Grab bars as a disability tool
Without realizing it, thousands of public establishments discriminate against the disabled. The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed originally in 1992, and a second law reflecting various court definitions as well as congressional intent passed in 2008 set broad standards for disability requirements, most of which are quite readily recognized by state and local governments and big business.
It is in the area of Title 111 of the Act, referring to public accommodations where the most trouble rises.
Public accommodations that give disabled people the most trouble are:
- Bars and Restaurants – places where food and drinks are served.
- Sales or rental establishments (stores, shopping centers)
- Service establishments (banks, beauty shops, repair shops, funeral homes, gas stations, professional offices, pharmacies, hospitals)
- Places of recreation (parks, zoos, amusement parks, gyms, pools )
- Places of exercise or recreation ( gyms, spas, golf courses ).
A complete list can be found at the American Disabilities Act Handbook but the point is that despite all of these facilities and more being responsible for following the law, a large percentage of them do not.
For example, when did you last go to the restroom at a gas station and found they followed the laws specific requirements on disabled toilets.
Not only do they need to be marked as accessible under the law, but among other things, they need to meed the ADA requirements for Grab Bars.
According to Age in Place ADA Compliance Concerning Grab Bars disabled individuals are entitled to expect:
- The Rear Grab Bar must be mounted 33 to 36 inches above the floor.
- The bar must be at least 36 inches long, and must meet other requirements.
- The side bar must be at least 42 inches, and must extend 54 inches from the back wall.
The simple accommodation of safety measures like Bobrick grab bars allow the disabled to easily access and egress from public toilet facilities is not only the law, but makes a significant different concerning how easily disabled people can safely get into a public facility.
And its not always the case either, that owners or renters of public facilities wouldn’t go out of their way to help the disabled out. Quite often, it’s a lack of awareness as well as how often the disabled are “out of sight, out of mind.”
Unless a business has already employed a disabled worker (and unfortunately, very few do by the way,) or someone key within the organization has a friend or relative that is disabled, business owners often do not give the idea of accommodating the disabled a second thought.
Although it rarely happens, public business establishments, including those such as country clubs that are private but rent out their facility to the public, can be sued in a court of law for public discrimination under the ADA act.
In addition, the present disability laws allow businesses to get up to $15,000 in tax credits to help defray the cost of disability items such as the installation of safety bars in restrooms.