.25 m 0.e.15 m 0.e. EXISTING CONSTRUCTIONS If the topography or structure of the existing building is restrictive. 12% Maximum length 8m 5m 2m 1.. Notes: (1) Circular or curved ramps are not recommended 9 . 7% 1:12 i.06 m A non-slip surface finish should be added to slippery ramps..12 m 0. 9% 1:16 i. minor variations of gradient are allowed as a function of the ramp length: Maximum slope 1:20 i. 10% 1:08 i.35 m 0..50 m 0...5 m Maximum rise 0.e.e. 6% 1:14 i.e. 8% 1:10 i.e..

3 10 .00 m x 1. 2). 1). allowing for one wheelchair passenger alone. High position of switches. are 1.30 m (fig. The inside of the elevator should have a handrail on three sides mounted 0. The door opening should not be less than 0. Wide elevator cabs are preferable to long ones.2 Elevator cab The minimum internal elevator dimensions. that disabled people can use conveniently. 3. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS 3. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION Inadequate space inside the elevator cab. 3.80 m. PLANNING PRINCIPLE To provide well-dimensioned elevators. buttons and control panel. Key-operated elevators should be used only in private facilities or when an elevator operator is present.80 to 0. Fig.1 General The accessible elevator should serve all floors normally reached by the public. ELEVATORS 1. Narrow entry doors. Insufficient opening time interval.2. 2 Fig.85 m from the floor (fig. 1 Fig. 2.

Re-opening activators should be provided. 4).7 Door re-opening activators The door opening interval should be no less than five seconds. 3.3 Control panel The control panel can be mounted at alternative locations but it is recommended to respect a distance of 0. 4). 4).20 m from the floor (fig.50 m to help a lone sightless passenger to identify the floor reached (fig.90 m to 1. 3. The numerals on the floor selector buttons should be embossed so as to be easily identifiable by touch.20 m from the floor (fig.4 Call buttons For ease of reach. 4 11 . For ease of reach. Control buttons should be in an accessible location and illuminated.80 m (fig.50 m from the corner with regard to the accessibility for wheelchair users. 3.90 m to 1. Their diameter should be no smaller than 20 mm. 3. 2).5 Floor identifiers Tactile numerals should be placed on both sides of the door jambs at an approximate height of 1. the control panel should be mounted 0.6 Hall signal The elevator hall signal should be placed at an approximate height of 1. call buttons should be mounted 0.The maximum tolerance for stop precision should be 20 mm. Fig. 3.

3. is 0.40 m should be replaced. 4. Smaller cabs should be replaced. The minimum acceptable width of an existing elevator door opening is 0.40 m of the floor.8 Audiovisual signals The elevator should signal arrival at each floor by means of a bell and a light to alert sightless and hearing-impaired passengers simultaneously. Controls mounted higher than 1. Call buttons and control panels mounted higher than the recommended height may be left in place if they are within 1.10 Colour The colour of the elevator door should contrast with the surrounding surface so as to be easily distinguishable by persons with visual impairments. 3. EXISTING CONSTRUCTIONS The minimum acceptable size of an existing elevator cab.25 m. only one need be replaced. Where there are two identical control panels.95 m x 1. allowing for a single wheelchair passenger. 12 .9 Floor surface The floor of the elevator and the area in front of the elevator on each floor should have a non skid resilient surface or a low-pile fixed carpet.3.75 m. this being the maximum reach of a wheelchair user.

Insufficient space for ramps. Fig. 1 Fig. For level changes of more than 1. 2 13 . PLANNING PRINCIPLE To allow people with mobility problems to have free vertical access between different levels.50 m. 2). Changes in level inside a building. Vertical platform lifts can have a variety of opening for entry and exit (fig.3. Platform lifts can have either a vertical or an inclined movement. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS 3.1 General Platform lifts are special passenger-elevating devices for the disabled. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION Changes in level between indoor and outdoor areas. PLATFORM LIFTS (1) 1. 3). the lift should be placed in a closed structure with doors at the different accessible levels (fig. 3. 3.20 m. 2. vertical movement platform lifts may be installed adjacent to the stairs (fig. 1).2 Vertical movement platform lifts For maximum level changes of 2.

