Queen's University - Accessibility Guide - 16 Residences
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16 Residences   PDF version

16.1 General

Inaccessible settings can prevent people with disabilities from participating in the social and educational aspects that are part of living in residence. Carpeting, poorly positioned or permanently fixed furniture and appliances with controls beyond reach range are a few key areas of concern. A holistic approach to residence living should be taken which includes health services, laundry, food services, recreational services and access to classes.

This section is important for people with mobility impairments  This section is important for people with visual impairments  16.1.1 Clear floor space of at least 1500 X 1500 mm should be provided in all dorm rooms, TV rooms / common rooms, study rooms and locker / storage rooms to provide manoeuvring space for persons using wheelchairs and accommodate the needs of a person using a service animal. Furniture should be moveable and aisles should be kept clear of protruding objects and clutter to prevent hazards for people with visual impairments.

16.1.2 Directional and designation signage should be used consistently throughout all facilities. (See Section 6 Signage for specifications.) Appropriately designated and signed facilities will assist everyone and will enable safe use of services available.

16.1.3 Flooring shall comply with Section 2 General Requirements.

This section is important for people with visual impairments  16.1.4 Postal boxes should have a coding system which is colour contrasted and locking / opening mechanisms should be operable by one hand and easy to open.

16.1.5 Reception desks in residences shall comply with Section 20.7 - Recreation Accommodation, Reception Desks.

This section is important for everyone  16.1.6 Emergency preparedness planning should be considered, carefully planned and practised. Accessible emergency egress routes should be planned. Both visual and audio warning systems should be provided. Intercoms for use in emergencies shall comply with Section 12 Communications. See Section 22 Emergency Fire Preparedness for fire alarm systems and additional requirements.

16.2 Dorm Rooms

This section is important for people with mobility impairments  Selected dorm rooms shall have sufficient space, at least 1500 X 1500 mm, to provide manoeuvring space for independent functioning in the room by persons who use a wheelchair or require additional space for a service animal. At least two of these dorm rooms shall be provided in residences of occupancies of 100 students, with an additional barrier-free room for every additional 100 students.

Adequate manoeuvring space is required beside all doors. (Refer to Section 7 Circulation for requirements.)

This section is important for people with mobility impairments  16.2.1 Clothes storage in modified rooms shall be provided that has
a) a clear opening of not less than 900 mm;
b) a clothes rail not higher than 1400 mm (1200 mm is preferred); and
c) at least three shelves between 400 and 1200 mm from the floor.
(Figure 16.1)

16.2.2 An accessible work station shall be provided which complies with 13.7 Work Stations (Figure 13.3).

16.2.3 If mirrors are provided in the room, at least one shall be with its bottom edge less than 1000 mm from the floor.

This section describes an Ontario Building Code Requirement  16.2.4 Every room used for sleeping in any building and every principal room shall be provided with windows conforming to OBC 9.7 (OBC 3.6.2.1.(1)). Controls should be operable by one hand, such as rotary handles.

16.3 Washrooms

This section is important for people with mobility impairments  Washroom facilities shall be provided which comply with Section 11 Washrooms. Washrooms which have been adapted should be located near selected modified dorm rooms. At least one accessible washroom should be provided per floor or wing. (See Figure 11.9.)

16.4 Kitchenettes

This section is important for people with mobility impairments    Kitchenettes should have an accessible work area that complies with 13.8 Work Surfaces. An additional pull-out work board below the standard counter-top level provides an accessible work space. In existing facilities where space requirements are not provided, an accessible work station with a microwave could be set up where adequate space and convenience is available.

Electrical outlets and coffee machines should be located at or near the front of counters.

The minimum clearance between counters and all opposing base cabinets, counter-tops, appliances or walls in kitchens should be 1200 mm, except in U-shaped kitchens, where the minimum clearance should be 1500 mm.

16.4.1 Cabinets, drawers and shelf storage areas shall have
a) at least one shelf not more than 1200 mm from the floor where it is above a work counter;
b) D-type door pulls or handles mounted close to the bottom of upper cabinet doors and the top of base cabinet doors;
c) a toe space at least 150 mm deep and 230 mm high provided in base cabinets; and
d) drawers that slide easily.

