On Tuesday I posted this photo from James Hanna of Dave’s Lock & Key, to illustrate the required aisle width leading to the exit.  In that post I noted that there was another problem with this door, and several readers spotted it – the door does not have the required latch-side clearance for a front approach.

As you can see, the fixed table is right at the latch side of the door, leaving no space to maneuver for someone using a wheelchair.  The required maneuvering clearance is addressed in both of the accessibility standards that are used in most US states – The ADA Standards for Accessible Design, and ICC A117.1 – Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities.

This video from the US Access Board explains maneuvering clearance.  The required maneuvering clearance varies based on the approach – whether the person using the wheelchair is approaching the door from the front (straight on), from the hinge side, or from the latch side.  The door in the photo would be considered a front approach.

For a front approach, the required maneuvering clearance on the push side of the door is an area that measures 48 inches perpendicular to the doorway; the 2017 edition of ICC A117.1 has increased this to 52 inches for new buildings.  The required width of the maneuvering clearance depends on the door hardware.  If the door has a door closer OR latching hardware, the required maneuvering clearance is equal to the door width.  If the door has BOTH a door closer AND latching hardware, an extra 12 inches of maneuvering clearance is required beyond the latch side of the door.*

These graphics from the ADA Standards illustrate the required push-side maneuvering clearance for the front approach:

For more on maneuvering clearance, you can download the ADA Standards for Accessible Design from ADA.gov.

*If you do not see this 12-inch requirement in your copy of ICC A117.1-2017, it’s because there was an error in the original publication.  You can download the errata document showing the revision here.

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