Office of Disability Rights

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Physical Accessibility

It is also important to maintain a proactive approach to accommodating people with disabilities and not simply provide such services when requested. Physical barriers should be considered in the effort to prevent discrimination on the basis of disability. The following checklist should help to determine areas that need improvement and should be kept on hand about the building and in the office.

Accessible Route

  • What is the route of travel that does not require the use of stairs?

  • Is the route of travel stable, firm, and slip‐resistant?

  • Can all objects protruding into the circulation paths be detected by a person with a visual disability using a cane? (Must be within 27 inches of the ground or must be higher than 80 inches; for example: state flag poles, shelves, fire extinguishers, boxes, furniture)

  • Is there a 5‐foot circle to T‐shaped space for turning a wheelchair completely in office entry ways and conference rooms?


  • Does the entrance door have at least 32 inches clear opening?

  • Is there at least 18 inches of clear space on the pull side of the door, next to the handle?

  • If provided, are carpeting or mats no more than ½ ‐ inch high?

  • Is the door handle no higher than 48 inches and operable with a closed fist? Can the door be opened or operated with a closed fist?

  • Can doors be opened without too much force? Offices must provide staff who can open the door upon request.

  • If the door has a closer, does it take at least 3 seconds to close?


  • Are the aisles between fixed seating (other than assembly area seating) at least 36 inches wide (44 inches is preferred)?

  • Are the spaces for wheelchair seating distributed throughout the assembly area?

  • Are the tops of tables or counters between 28 and 34 inches high? Are knee spaces at accessible tables at least 27 inches high, 30 inches wide, and 19 inches deep?

  • Are there accessible seats dispersed throughout the room rather than only seats in the front and back?


  • Are URL approved extension cords and tape on hand if use of an outlet is required? (Extensions cords may not be used for more than 90 days and cannot be chained together. If your office needs electrical distribution on a more permanent basis, you may use a multi‐strip surge protector.)

  • Is there an accommodation for possible service animals/guide dogs?