A combination stove, sink and refrigerator is recommended for small kitchenette locations.

PDF image - Figure 16.1  clothes storage

16.4.2 Microwave ovens are very convenient and have a decreased risk of burn injuries. They can easily be mounted at an accessible height (between 810 and 860 mm from the floor). An available low counter space should be available beside it. Counter top burners are preferred over regular cooktops. Ovens and cook-tops should have
a) colour-contrasted controls located on the front panel available between 810 and 860 mm in height;
b) for side-opening doors, the latch next to a horizontal surface or a pull-out shelf under it, which shall extend the full width of the oven and pull out not less than 250 mm; and
c) a clear floor space at least 750 X 1200 mm.
This section is important for people with mobility impairments  It is recommended that ovens be self-cleaning. Side-opening doors are preferred over bottom-hinged doors to avoid burns.

16.4.3 Sinks shall
a) be mounted with the rim height between 820 and 860 mm from the floor (Figure 16.2);
b) have a knee space at least 750 mm wide X 250 mm deep X 680 mm high plus a toe space at least 750 mm wide X 230 mm deep X 230 mm high;
c) have a clear floor space at least 750 X 1200 mm in front of it (up to 480 mm of this space may extend under it);
d) have faucets with handles of the lever type that are operable with a closed fist or have faucets that are electronically controlled;
e) have no sharp or abrasive surfaces under it; and
f) have hot water, drain pipes and its underside insulated if they abut the clearances noted above.

16.4.4 Refrigerators / Freezers shall be self-defrosting and of the vertical side-by-side type with D-type door handles mounted below 1200 mm.

16.4.5 Interior lighting shall comply with Section 5 Illumination.

16.5 Common Rooms / TV Rooms / Study Rooms-Libraries / Party / Games Rooms / Music Rooms

This section is important for people with hearing impairments  Provision of a well-illuminated, noise-reduced room, especially for television and music rooms, or secluded area allows for an environment for persons with hearing impairments to communicate without the interference of background noise.

Televisions should be mounted or placed so that the highest operable part is no higher than 1200 mm from the floor. Operable controls, knobs, etc. should be colour contrasting. Maximum reach height for shelving shall not exceed 1220 mm.

16.5.1 Well-illuminated accessible work stations shall be available which comply with 13.7.

(See Figure 13.8.) (Refer to Section 5 Illumination for lighting requirements.)

PDF image - Figure 16.2  work surface and sink

16.5.2 Captioning and audio amplification should be available in TV rooms. Refer to Section 12 Communications.

16.5.3 Tables and/or game surfaces shall be available which comply with requirements as given in 13.8 Work Stations. All controls should be colour contrasted and within reach, between 920 mm and not exceeding 1200 mm.

16.5.4 Where food or drink is served at counters exceeding 865 mm in height for consumption by customers standing at the counter, a portion of the main counter which is a minimum of 1525 mm in length shall be provided at a height of 810 - 860 mm height or service shall be available at accessible tables within the same area.

16.5.5 Manoeuvring space beside doors shall comply with Section 7 Circulation.

16.6 Laundry Rooms

This section is important for people with mobility impairments  People with disabilities often find it difficult to achieve the reach required for top loading machines. Front loading machines are preferred. Mounting washing machines and dryers on platforms should be avoided.

A clear floor space at least 750 X 1200 mm shall be provided in front of clothes washing and drying equipment (Figure 16.3). Vertically stacked washing machines/dryers should be considered.

16.6.1 An accessible sink or tub shall be available which complies with sink requirements as given in Section 13.9.

16.6.2 An accessible folding counter (work surface) which complies with Section 13.8 work stations is recommended.

16.6.3 Appliances and equipment, such as ironing boards and outlets should be provided with colour contrast and should be located within height and reach ranges.

16.7 Locker / Storage Rooms

Controls and operating mechanisms (access doors and lockers) shall comply with Section 2 General Requirements. Locks that are easy to operate with one hand are suggested. A clear route, minimum 920 mm wide should be provided within storage facilities.

PDF image - Figure 16.3  laundry facilities


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