3.90 m and the minimum length should be 1. The minimum width of the stairs should be 0. 4) or suspended (fig. those with a rotation angle of 180 (fig. an electric generator and a moving platform or seat. Inclined movement platform lifts can be installed along the stair wall. EXISTING CONSTRUCTIONS Platform lifts can provide access to existing buildings where it would be difficult or unfeasible to install a ramp or an elevator.90 m to allow the installation of a lift (fig. Platform lifts can be installed on all types of stairs including switch-back stairs i. 7) and spiral staircases (fig. 5). 4 14 . Fig. 3. 3 Fig.4 Lift size The minimum width of the lift platform should be 0.20 m (fig. 6).3 Inclined movement platform lifts Inclined movement platform lifts consist of three elements: a railing. as long as they do not obstruct the required width of the exit. 3). Inclined movement platform lifts are usually used to connect one or more floors or to o ercome split le els in e isting Fig. 5 4. 5).e. The operating system of the lift can be either lateral (fig. The seat or platform can be folded when not in use.

Fig. 6 Fig. In buildings that are or would be frequently used by persons with mobility problems. 7 15 . Notes: (1) Platform lifts are also known as stairway lifts or wheelchair lifts. such devices should not be utilized.buildings.

Open risers are not recommended.1 General Differences in level should be illuminated or minimized as much as possible for the comfort of disabled people. Fig. elevator or lift should be provided where there are steps in an otherwise accessible path. Fig.50 m for two-way traffic.2 Width The minimum width of a stairway should be 0.90 m for one-way traffic and 1. the riser should be between 0. 3.18 m. 2 Circular stairs and stepped landings should be avoided (fig. 1 Fig.35 m.28 m and 0. 2. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION Steep staircases.4. Poorly designed steps that hinder foot movement. A complementary ramped route. 3 16 . and the tread between 0. especially those with mobility problems. 3. 1). For indoor stairs. PLANNING PRINCIPLE To provide safe and welldimensioned staircases for the comfort of all people.12 m and 0. All steps should be uniform. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS 3. STAIRS 1.

Handrails must extend a distance between 0. 4: Recommended nosing types Fig. 3.5 Handrails Handrails must be installed on both sides of the stairs and around the landing for gripping (fig.30 m and 0. The length of the landing should be at least 1. the maximum riser should be 0. For stairs more than 3.For outdoor stairs. 5). 3).00 m wide.40 m (fig. 3) An intermediate landing should be provided when the stairs cover a difference in level of more than 2. Fig. one or more intermediate handrails could be provided (fig.45 m at the top and bottom of the stairs (see Railings and Handrails) (fig.50 m. Nosing should be flush or rounded and should not be projected more than 40 mm.15 m and the minimum tread should be 0. The distance between the handrails when both sides are used for gripping should be between 0.90 m and 1.3 Landing (fig. 3).4 Nosing (fig. 4) Sharp edges and overhanging nosing should not be used for treads.30 m. 3. 2) (fig. 5). 3.20 m extending along the full width of the stairs. 5 Fig. 6 17 .

9 Mechanical stairs (escalators) Mechanical stairs can be provided with an adaptable tread at least 1. Slip-resistant stair nosing should be used to fix carpets on stairs. The edges of escalators should be painted in a contrasting colour for the benefit of poor. 7 18 . 3.3.7 Surface Landings. Exterior stairs should be pitched forward at 10 mm per metre to drain surface water.20 m long. To guide users with poor vision. 2) (fig.sighted users. 6). 3. if they are to be used by persons confined to wheelchairs (fig. the colour of the strip should contrast with the surrounding surface. Fig. The tactile marking strip should be at least 0. treads and nosing should be slip-resistant and free of projections.8 Emergency stairs Emergency stairs should be identified by tactile markings.60 m wide and should extend over the full width of the stairs.6 Tactile marking (fig. 3. 3) A textural marking strip should be placed at the top and bottom of the stairs and at intermediate landings to alert sightless people as to the location of the stairs.

