7-13-93 DJ 202-PL-595 JUL 21 1993

Ms. Pat McPartland Code Specialist Office of the State Architect Department of General Services State of California 400 P Street, 5th Floor Sacramento, California 95814 Dear Ms. McPartland: I am responding to your letter concerning the application of title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ​ 12101 et seg., and the Department of Justice regulation implementing title III, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36 (1992), to the design and construction of facilities that are subject to title III and to the requirements of the California State Building Code. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that have rights or responsibilities under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you to understand the ADA. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a determination by the Department of your rights or responsibilities under the ADA, and it is not binding on the Department. Your letter states that the State of California recently amended its State Building Code and that the State plans to seek ADA certification of the amended code. You have asked if, in the interim period between the effective date of the amended State code and the date of this Department's determination on the request for certification, the Department will regard compliance with the California State Building Code as compliance with the ADA. Title III of the ADA requires all places of public accommodation and commercial facilities that are designed and constructed for first occupancy after January 26, 1993, and those

that are altered after January 26, 1992, to comply with the Standards for Accessible Design (28 C.F.R. pt. 36, Appendix A) contained in the Department of Justice regulation implementing title III. Title II does not, however, preempt all State cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Bowen, Blizard FOIA Friedlander n:\udd\blizard\cert\calif.ta 01-02453 -2regulation in the area of accessible design. States may enact and enforce code provisions that provide equal or greater access than the ADA Standards. However, if the State code provisions differ from the ADA requirements in a way that results in less accessibility, then an entity subject to title III is required to comply with the Federal standard. Congress recognized that individuals involved in the design and construction of facilities subject to the Act may want to be able to rely on compliance with State or local codes as a "safe harbor." Therefore, title III permits the Department of Justice, in response to a request from a State or local government, to certify that the accessibility provisions of a State or local building code meet or exceed the requirements of the ADA. Certification of a code by the Department does not ensure that a facility constructed in compliance with the code will comply with the ADA, but it does enable a party in litigation that alleges a violation of title III to point to compliance with a certified code as rebuttable evidence of compliance with the ADA. Compliance with a State code can be offered as evidence of compliance with the ADA only after the State code has been certified. Until the code has been certified, individuals responsible for the design, construction, or alteration of facilities subject to title III must ensure that those facilities meet or exceed the minimum requirements of the ADA standards. You have also asked if the Department will undertake an informal review of the State code to identify any areas of conflict with the ADA, so that entities subject to the California code may rely on that code while the State's request for certification is pending. Although the Department does provide technical assistance to State governments that plan to seek

certification, the Department does not have the resources available to undertake reviews of completed codes prior to a formal request for certification. This type of "informal" review cannot be substituted for the formal review process (including the opportunity for public comment) that must precede a preliminary determination of equivalency, and it could not support the use of the State code as a "safe harbor" until certification is obtained. Your letter did ask for technical assistance about one particular issue: the California specifications for a rollin/transfer shower stall in hotel rooms (hereafter referred to as the "California shower"). You asked if the California shower design is equivalent to the accessible shower stalls required by the ADA. The California shower is 42 inches wide and 48 inches deep, with an entrance opening of 36 inches. A folding seat is located on the wall opposite the controls. There is a 36 inch by 48 inch clear space at the entrance to the shower. -3The design of the California shower varies significantly from the shower designs allowed by the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (28 C.F.R. pt. 36, Appendix A, ​ 4.21 and 9.2). The most significant differences in the designs are the 42 inch width of the shower and the lack of the required 30" by 48" clear floor area adjacent to and perpendicular to the shower seat. The 36 inch width specified for the ADA transfer shower in section 4.21 is absolute; it is not a minimum dimension. The California shower width of 42 inches will make it difficult, if not impossible, for many people to reach and use the controls or the showerhead while seated on the bench. The appendix to the ADA Standards (Fig. A3(a)) illustrates that the maximum forward reach of a person seated in a wheelchair is 31 inches from the centerline of the individual's body and approximately 36 inches from the backrest of a wheelchair. This reach is possible when an individual is able to grasp the wheel rim of the chair and lean forward to extend his/her reach out over his/her feet, which are resting on footplates and support this reach. The required reach to use the California shower could be up to 42 inches from the wall at the back of the seat to the controls and showerhead on the opposite wall. This reach is 6 inches beyond the 36 inch

reach allowed in the ADA Standards for a person seated in a wheelchair. The difficulty of achieving this reach would be further complicated by the fact that it occurs in a shower, a wet and generally less supportive environment than an individual's own wheelchair. The clear floor area required in the California shower is not located adjacent to the transfer seat as required in the ADA Standards. Although the California shower requires a 36 inch by 48 inch clear floor area, the space is allowed to be 12 inches away from the transfer seat, not located immediately adjacent and perpendicular to the bench as required in the standards. These problems are further complicated by the provision in Section 3105.(b.1) 1 B.(1) that states "(c)ompartments shall be 42 inches in width... with an entrance opening width of 36 inches. Although it is unclear where this opening may be located, if it is located between the clear floor area and the shower seat, the 36 inch entrance opening would further obstruct an individual's ability to transfer from a wheelchair to the shower seat. I hope that this information is responsive to your inquiry. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL SERVICES WILSON GOVERNOR OFFICE OF THE STATE ARCHITECT 400 P Street, 5th Floor, Sacramento 95814 (916) 323-0291 April 13, 1993 SATE OF CALIFORNIA PETE

