Queen's University - Accessibility Guide - 20 Recreational Accommodation and Miscellaneous
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20 Recreational Accommodation and Miscellaneous   PDF version

20.1 General

This section is important for everyone  Recreational facilities are extensively used by persons with disabilities and should be carefully designed to ensure equal opportunities to participate in all activities. Change rooms require adequate space, lockers and storage facilities should be operable and within reach, and well designed signage and illumination are part of meeting the needs of persons with disabilities. Staff may be called upon to assist persons with disabilities.

20.2 Change Rooms

This section is important for people with mobility impairments  An accessible change room at least 1500 X 1700 mm shall be provided wherever change rooms are available. The change rooms should be part of the natural flow through to the athletic facilities to assist in orientation of people with visual impairments from becoming disoriented.

20.2.0 Signage on doors should comply with Queen's Signage guidelines.

20.2.1 A bench should be provided in the accessible change room at a height of 550 mm. Where there is sufficient room for two accessible change rooms, the bench in the second room should be provided at a height of 762 mm to act as a change table. The first dimension allows for independent transfers and the second for assisted transfers.

20.2.2 Dressing and locker room floors shall have non-slip surfaces that permit convenient and thorough cleaning and disinfecting. (OBC 3.11.9.1.(14))

This section describes an Ontario Building Code Requirement  20.2.3 Change rooms in which showers are provided, shall have at least one shower conforming to roll-in shower stall requirements given in Section 11.10.

20.3 Lockers

20.3.1 An area at least 750 X 1200 mm should be provided in front of a variety of lockers.

20.3.2 A barrier-free path of travel at least 920 mm wide should be provided throughout the locker room.

20.3.3 Lockers should be provided with locking devices that are operable with one hand or do not require fine finger control.

20.3.4 Lockers should be clearly marked with well-contrasted numbers.

20.4 Weight Rooms

This section is important for people with mobility impairments  A barrier-free path of travel should be provided to allow entrance to and movement around the weight training area. Free-weights should be accessible and a variety of equipment should be provided. Adequate space for a person using a wheelchair, 750 X 1200 mm, to transfer onto the equipment should also be provided.

20.5 Swimming Pools

This section is important for everyone  A variety of entry options (wide steps, lifts, ramps) will allow for greater opportunities for people with mobility impairments to use swimming pools. Safety features particularly around the pool should be included to enhance safety for people with visual impairments, such as highly contrasting edging.

20.5.1 A slip-resistant, hard-textured surface is required around the pool. Joints in tiles, bricks, etc. shall be as flush as possible (6 mm tolerance level). Other essential requirements include:

a) hard surface paths leading to the pool;
b) contrasting trim along the edge of the pool;
c) handrails and steps for entry at the shallow end;
d) contrasting colours and textures between the walkway and pool entrance;
e) all skimmers, gutters, etc. to be covered with a hard plastic or metal grate and be flush with the deck surface; and
f) benches with arms and backs (450-500 mm from the ground).

20.5.2 Wide steps (>1050 mm) with a tread depth of 470-750 mm and riser of 150 mm which gradually enter the water should be considered.

20.5.3 All steps shall be accompanied by handrails and shall be in a colour which contrasts with the pool bottom.

20.5.4 Pool ladders shall have slip-resistant treads on each step and be constructed of stainless steel. They shall be anchored securely at the top and gradually extend to the pool floor. Handrails shall extend down both sides of the ladder and be highly visible.

This section is important for people with visual impairments  20.5.5 The pool floor should be non-abrasive and slip-resistant. Marker buoys in contrasting colours should be placed to mark the line between the deep and shallow ends of the pool. A resting platform should be situated in the shallow end of the pool. The slope in the shallow end shall be between 5-8% and the decline from the shallow end shall not exceed 25 mm for every 450 mm.

This section is important for people with mobility impairments  20.5.6 Ramps leading into the water should not be more than 480-500 mm below the water-line. Ramps should conform with Section 8. If a ramp is not available (though preferred as a method of entry), a hydraulic lift (mechanical, not electrical) could be provided for the transfer of wheelchair users in and out of the water. Where a lift is not available, ramp and handrail access should be provided.

Transfer space next to the raised pool ledge should be level. A pool or commode / shower chair should be available for ramp access, as personal wheelchairs cannot be used to enter the water.

This section is important for people with visual impairments  20.5.7 The edges of reflecting pools shall be protected by railings, walls, curbs or detectable warnings.

20.5.8 Whirlpools should also conform to 20.5.1, 20.5.3 and 20.5.4.

20.6 Clothes Storage

Clothes storage shall have

a) a clothes rail not higher than 1400 mm;
b) at least three shelves between 400 and 1200 mm from the floor; and
c) a clear floor space at least 750 x 1200 mm in front of the storage area.
(See Figure 2.1)

20.7 Reception Desks

This section is important for people with mobility impairments  Glass, plexiglass, and similar materials or metal partitions should not be used to separate staff from visitors as they are a barrier to communication for people who are hearing or visually impaired.

All reception desks, registration tables or service counters more than 2 m long serving the public shall have at least one barrier-free section that is no more than 865 mm from the floor and has available knee space 760 mm wide, 685 mm high and 485 mm deep. Counters should be staffed at all times.

20.8 Ticket Counters

At ticketing and box office counters, a portion of the main counter, a minimum of 915 mm in length shall be provided with a maximum height of 915 mm.


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