To guide people with sight problems. the colour of the strips should contrast with that of the stairs. slipresistant strip scould be applied to the nosing as an alternative solution (fig. 7).4. EXISTING CONSTRUCTIONS When the configuration of the nosing cannot be modified. 19 . Slip-resistant strips should be 40 mm wide and should not extent more than 1 mm above the tread surface.

mezzanines. ramps. Fig 4 20 .40 m high. galleries.5. Handrails should be installed to assist disabled persons in bathrooms and toilets (see Rest Rooms). PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION Unsafe railings. Hard to grip handrails. Fig 3. RAILINGS AND HANDRAILS 1. especially those with mobility problems. balconies and raised platforms more than 0. On stairways. Handrails should not obstruct the path of travel. PLANNING PRINCIPLE To install adequate railing. windows positioned less than 1. wherever needed for the comfort and safety of all people. No railings or handrails. stairs. Spacing between the vertical and horizontal bars of railings should be narrow for the safety of children. Fig 2. 2. accessible roofs. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS 3. 3.1 General Safety guards or railings should be installed around hazardous areas. Fig 1.00 m from the landing should have railings.

2 Height (fig.85 m and 0.75 m from the floor. a second handrail can be mounted between 0.70 m and 0. Circular cross-sections with a diameter of 40 mm are preferable. For the benefit of wheelchair users.60 m. a third handrail can be mounted at a height of 0.95 m above the finished floor level. or a low curb should be installed at a height between 50 mm and 75 mm (fig. Railings should not end abruptly but extend to the floor or blend into the wall so as not to create a hazard for sightless people.3. a rail should be mounted at a height between 0.10 m and 0.4 Form (fig. To facilitate use by children and short people. 3. Sharp edges should be avoided. Fig 5. To guide sightless people using a long cane. 2). 3. 21 . Low curbs also act as wheelstops. 1).15 m (fig.3 Mounting Railings should be securely attached to the wall or to a supporting structure so as to withstand heavy loads. Fig 6. handrails should be mounted between 0. 3) Handrails should allow a firm and easy grip. 1) (1) To facilitate use by ambulant disabled and elderly people.

15 m should be allowed between the top of the rail and the top of the recess (fig. a contrasting tactile strip at least 0.3.6 Wall-mounted handrails The space between the handrail and the wall should be between 40 mm and 50 mm for smooth walls and 60 mm for rough textured walls (fig. 3.00 m wide.8 Colour A contrasting colour is recommended for handrails to alert people with sight problems.5 Handrails for ramps and stairs Handrails should continue uninterrupted (except for doorways) on both sides and around the landing. 6). except in places where extensions could obstruct the pedestrian flow (fig.45 m at the top and bottom of stairs and ramps. 22 . a continuous intermediate handrail could be provided (see Ramps. For stairs or ramps more than 3.4). Where handrails are fully recessed into walls. a space of at least 0. Stairs). 3.90 m long should be applied to the top and bottom edges of the handrail to alert the partially sighted. 3.7 Tactile marking For emergency exit stairs or ramps. Handrails should extend horizontally for a distance between 0. 5).30 m and 0.

EXISTING CONSTRUCTIONS If existing railings and handrails do not comply with the above requirements. they should be modified or replaced. Notes: (1) Measurements are taken from the front of the tread. 23 .4.

local public transit stops and drop-off areas (fig. At least one entrance per facility should be accessible to a wheelchair user. the accessible entrance should permit access to a conveniently located accessible elevator or lift. the accessible entrance(s) should be the main entrance(s) intended for use by the general public. Each accessible entrance should be connected by accessible pathways to accessible indoor or outdoor parking areas. In new buildings. ENTRANCES 1. all main public entrances should be accessible to an ambulant disabled person. 2. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS 3.1 General For new accessible constructions. PLANNING PRINCIPLE To provide accessible and easyto-find building entrances. 1). 1 Fig. Inadequate space in front of the entrance. Fig. In multi-storey buildings. 2 24 . PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION No distinct accessible entrance. 3.6.

Sheltered landings are preferable. The surface of the landing should have a slope of 2% for drainage. the minimum landing dimensions should comply with figure 4. 3 Fig. 5). Where the entrance door opens inward. 4 The finish material should be non-slippery.3 Entrance landing Where the entrance door opens outward. 3. 2). 3. No signs are needed if the whole building is accessible.4 Threshold Thresholds should be removed wherever possible (see Doors). Fig. Jute door mats should be avoided.2 Signs Accessible entrances should be clearly identified using the international symbol of accessibility including alternate locations of accessible entrances (fig. the minimum landing dimensions should comply with figure 3. 5 25 . the upper surface of the mat should be level with the floor finish (fig.5 Colour The colour of the entrance door should contrast with the surrounding surface so as to be disting ishable b people ith Fig.3. 3. When used however.

