What is ADA Compliant Equipment?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) went into effect in 1990, 29 years ago. Essentially, the ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life.

An amendment was issued in 1991 entitled “ADA Standards for Accessible Design“, which was printed as a guide to be used for new construction & alterations for public & commercial facilities. A later version was printed in 2010, with some slight updates.

With that being said, special equipment must be designed & manufactured to meet ADA specifications. So, what exactly qualifies products to meet these credentials?

While there are tons of items that must meet ADA specifications, such as elevators & doorways, we will focus on some common equipment in this article: gratings & hand sinks.


IMC Gratings are a mainstay of any floor layout & an essential element of floor troughs in general. All gratings have one thing in common: they all have wide openings.

On November 16, 1999, a new amendment was passed to address the gap issue of gratings so that they become more handicap accessible. The rule clearly states,Openings in floor or ground surfaces shall not allow passage of a sphere more than ½” diameter. Elongated openings shall be placed so that the long dimension is perpendicular to the dominant direction of travel.”

To sum up, the openings between the bars of a gratings must be minimized. Below is a typical drawing of a standard IMC ADA compliant grating:

Hand Sinks

Hand washing is the single most important hygienic practice to prevent the spread of disease & germs. But in order to wash your hands, you will need a proper hand sink. An IMC ADA hand sink is no exception.

Simply put, ADA sinks are restroom wash stations that have been designed for users with disabilities/limited mobility. Most facilities, such as hospitals, are required to have at least one ADA compliant hand sink.

Most ADA compliant hand sinks are constructed from stainless steel due to its sturdiness & cleanliness. Furthermore, most ADA compliant hand sinks are wall-mounted according to ADA measurement guidelines.

Concerning the actual measurement guidelines, an ADA compliant hand sink must meet minimum standards of height, clearance, & depth. So, what exactly are these standards? Check below for the exact requirements, based on the 1991 title III ADA regulation published July 26, 1991:

  • Height: Sinks need to be mounted with the counter or rim no higher than 34″ above the finish floor.
  • Knee Clearance: Knee clearance that is at least 27″ high, 30 in” wide, & 19″ deep needs to be provided underneath sinks.
  • Depth: Each sink needs to be a maximum of 6½” deep.
  • Clear Floor Space: A clear floor space at least 30″ by 48″ needs to be provided in front of a sink to allow forward approach. The clear floor space must have an accessible route & extend a maximum of 19″ underneath the sink.
  • Exposed Pipes & Surfaces: Hot water & drain pipes exposed under sinks must be insulated or otherwise configured so as to protect against contact. There must be no sharp or abrasive surfaces under the sink.
  • Faucets: Faucets must be lever-operated, push-type, touch-type, or electronically controlled mechanisms. A faucet must be operable with one hand, with minimum force to control it.
  • Soap Dispensers: Soap dispensers should be mounted at a maximum of 44” above the finished floor. Users should be able to operate the soap dispenser & faucet easily without obstruction.

Below is a typical side elevation drawing of the IMC ADA compliant hand sink:

For a detailed diagram of the ADA hand sink requirements, see the below figure:


At IMC/Teddy, we manufacture a variety of gratings that conform to ADA specifications. These gratings include subway & grid styles. We also offer pultruded fiberglass material gratings. For more information on our grating selection, check here.

Concerning hand sinks, IMC/Teddy manufactures a wall-mounted ADA compliant hand sink (ADA-WS) designed for individuals with limited mobility. The ADA-WS can be equipped with a deck mounted ADA soap dispenser & wrist action handle faucet. For more information on the ADA-WS, check out our product page here.

Lastly, IMC/Teddy manufactures a large floor sink (FS-ADA) to accommodate handicap/wheelchair users. The 33″L x 33″W x 12″H floor sink is the largest we fabricate & is suitable for any public area. For more information, check out the product page here.

*Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of IMC/Teddy. Our content is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. Please contact IMC/Teddy directly if you would like to feature this post on your webpage. Thank you.

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