APPENDIX B DESIGNING DISABILITY-FRIENDLY SPACES

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1 APPENDIX B DESIGNING DISABILITY-FRIENDLY SPACES

2 DESIGNING DISABILITY-FRIENDLY SPACES GUIDELINES FOR DESIGNING DISABILITY-FRIENDLY SPACES FOR UNC CHARLOTTE 1.1 OVERVIEW A. These guidelines are intended to help architects, engineers, and project managers to design disability-friendly spaces in order to ensure that UNC Charlotte is an accessible environment. Often the industry standards for Americans with Disability Act compliance are thought of abstractly rather than as a means to remove barriers and foster inclusiveness for individuals with disabilities. B. Designing disability-friendly, inviting spaces requires thinking of functional accessibility and equitable use of space for all of the faculty, staff, students, and visitors with and without disabilities that will utilize the campus. In other words, planning that considers the needs of faculty, staff, student and visitor who may have low vision, blindness, a temporary or permanent mobility impairment, hearing loss, chronic medical disorder, age related limitations, or several of these concerns. C. This perspective is embodied in the concept of universal design. Universal design requires planning access to all facilities and spaces for the broadest spectrum of individual abilities. Universal design advocates at NC State developed a clear set of principles in 1997 that are identified in Appendix A. D. The UNC Tomorrow initiative ( spearheaded by the University of North Carolina system, highlights the importance of access to education for a broader, more diverse, currently underserved, group of constituents. Planning of buildings and pathways with broad universal access for all constituents requires consideration of the variety of ways in which any of these individuals will use classroom or campus space. E. Utilizing a universal design perspective (design that provides access to all) when pre-planning campus buildings and pathways adds little cost in the planning stage, but saves countless dollars of expensive retro-fitting later. 1.1 ACCESS TO BUILDINGS A. It is important to plan access to buildings for all of the ways in which individuals will arrive at the door. Although UNC Charlotte buildings are required to comply with the North Carolina Building Code, minimum compliance, for example with a specific number of accessible entrances, does not necessarily provide adequate access for each building and location of entry/exit. B. Provide accessible entrances to nearby buildings, facilities, and special features to ensure equitable use for all constituents. Intentional planning for the greatest accessibility better serves the University and the community in the long run. C. Designing disability-friendly access to buildings involves: 1. Multiple, direct, accessible pathways to nearby (especially adjacent) buildings;

3 2. Accessible parking within 200 feet on a direct accessible pathway to an accessible entrance (North Carolina Building Code); 3. Accessible pathways to transport modes from multiple building entrances; transport modes include accessible parking areas, shuttle stops, and bicycle/walking paths from other areas of campus; 4. Direct accessible paths to nearby specialty areas, such as outdoor picnic seating or cafeteria. 5. Accessible paths to buildings with necessary curb cuts at the base of the ramp to ensure the shortest, most direct, accessible pathway to the accessible building door. 1.2 PATHWAYS A. The hilly topography of the UNC Charlotte campus can be difficult to mediate and creates significant challenges for people with mobility disabilities. Many individuals with mobility or physical disabilities use electric wheelchairs, Segways, scooters, and a variety of alternative methods for moving around campus. A slope can be navigated by wheeled transport; however, steps present a barrier. B. Individuals with low vision have difficulty with stairs, but can easily navigate a slope. Accessible pathways benefit the whole campus body since many individuals read text messages, roll equipment from or to classrooms, check PDAs, and ride bicycles while traversing the campus. C. Designing disability-friendly pathways requires: 1. Accessible common campus pathways, whenever possible; 2. Parallel accessible pathways when separate pathways are necessary; 3. Sloped, rather than stepped common campus pathways; 4. Pathways that provide excellent sight lines in all directions; 5. Smooth, wide, level pathways. 1.3 BUILDING FEATURES A. Accessible Entrances 1. Building safety and accessibility features should be together in the same accessible location, but spaced sufficiently apart to avoid interfering with other accessible features. 2. An accessible location is generally a flat, broad surface that is free from low overhangs, chair-height molding and is at least 24 inches from an inside corner or the arc of an opening door. 3. Activators or devices that are placed near an inside corner, under large molding, or close to decorative hardware are usually inaccessible to wheelchair users because the individuals are unable to get close enough to activate the device. Trash barrels and other types of equipment are best located away from accessible entrances to ensure that they do not block access. 4. Place devices at an accessible level (34-36 inches from the finished floor) without crowding or obstructing the activation of other devices (approximately 6-8 inches from other devices). 5. For example, a doorway that has a card swipe on the left side with an actuator on the right side is not functional. Likewise, a blue light safety device that protrudes 6 inches from the wall, placed within 2 inches of the automatic door actuator prohibits individuals from accessing the actuator. 6. Designing disability-friendly accessible entrances includes: a. Cluster accessible features in the one area at an inches from finished floor; b. Avoid placing any accessible feature within 24 inches of an inside corner; c. Space accessible features at least 6-8 inches apart from other features;