bridges or mechanical lifts be used. Wherever possible. If for architectural or technical reasons the main entrance cannot be made accessible. one of the following solutions can be adapted: (a) Ramps.7 Entrance doors (see Doors) 4. EXISTING CONSTRUCTIONS Public buildings should have at least one accessible entrance. (c) A window or another door at ground might be converted into an accessible entrance. 3. or by changing the grade or the landscaping of the surrounding site.6 Entrance vestibules (see Vestibules) 3. (2) (b) The entrance level might be modified earthfill. 26 . To allow for an accessible entrance. this should be the main entrance intended for use by the general public (1) .sight problems. The location of the alternative entrance should be clearly indicated by signs. an alternative accessible entrance should be provided.

(2) Mechanical lifts are recommended for buildings where modifications are impossible or unacceptable. 27 . a service entrance can be used temporarily as an accessible entrance.Notes: (1) For existing constructions. but it should not be the only accessible entrance.

(c) Swinging in the same direction (1) (fig. 3. 4). For swinging doors. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS 3. 4. PLANNING PRINCIPLE To provide sufficient space to manoeuvre a wheelchair between two sets of doors. 3). PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION Narrow doorways and vestibules. the door mechanism should allow the maximum opening swing. VESTIBULES 1. 2 Fig. 2.7. 3 28 . 1 Fig. 1).2 Layout The layout of two swinging doors in a series can be one of the following: (a) Outward-swinging (fig. (b) Double-swinging (fig.1 General Vestibule entrance doors can be either the sliding type or the swinging type. EXISTING CONSTRUCTIONS For narrow vestibules either of the following solutions can be employed: (a) Replace swinging doors with sliding doors. Fig. (d) Inward-swinging (fig. 2). 3.

5). 6 29 . 6). (d) Remove the inside or second door. (e) Enlarge the existing vestibule if possible (2)(fig. 5 Fig. Fig. offset on opposite walls or offset on adjacent walls. if possible (fig.(b) Change the direction of the door swing so that both doors can be made to swing outwards. such as changing the direction of the door swing. might not solve the problem. (c) Install double-swinging doors for small exit vestibules with a minimum width of 1. 4 Notes: (1) Doors swinging in the same direction can be aligned. Fig.20 m. (2) This is recommended for vestibules that also serve as emergency exits because other solutions.


the minimum opening is 0.Pivoted doors should swing away from the direction of travel wherever possible. 3).Pivoted doors in series are considered as vestibules (see Vestibules).. (d) Sliding and folding doors: Manual sliding and folding doors are recommended for narrow spaces not heavily used by the public (fig. the minimum opening is 0. 5).Automatic doors should have an adequate opening interval. 5 Fig. (c) Pivoted doors: . . The minim m door idth of Fig. .Auxiliary gates should be provided next turnstiles (fig. 7 31 . . an adjacent accessible swinging or sliding door should be provided (fig.80 m when the door is open. For interior doors. Guard-rails can be installed near double-swinging doors to indicate a door-opening area and to prevent people from being hit by the door. (b) Revolving doors: Revolving doors are not suitable for the use of disabled people or people with prams. 6 Fig. The minimum door opening can be 0. 4).75 m if the access is straight or if the door can stay open by itself (fig. 4 Fig. 3).3 Door opening For exterior doors.Wherever there are revolving doors. 3.90 m when the door is open.

rest rooms should be 0.50 m from the hinged side of the door and mounted between 0.90 m and 1.90 m and 1. Fig. should be easy to grasp with one hand (fig.60 m in depth. (b) Locks: Locks on entrance doors should be mounted at a comfortable height between 0. 3.75 m. (a) Handles: .20 m from the floor. at least one leaf should have a minimum clear width of 0. (1) . 6).00 m from the floor.30 m in length. push plates or pull handles are recommended for swinging doors because they are easy to open.80 m (fig. latches and locks.00 m from the floor surface. 7).4 Manual door hardware Operational devices on doors.Round knobs are not recommended.Lever-type handles. . For doors installed in an opening more than 0. pulls. the clear door opening should be at least 0.90 m and 1. 8 32 . preferably placed at a slant. 8). (c) Extra pull handle: To facilitate closing. For double-leaf doors. The handle can be best located at 0. a door fitted with spring closers should be equipped with an extra pull handle approximately 0. such as handles.Door handles should be located at a comfortable height between 0.90 m (fig.

