Last week I shared my next Decoded article, about how the accessibility standards address keys and electronic credentials.  Basically, the standards don’t prohibit keys (even though they require tight grasping, pinching, and twisting of the wrist), because keys and electronic credentials are not considered “operable parts” of the hardware.

Technically, a traditional storeroom function lock would comply with the ADA Standards and ICC A117.1, even though the key is used to retract the latchbolt, but a) some building occupants may not be able to operate the locks this way, and b) some state or local codes require the latchbolt to be retracted by an operable part – like a lever handle – rather than retracting the latchbolt with a key.

For these reasons, Schlage has added an accessible storeroom function, which has an alternate method for retracting the latch.  Essentially, turning the key unlocks the lever, but the key remains captured until it is turned back to the starting position.  The lever handle is used to retract the latch, but like a traditional storeroom function lockset, the door can not be left unlocked on the access side once the key is removed.

Although using the key will still require physical dexterity, this function is a good option for some doors that require storeroom function locks.  Check out the video below to see how it works, or look for the Schlage ND81 or L9081 in the product cut sheets.

What do you think? 

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