This question has come up a few times lately, so I’ll ask for your input even though it’s pretty far into the nitty-gritty.  Some mortise lock functions use buttons or a toggle on the door edge to lock or unlock the outside lever.  They’re not as common any more, but some facilities have a strong preference for this type of lockset.  Here’s a description of how the function works:

  • Latch bolt operated by knob/lever from either side except when outside knob/lever is made inoperative by buttons in face. When outside knob/lever is locked, latch bolt is retracted by key from outside or by operating inside knob/lever. Auxiliary dead latch. Outside knob/lever is unlocked by button on face.  [LG: In this case, “face” means the lock face which is on the edge of the door.]

You can exit by turning the lever on the inside or enter by using a key in the outside cylinder, but in order to change the outside lever from locked to unlocked (or vice versa), you need to use the buttons on the edge of the door.  There are different styles among the different lock manufacturers – on some locks it is a toggle switch, others use 2 buttons.

Here’s the question…does this type of lock meet the accessibility requirements?  It doesn’t require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist, but the buttons require a fair amount of control and probably can’t be operated by someone without a hand.  This is one of several applications that may meet the technical requirements of the accessibility standards, but in reality are difficult to operate by people with certain types of disabilities.  Have any of you had experience with AHJs allowing or not allowing this function?



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