(b) Activating mats.20 m.00 m from the finished floor level (fig.7 Exit doors landing The exit landing should not be lower than the finished floor level by more than 20 mm. (d) Remote control.90 m and 1. (c) Card-insert switch. 33 .5 Automatic doors hardware Automatic doors can be activated by: (a) Push buttons located at a comfortable height between 0.3.6 Threshold (fig. 2). 3. 8). 3. which can also serve as a location cue (fig. The bottom edge of the window should not be higher than 1. Weather-stripping at the door bottom is preferred to thresholds. 3. The threshold should not be more than 20 mm higher than the finished floor level. Thresholds higher than 6 mm should be levelled or have sloped edges to facilitate the passage of a wheelchair. 8) Thresholds should be omitted wherever possible.8 Glazing and glazed doors Outward swinging doors and doors in public corridors should have low windows to enable users to see oncoming traffic.

9 Kick plates Kick plates are useful in protecting the finish on the lower part of the door. Glazed doors should be clearly marked with a coloured band or mark placed for the benefit of all users at a height between 1. EXISTING CONSTRUCTIONS It is recommended that automatic doors replace heavy. hard-to-open swinging doors. between 1. 4. 3. i. 8). Room numbers should be placed on door frames and not on doors themselves so that the room number is visible even when the door is open.10 Signage In public buildings.40 m and 1. the function or room number. 3. 8).40 m and 1. incorporating international symbols should be identified at eye level.30 m and 0. 34 . 3.11 Colour The door or the door frame can be painted in a colour that contrasts with the adjoining wall to facilitate its identification by people with visual impairments.e. 2).60 m (fig. Kick plates should be between 0.60 m (fig.40 m in height (fig.Completely glazed doors should be avoided in buildings frequented by people with visual impairments.

Door openings narrower than 0. A swing-clear hinged door may be used to slightly enlarge an opening. Notes: (1) Lever type handles can be activated by hand. 35 .75 m should be widened. elbow or other means.

2. 3. 2 Fig. PLANNING PRINCIPLE To provide well-dimensioned corridors to facilitate the passage and manoeuvring of a wheelchair. 1). The unobstructed width of a public corridor should not be less than 1.80 m (fig. service equipment. 2) (fig.1 General Wide corridors are useful for wheelchair users. This also allows manoeuvrability in 90 turns (fig. the minimum circulation space should be as shown in figure 3. etc. The corridor width should allow manoeuvrability through the doors located along its length (fig. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS 3. Fig.50 m (1). 4).90 m.9. CORRIDORS 1.2 Width The unobstructed width of a low-traffic corridor should not be less than 0. high traffic areas. To allow manoeuvrability in 180 turns. The recommended width is 1. 2). 1 Fig. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION Long and narrow corridors creating orientation difficulties. 3 36 . 3.

otherwise.4 Surface Changes in surface level of more than 13 mm should be ramped.3 Obstructions Obstacles protruding into the corridor. such as drinking fountains or public telephones. In highly restricted spaces. Fig. Carpets should be securely fastened. 3. in alcoves or culde-sacs (fig. should be placed outside the circulation path. 5). Overhanging signs and obstacles should be mounted at least 2.95 m. The minimum width of the passing area should be 1.50 m is the minimum width for two wheelchairs to pass each other or for one wheelchair to make a full turn.3. 4 Fig.50 m and the minimum length should be 2. 4. Notes: (1) 1. passing areas should be located at appropriate intervals along the corridor length.00 m high (fig. 5 Fig. EXISTING CONSTRUCTIONS Narrow corridors should be widened along their full length if feasible. Floor surfaces should be nonslip and even. 6 37 . 6). the height of an obstacle or sign can be dropped to 1.40 m.

1). PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION Insufficient space inside a rest room. 3). 2 Fig. (c) The perpendicular approach.1 General Turning circles of 1. PLANNING PRINCIPLE To provide sufficient accessible space inside rest rooms. Fig. 3. 2). The ease of transferring from a wheelchair to a toilet seat or bidet depends on the approach. which is the easiest (fig. Taps that are difficult to grip.10.50 m diameter are recommended inside the rest room to allow for full-turn manoeuvring of a wheelchair. Poor design and positioning of fixtures and fittings. which is also difficult (fig. with all fixtures and fittings being within easy reach. 1 Fig. 3 38 . (b) The diagonal approach. which is difficult (fig. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS 3. In general there are four different approaches: (a) The parallel approach. 2. REST ROOMS 1.

at least one compartment for each sex should be accessible to an ambulant disabled person. so as to allow a disabled person to be assisted by an attendant of the opposite sex. 4). Pivoted doors should open outward unless sufficient space is provided within the toilet stall. Fig.3 Special public rest rooms Installation of a separate unisex unit is always desirable in public buildings. No indication is needed if all rest rooms are accessible. 3. 5 39 .2 Public rest rooms In any public rest room.(d) The frontal approach which is the most difficult and needs particular care (fig. Accessible rest rooms should be marked with the international symbol of accessibility. In any public rest room at least one unisex compartment should be accessible to a wheelchair user. Special rest rooms should be marked with the international symbol of accessibility but should not be the only accessible rest rooms. 4 Fig. even when all rest rooms are accessible. 3.

To save space in private occupancies: (a) The tiled floor area adjacent to the tub can be used as a shower space. a wash-basin and a bath-tub or shower. 40 . The size and layout of special rest rooms should comply with the minimum requirements (fig. The size and layout of residential rest rooms should comply with the minimum requirements (fig. Fig 6. a bidet. 3. dormitories and other residential institutional settings. 5).4 Residential rest rooms Residential rest rooms include those in private residences. In multiple-rest-room arrangements (such as dormitories): (a) Only one wash-basin per rest room needs to be accessible. 6).A water-closet and a lavatory should be provided within special rest rooms. Residential bathrooms are usually equipped with a toilet. health facilities. (b) At least one shower stall and one toilet stall should be designed for a wheelchair user. (b) The wash-basin seat might be used as a seat during the use of the washbasin or the hand shower.

and on the side wall closest to the water closet. As an alternative. Grab bars should be mounted at a height between 0. should be between 0.50 m and 1.45 m and 0. if provided with a grip bar. are recommended. It is also recommended to respect a distance of 50 cm from the corner. Flushing arrangements and toilet paper should be placed within reach at a height between 0. 7) (fig.3.20 m. if it is of the tank-less type. Grab bars should be mounted on the wall behind the water closet. located on the open side of the water-closet. Accessible handoperated flushing controls.5 Rest room fixtures 1) Water closets: The size and layout of water-closets and toilet stalls should comply with the minimum requirement (fig.85 m and 0. The height of the toilet seat should be between 0.50 m. the grab bar could be placed at a slant. Wall mo nted ater Fig. 7 41 .45 m and 0.50 m from the finished floor level. 8). or mounted on the floor at the edges of the seat. (1) The distance between the centre line of the toilet seat and the adjacent wall.95 m from the floor.

The wash-basin may be drawn forward from the wall a distance between 0.closets are recommended.85 m above the finished floor level.45 m. 10). No shelves must be located above the washbasin.15 m and 0.80 m and 0. A 70 cm free space under the wash basis should be respected. The dimensions of bathtubs should comply with the minimum requirements (fig. 9). The height of a wash basin should be between 0. The distance between the centre line of the washbasin and the adjacent side wall should at least be 0. 8 3) Bath-tubs: In general bath-tubs are difficult to use by those confined to a wheelchair without the help of an attendant. The height of the tub sho ld be bet een 0 45 m 42 . 2) Lavatories: The dimensions of lavatories should comply with the minimum requirements (fig. Fig.60 m x 0. The minimum dimensions of the bath-tub should be 1.20 m.70 m.

mounted at a height between 0. 12). not spring-loaded.and 0. (1) In some cases. The shower should have a seat conveniently positioned for the shower head at a height of 0. A grab bar should be mounted on the wall between 0. 9 43 . (1) The shower seat should be of the hinged pull-down or removable type.85 m and 0.95 m from the finished floor level. however. Slip resistant floors are the best solution. allowing people to sit on this before entering (more easily) the bath tube. An in-tub seat or a seat at the same height of the tub should be provided at the head side of the tub. In this case.45 m and 0.95 m. (2) Tubs with a toe recess are recommended. A grab bar should be placed on the wall opposite the seat and around the back wall. drain openings h ld b f i th Fig.85 m and 0. rubber mats could provide a valid alternative. 4) Showers: The dimensions of showers should comply with the minimum requirements (fig.50 m. 11) (fig.50 m from finished floor level. itt might be useful to provide a small wall at the open side of the bath tube.

