How to Use this Checklist
One person can conduct a survey, but it’s easier with two people. One person can take measurements and the other person can fill out the checklist and take photos.
Obtain Floor Plans
A floor plan or sketch helps the surveyors get oriented and know how many elements, such as drinking fountains and entrances, there are and where they are. If plans are not available, sketch the layout of interior and exterior spaces.
Make Copies of the Checklist
Determine how many copies of each section of the checklist you need. For example, most facilities have more than one toilet room.
- Clipboard makes it easier to write on the checklist
- Tape measure
- Electronic or carpenter’s level - 24 inches
- Door pressure gauge or fish scale for measuring door-opening force
- Digital camera
- Bag to hold these items
Conduct the Survey
Start from site arrival points such as drop-off areas and public sidewalks and determine if there is an accessible route to an accessible entrance. If there is a parking lot or garage check for the correct number of accessible parking spaces, including van-accessible spaces. Is there an accessible route from the accessible parking spaces to an accessible entrance? Next survey the entrances. If there is an accessible entrance, determine if there are signs at inaccessible entrances directing people to the accessible entrance. Go inside and continue through the facility and the checklist.
Keep Good Notes
Write on the front of each checklist where you are surveying. You may end up with six toilet room checklists. When you get back to your office you’ll want to know which one is the checklist for the first floor women’s room. If there isn’t an accessible entrance you’ll want to indicate how many steps there are and how much space is available to install a ramp or lift. This is a good time to take photographs.
Take Good Measurements
When in doubt write it down. It’s better to have too much information than not enough. Even if something is in compliance it’s helpful to have exact measurements.
- Measure from the inside edge of the painted line to the inside of the opposite painted line or edge of space.
- Open the door 90 degrees, measure from the face of the door to the edge of the door stop.
- If you’re using a door pressure gauge, place it where you would push open the door.
- If you’re using a fish scale, place it where you would pull open the door.
Door Clear Width
Door Opening Force
You can measure slope with a 24 inch level and a tape measure. Put the level on the surface in the direction you are measuring. Put one end at the high point of the surface and raise the other end so that the bubble is in the middle of the level’s gauge. The level is now level. Measure the distance between the end of the level at its bottom point and the surface.
For a ramp the maximum running slope allowed is 1:12. That means for every inch of height change there should be at least 12 inches of ramp run. If the distance between the bottom of the level and the ramp surface is 2 inches or less, then the slope is 1:12 or less (2:24 = 1:12 and 1.5:24 = 1:16 which is a more gradual slope than 1:12). If the distance is greater than 2 inches, the ramp is too steep. For example, if the distance is 3 inches, then the slope is 1:8 (3:24 = 1:8 which is a steeper slope than 1:12).
For the parts of an accessible route that aren’t a ramp, the maximum running slope allowed is 1:20. That means for every inch of height change there must be at least 20 inches of route run. The distance from the bottom edge of the level to the surface should be no more than 1.2 inches (1.2:24 = 1:20).
For the cross slope of an accessible route the maximum slope allowed is 1:48. The distance from the bottom edge of the level to the surface should be no more than ½ inch (.5:24 = 1:48). The cross slope of an accessible route is the slope that is perpendicular to the direction of pedestrian travel.
Slopes may also be measured using a digital level. Be sure to read the instructions. Measure with the percent calculation rather than the degrees calculation. For a ramp the maximum running slope allowed is 8.33% (8.33% is a 1:12 slope). For an accessible route without a ramp the maximum running slope allowed is 5% (1:20). For the cross slope of an accessible route the maximum slope allowed is 2.083% (1:48).
Check that You Got Everything
Before you leave the site review all the checklists. Make sure you know which checklist goes with which entrance and which toilet room and that you’ve got all the information you need. It is better to do it now than to have to go back.
After the Survey
List Barriers and Solutions
Consider the solutions listed beside each question on the checklist and add your own ideas. Consult with building contractors and equipment suppliers to estimate the costs for making modifications.
Develop an Implementation Plan
Although an implementation plan is not required, the Department of Justice recommends such a plan, specifying what barriers will be removed and when solutions will occur: "...Such a plan...could serve as evidence of a good faith effort to comply..." Prioritize items, make a timeline and develop a budget. Where the removal of barriers is not readily achievable, consider whether there are alternative methods for providing access that are readily achievable such as curbside takeout service at a restaurant with an accessible intercom system outside.
Use the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Note: Until March 15, 2012 the 1991 ADA Standards for Accessible Design may be used for readily achievable barrier removal. Check whether local and state building codes require greater accessibility when alterations are undertaken.
Review the implementation plan each year to evaluate whether more access improvements have become readily achievable.