4 d. Avoid placing devices beneath thick, overhanging building trim. B. Interior Features 1. Interior building features, such as elevators, elevator buttons, and water fountains, need similar consideration as exterior entrance features. 2. It is important to avoid placing elevator buttons near the inside corners of a wall or within 24 inches of another feature, such as a water fountain, as this blocks access to both features. Locate utilities, such as trash and recycle bins away from accessibility features as they can interfere with the use or activation of these features. 3. Elevator call buttons outside and inside of the elevator should be located at inches from the finished floor. Individuals with limited use of their arms may be unable to access all levels of a building when the buttons are placed at higher levels. 4. Designing disability-friendly interior features requires: a. Avoid crowding features such as water fountains and elevators close together; b. Place all elevator buttons at inches from the finished floor and unobstructed by trim; c. Avoid placing accessible or general use features within 24 inches of an interior corner. C. Interior Signage 1. Signage within buildings should be large, high contrast, and consistently placed. Emergency and directional signage should be placed at an accessible height and should be unobstructed by ancillary signage. Areas of rescue assistance should be clearly marked on floors without direct egress. 2. Designing disability-friendly signage includes: a. Directional signage within buildings should be at an accessible height determined by the ADA Accessibility Guidelines, clearly marking accessible egress paths. (This is particularly important in large, complex buildings where accessible egress may be limited in one or more areas of the building.) b. Areas of rescue assistance shall be clearly marked so that visitors in the building can easily determine their best route in an emergency and to inform both those disabled individuals who need assistance as well as their rescuers where to locate them during an emergency. D. Classrooms, Laboratories and Internal Spaces 1. Ensure that classrooms and internal activity/gathering spaces are accessible for faculty, staff, student and visitors to the maximum extent possible. When including separate tiered space use ramps to provide inclusive access. 2. Fixed classroom desks should meet ADA standards for height and leg space to maximize utilization (height: top 28 inches from finished floor with 27 inches of knee room). 3. Any teaching classroom containing lab tables should each have at least one ADA adjustable table that is in a visually unobstructed location near the front of the classroom. 4. Provide access to multiple levels in large tiered lecture halls to ensure accessibility compliance. 5. Podiums and smart classrooms features shall be located at least 36 inches from the wall and should be fully accessible for faculty or guests with disabilities. 6. Avoid building classrooms with one accessible level or fixed desk as this does not provide adequate access when there are two students with wheelchairs and or a faculty member who is a wheelchair user. 7. Designing disability-friendly classrooms includes: a. Provide access to multiple levels in tiered classrooms (lowest and highest points in the room); b. Include wheelchair accessible seating in multiple locations; c. Avoid tiers within classrooms when possible;

5 d. Provide wheelchair accessible lab tables, lab sinks, podiums, electrical & gas connections, and access to all other necessary equipment in each classroom or research laboratory; e. Design classroom aisles with a turn space for wheelchairs. E. Food Service Areas/Staff Kitchens 1. Include accessible features in departmental kitchens and accessible residential units. Avoid blocking accessible features with cabinets or other interior fixtures. 2. Designing disability-friendly kitchen areas includes: a. Ensure that there is wheelchair access to kitchen countertop, sink, and microwave, using ADA Accessibility Guidelines to determine this. b. Kitchen areas should be inviting for individuals who have disabilities. F. Restrooms 1. Typical multiple-user restrooms are often inaccessible because of heavy entrance doors and venting systems. Family restrooms provide a fully accessible restroom for individuals who need the assistance of an attendant. 2. Designing disability-friendly restroom facilities includes: a. Provide at least one accessible, family-friendly restroom on an egress level of newly designed buildings; (The door shall swing freely, rather than have spring or hydraulic closer.) b. Place towel dispensers on the wall away from the sink to allow wheelchair access; c. Avoid corner entrances to restrooms that are difficult for wheelchair users to maneuver. G. Stairs 1. Provide visual contrast with 2 stripe on the tread of all interior and exterior stair locations on the stair tread beside the nosing. Confirm campus location to follow based on design material being provided (brick, concrete, rubber treads, etc.). 1.4 SUMMARY LISTING OF ACCESS GUIDELINES: A. Accessible and common use features, e.g., automatic door activator, card swipe, elevator buttons, shall be placed at inches from the finished floor B. Do not place accessible or common use building features within 24 inches of an interior corner C. Accessible features shall be 6-8 inches from any other accessible or common use feature D. Accessible and common use features shall not be obstructed by trim or other building features E. Lab classrooms that require a sink shall have at least one sink that is fully accessible F. Lab classrooms with fixed tables should have at least one adjustable table, placed in a visually unobstructed location near the front of the classroom G. Adjustable lab tables will be placed in an accessible area of the classroom (with an area sufficient for turning) H. When feasible, provide one unisex restroom in a building preferably on an egress level floor I. Provide ADA access to large tiered classrooms at multiple levels J. Use ramps to provide access for tiered feature or gathering areas K. Ensure good line of sight for campus pathways L. Provide multiple means of access to adjacent buildings, specialty features and transport modes

6 PRINCIPLES OF UNIVERSAL DESIGN 1.5 EQUITABLE USE: The design does not disadvantage or stigmatize any group of users. 1.6 FLEXIBILITY IN USE: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities. 1.7 SIMPLE, INTUITIVE USE: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level. 1.8 PERCEPTIBLE INFORMATION: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities. 1.9 TOLERANCE FOR ERROR: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions LOW PHYSICAL EFFORT: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably, and with a minimum of fatigue SIZE AND SPACE FOR APPROACH & USE: A. Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of the user's body size, posture, or mobility. B. Compiled by advocates of Universal Design in Participants are listed in alphabetical order: Bettye Rose Connell, Mike Jones, Ron Mace, Jim Mueller, Abir Mullick, Elaine Ostroff, Jon Sanford, Ed Steinfeld, Molly Story, Gregg Vanderheiden. The Principles are copyrighted to the Center for Universal Design, School of Design, State University of North Carolina at Raleigh [USA]. C. The Principles established a valuable language for explaining the characteristics of Universal Design. They are in common use around the world, sometimes with slight modifications, primarily one or two principles grouped together. It is expected that the principles will be reconsidered on the occasion of their tenth anniversary in 2007 and are likely to evolve in response to experience with implementation and in order to incorporate insights and perspectives from the engagement of more diverse cultures WEBSITE

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