45 m and 0.corner of the stall. The shower stall should have a levelled threshold not exceeding 13 mm above the finished floor. (1) The distance between the centre line of the bidet and the adjacent wall should be at least 0. The floor of the shower stall should not be more than 20 mm below the level of the surrounding floor area. The upper edge of the bidet should be between 0. 10 Fig. 11 Fig. Fig. 12 44 . Urinals with a protruding lip should be mounted at a height of 0. 13) At least one accessible urinal should be provided in public rest rooms.45 m.50 m from the finished floor level. Urinals should have a clear space on both sides. A full-length urinal is the most accessible. 6) Urinals: (fig. Wall mounted bidets are recommended.45 m from the finished floor level. 5) Bidets: The dimensions of bidets should comply with the minimum requirements.

3.20 m from the finished floor level and 0. Grab bars should be firmly fixed with stand loads and should have non-slip s rfaces kn rled s rfaces Fig. should be placed at a height between 0.8 Grab bars Grab bars should be installed in water-closets. such as soap. Regardless of the door type. Doors should be lockable from inside and releasable from outside under emergency situations. Wall-mounted grab bars should extent between 35 mm and 45 mm from the wall.75 m with the door in the open position. Another handle should be provided on the outside (see Doors). towel and toilet paper dispensers. a handle should be placed on the door from the inside to facilitate closing.50 m and 1.3. 3. bath-tubs and showers to assist disabled persons to use the facilities safely and easily.6 Rest room door The clear door opening should be at least 0.7 Accessories All accessories.50 m from the corner. (2) Grab bars should have a diameter of 30 mm to 40 mm. 13 45 .

The bottom edge of mirrors should be located at a maximum height of 1. which are easily operated by hand or elbow. The left tap should be connected to the hot water supply. 3.10 Faucets Single-lever mixing-type faucets. The clearance between the grip of the tap and any adjacent vertical surface should not be less than 35 mm.00 m from the finished floor level (fig. The space between two taps should not be less than 0.20 m. 3.usually prevent slipping. 9). Faucets with push buttons are also convenient. are recommended. These can be hand-held or fixed at an adjustable height between 1.9 Mirrors Mirrors should be suitable for use by both standing and seated persons. Low mirrors or downward tilted mirrors can be used. Telephone fixtures with a cord at least 1. 46 .20 m and 1.80 m from the floor to suit all users.50 m long are recommended for use in showers and bath-tubs.

3.11 Flooring Rest rooms must not have doorsteps.3. When inevitable. EXISTING CONSTRUCTIONS 4. at least one accessible unisex rest room should be provided per facility. 4.1 Public rest rooms For accessible buildings. Flooring materials should be skid-proof and easy to clean. The gradient of the floor should be as low as possible.2 Water-closets To obtain an accessible toilet combine two adjacent stalls b remo ing one 47 .12 Alarms Rest rooms should be equipped with an alarm system. The floor should be welldrained and provided with adequate waterproofing. the maximum threshold height should be 20 mm (see Doors). 4. 3. Thresholds should be avoided.13 Pipes All exposed hot water pipes should be insulated or covered. It is preferable that pipes be fitted in the wall.

3 Urinals Existing high urinals need not be replaced if accessible toilet fixtures are available.6 Accessories Rest room accessories located at a maximum height of 1. 4. should be removed so long as this does not inhibit privacy. they can be tilted or a full-length mirror can be installed on another wall.40 m need not be modified if they are accessible. 4. Doors that restrict manoeuvring space. replace doors with automatic door openers or use swing clear hinges. provided that the number of remaining fixtures is sufficient for the floor population.water-closet and the mutual partition.5 Grab bars If grab bars are not provided in the initial construction. 48 . One urinal per rest room can be lowered. 4.7 Mirrors If existing mirrors are too high. 4. walls should be reinforced to withstand loads. 4.4 Rest room vestibules For narrow vestibules.

