Handicap Accessibility and ADA Compliance with Hand Dryers

Dec 31st 1969

Handicap Accessible Hand Dryers

Handicap accessible hand dryers and ADA compliant hand dryers can be confusing to understand the differences. If you don’t want to read on, feel free to call ProDryers at 888-503-7937 or 888-50-DRYER and ask to speak with a hand dryer guru that understands handicap accessible vs ADA compliant hand dryers. Handicap accessible hand dryers may not be ADA compliant.

Handicap accessible hand dryers and ADA compliance are related but not necessarily always dependent on one another. Often, our customers call in confusing ADA compliance and handicap accessibility with hand dryer installations. All of our hand dryers come with instructions including mounting recommendations from each manufacturer. For example, Excel Dryer recommends the XLERATOR hand dryer be mounted 35 inches from the floor to the bottom of the dryer for handicap accessibility. At that height, a person in a wheelchair could easily use the hand dryer. There are different mounting height recommendations for men, women, teenagers, children, and handicapped. Our customers will often have to analyze their expected restroom audience and decide which mounting heights would best fit the bulk of that audience. Often, if handicapped users are expected, at least one hand dryer will be mounted at the handicap height recommendation. It’s always important to look at the location of the hand dryer and make sure a wheelchair user can fit through the area and also have room to extend arms under the dryer.

ADA compliance, although related, is different and often confused with handicapped users. ADA compliant hand dryer installations are normally not required. The American with Disabilities Act was put in place to protect people with specific disabilities. In the restroom, different objects have different requirements to pass as ADA compliant. For objects mounted above 26 inches from the floor, the main rule that sets ADA compliance apart from handicap accessible is depth from the wall. Any object mounted above 26 inches from the floor should not protrude past 4 inches in depth from the wall as a visually impaired or blind person may hit his or her face on it. As a suggestion, the object should also be unique in color from the surrounding wall so the visual impaired has a better chance of recognizing it as a distinct object separate from the wall. Hand dryers can either use a recess kit, an ADA wall guard that extends below the 26 inch mark and can be detected by a cane, be of a vertical design like a Dyson AB14 Airblade dB hands-in style dryer, or be of thin design like the Dyson Airblade V.

In summary, handicap accessibility in restrooms and ADA compliance may be related but may not always mean the exact same thing. Different objects in the restroom have different suggestions for being handicap accessible and require different rules to pass ADA compliance. In the above example, we focused on hand dryers and looked at examples of ADA compliance vs. handicap accessibility. Call ProDryers at 888-503-7937 and ask for a hand dryer guru to explain this in further detail.