Mr. John Wodatch, Chief Public Access Section Department of Justice

P. 0. Box 66738 Washington, D. C. 20035-9998 Dear Mr. Wodatch: The Office of the State Architect (OSA) has responsibility for building standards for accessibility in California. California has just completed the process of adopting new regulations for accessibility into the California State Building Code. The purpose of the new regulations is to bring California's accessibility requirements up to the standard in 'the American's with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). OSA will be submitting this new code to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for certification as ADAAG equivalent momentarily. However, it is our understanding that the certification process can be lengthy, and the building community in California has expressed some concern that they may place themselves in jeopardy if they use an uncertified code to conform to ADAAG in the interim. Throughout this code adoption process in California, a process which has taken two years to complete, the staff of OSA has been in close touch with both DOJ and the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (ATBCB) and OSA is confident that our new code meets all requirements for certification. OSA is concerned about the difficulty caused to builders and building officials in complying with and enforcing two separate building codes, and we would like to assure them both that use of California's code alone will suffice. We have two requests of DOJ to help us during this difficult interim period. 1. ADAAG "safe harbor" by use of California regulations. We understand that DOJ is in an awkward position as far as guaranteeing a code without opportunity for adequate review. While you may not feel comfortable assuring California code users that using the code would provide a "safe harbor" against any objections. We would appreciate it if you could informally review the attached code and let us know of any conflicts that might jeopardize certification. In addition, any comments you could make on how compliance with California regulations might be viewed by DOJ or the courts in case of complaint would be appreciated.

01-02456 Mr. John Wodatch, Chief -2April 13, 1993

2. Design for accessible showers in hotel rooms. A particular issue which is of concern to the hotel industry, concerns the design of accessible showers in hotel rooms. There have been requirements for accessible showers in California since 1982. (Specifications are enclosed). This shower design has proven very satisfactory in use. It allows the user the option of either roll-in or transfer to a seat, and provides comfortable space for both. The options for accessible showers shown in ADAAG have problems, in our opinion. There are several designs, and each of them has critical flaws. It is our opinion that the California shower is more stringent than the ADAAG showers, and we have thus retained it as our standard. The hotel industry needs some assurance that compliance with the California shower fully meets the obligation of ADAAG, or they feel threatened. This is an architectural feature that would not be easy to change. We would appreciate it if DOJ would review the California design, and provide a written response that would increase the comfort level of the hotel industry on this issue. We could of course accept these showers as equivalent facilitation, but this is a cumbersome process which does not always lead to a satisfactory resolution of conflict. Our preference is your agreement that the California standard is equally valid. Thank you for your help in both these matters. We would appreciate a response as quickly as possible, so that we can proceed with confidence in this important endeavor. Sincerely,

Pat McPartland Code Specialist Access Compliance Section PM:mlg Enclosures (shower requirements and draft of final regulations) cc: James 0. Abrams, California Hotel/Motel Association Irene Bowen, DOJ, Washington, D. C. Janet Blizard, DOJ, Washington, D. C. Ellen Harland, DOJ, Washington, D. C.

Ruth Lusher, DOJ, Washington, D. C.

April 19, 1993 ACCESSIBLE ROLL-IN SHOWER TITLE 24, PART 2, CALIFORNIA BUILDING CODE SECTION 3105. (b.1) I B. Compartment Showers. Compartment showers shall conform to the following requirements: (1) Compartments shall be 42 inches in width between wall surfaces and 48 inches in depth with an entrance opening width of 36 inches. Grab bars shall comply with Subsection 3105. (b.1) 2 H. (2) When a threshold or recessed drop is used, it shall be a maximum of 1/2 inch in height and shall be beveled or sloped at an angle not exceeding 45 degrees (100 percent gradient) from the horizontal. (3) The shower floor shall slope toward the rear to a drain located within 6 inches of the rear wall. Maximum slope of floor shall be 1/2 inch per foot in any direction. The floor surfaces shall be of Carborundum or grit-faced tile or of material providing equivalent slip-resistance. (4) Shower accessories shall include: a. A folding seat located on the wall opposite controls and mounted 18 inches above the bathroom floor. NOTE: See Figure 31-2A. b. Grab bars located on walls adjacent to and opposite the seat. Grab bars shall also comply with the diameter, loading and projection requirements of Subsection 3105. (b.1) 2 H. L-shaped shower grab bars, otherwise meeting the requirements of Subsection 3105. (b.1) 2 H, shall be not less than 24 inches x 36 inches in length positioned on the wall of the shower. The 36 inch side shall extend on the wall having the shower head and controls. Grab bars shall

be mounted 33 inches to 36 inches above the shower floor. NOTE: See Figure 31-2A. c. Soap dish shall be located on the control wall at a maximum height of 40 inches above the shower floor.


(5) Enclosures, when provided for shower stalls, shall not obstruct transfer from wheelchairs onto shower seats. ACCESSIBLE SHOWERS TITLE 24, PART 5, CALIFORNIA PLUMBING CODE Sec. 1505 (a) Water controls of a single ever design shall be located on the side wall opposite the seat and operable with a maximum force of 5 pounds per foot. The controls shall be located 40 inches above the shower floor. (b) A flexible hand held shower unit with a hose at least 60 inches long shall be provided with head mounting height of 48 inches above the shower floor. (c) Where handicapped shower facilities are provided in areas subject to excessive vandalism, in lieu of providing the fixed flexible hose and hand-held shower head required above two wall mounted shower heads shall be installed. Each shower head shall be controlled so that it can be operated independently of the other and shall have swivel angle adjustments, both vertically and horizontally. One shower head shall be

located at a height of 40 inches above the floor. (d) Where, within the same functional area, two or more showers are provided for the physically handicapped, there shall be at least one shower constructed opposite hand from the other or others(i.e., one left hand controls vs. right hand controls).



This diagram illustrates the specific requirements of these regulations and is Intended only as an aid for building design and construction.