Notes: (1) Toilet seats. shower seats and bath-tub seats are required to be mounted at the same height of the wheelchair seat. Retractable bars are also available.e. They can either be wallmounted or floor-mounted. 49 . (2) Grab bars are manufactured in various dimensions and shapes.50 m above floor level. between 0. i. bidets.45m and 0.

TROUBLESHOOTING 1. People with limited walking abilities Problem Measure Overcoming differences in level Provide curb ramps.APPENDIX ONE: IMPLEMENTATION CHECKLISTS I. bath-tub and shower seats 2. ramps. Wheelchair users Problem Measure Overcoming differences in level between road and pavement Bridging great differences in height usually tackled by providing stairs Manoeuvring in tight spaces Passing through narrow door openings and over high thresholds Install curb ramps Provide ramps. wide elevator cabs or platform lifts Provide wide routes and spaces Provide sufficiently wide door openings with low levelled thresholds or none at all Provide low-mounted controls Reaching high-mounted controls and objects Manoeuvring in rest rooms Install grab bars. elevators or platform lifts Increase the pedestrian crossing time interval Increase the opening interval of elevators and automatic doors Provide handrails for gripping Provide sufficiently wide rest rooms Provide grab bars. bath-tub and a shower seat Manoeuvring in situations requiring speed Climbing stairs and ramps Manoeuvring in rest rooms 50 .

People with limited use of hands or arms Problem Measure Opening heavy doors Gripping door knobs Gripping faucets Use automatic or easy-to-open doors Use lever-type door handles Use lever-type or push-buttons faucets 4.Passing through narrow door openings and over high thresholds Provide sufficiently wide door openings with low beveled thresholds or none at all 3. The sightless Problem Measure Orientation Provide guide strips within the pathway surface Provide raised curbs and other detectable guiding elements Provide tactile marking strips to indicate changes in direction and the location of stairs and ramps Provide textured paving or tactile marking strips around obstructions Provide audible traffic signals Provide audible signals and call buttons with tactile text Provide audible alarm signals Provide tactile marking around the knobs of exit doors and the handrails of exit Identifying obstructions within the path of travel Crossing roads Manoeuvring in elevators Recognizing emergency situations Locating exit doors and stairs 51 .

verbal transmission and interaction Not hearing door. etc Provide alarm signals Crossing roads Manoeuvring in elevators and in emergency situations Locating facilities 6. tactile signs. The hearing impaired Problem Measure Crossing roads Provide clearly visible coloured signs and traffic signals Use clearly written messages. especially in emergency situations Install induction loops in assembly halls and in public telephones Provide flashing light signals Managing in situations involving the use of speech messages. elevator and emergency 52 .5. The partially sighted Problem Measure Identifying obstructions within the path of travel Orientation Provide bright-coloured markings or signals to identify obstructions Provide clearly legible lettering and sufficiently large dimensions for direction signs Provide audible traffic signals Use contrasting colour for doors. handrails.

The tables below provide a range of dimensions derived from various studies. and the average dimensions vary from one country to another. Fig. encircled dimensions refer to electric wheelchairs.1 53 . The given measurements take into consideration size variation between males and females as well as between different persons of the same sex. The larger.1) Dimensions shown in the figure are of a conventional manual wheelchair. Wheelchair Dimensions (fig.APPENDIX TWO: IMPLEMENTATION CHECKLISTS ANTHROPOMETRICS Dimensional data varies from one person to another. The dimensions of the individual human being vary with time.

55 m Fig.1.75 m 1.90 m 1.20 m .1.1. 3 54 . 2) Height Eye Shoulder 1.Dimensional data to a normal person (fig. 2 Dimensional data of a wheelchair user Fig.50 m .40 m .

45 m Fig. Reach Up Oblique Reach Up Forward Reach 1.2.30 m . 4 Vertical reaching zones of a wheelchair user Fig. 6 55 .65 m .00 m 1. 6) Eye Shoulder 1.Reaching zones of a normal person (fig.33 m 0.1.14 m Fig.16 m .99 m .2.1.85 m . 5 Horizontal forward reach of a wheelchair user (fig.10 m 1. 4) Max.1.

7 Field of Vision Fig.8 56 .Common reaching zone Fig.

9 57 . Person using a cane Persons using crutches Detectable path dimension Fig.Pathway dimensions Visually impaired person using a long white cane.

Wheelchair manoeuvring space Fig. 10 58 .

59 .Manoeuvring at doors Fig 11.