The American with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, and gives civil rights protections to people with disabilities. For disabled people in public employment, accommodations, government services and transportation, the equal opportunity is guaranteed, this is called Title III. Regulations were established, and are titled the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG), promulgated by the Department of Justice that accompanies Title III of the ADA. Public bathrooms are one of the places the Act established standards of compliance determining the standard bathroom stall dimensions.
Toilet stalls must be 60 inches wide, which is the standard bathroom stall dimension in new buildings. On the other hand, a 36-inch or 48-inch wide stall may be used, when renovating older buildings, if the 60-inch size stall is technically impossible, or the number of fixtures are not able to be reduced by the local plumbing code. In addition to the 60-inch stall, a 36-inch stall with parallel grab bars must be provided, if six or more toilet stalls are provided. Some people who use walkers, canes or crutches find it easier to use two parallel grab bars with a 36-inch wide stall. The grab bars positioned in the sixty-inch stalls are too far apart.
There has to be at least 48 inches of clear space between the front of the toilet and the door to the stall, if the toilet is in a stall, a 32-inch clear opening must be allowed from the door to the stall.
Wheelchair users are able to make U-turns if a minimum 60-inch diameter space or a 60-inch-by-60-inch T-shaped space for a pivoting 180-degree turn of a wheelchair is provided.
Sometimes, unisex or single-user restrooms are provided. However, though single-user and unisex toilets are a reasonable alternative when altering existing facilities, single-user restrooms can’t be used in new construction in lieu of making multi-stall toilet rooms accessible. In order to be able to perform a side transfer from a wheelchair to the toilet, adequate space must be provided.
With an elongated rim at a maximum of 17 inches above the floor, urinals may be stall-type or wall-hung. In front of the urinals, a clear floor space 30-inches-by-48-inch has to be provided and this space has to overlap an accessible route to the urinal. Flush controls must be mounted no more than 44inches above the floor.
Toilet paper dispensers are required to be installed within reach. However, dispensers that don’t allow for continuous paper flow may not be installed.
Not only must they swing outward, stall doors, according to the requirements of ADA bathroom stall dimension, should be provided with spring closers, hinges or a pull bar mounted on the inside surface of the door near the hinge side, so it is easily closed for people in wheelchairs.