Blue sign with text "Baño Especial" and a stick figure wheeler

Ever go into the bathroom at your favorite coffee shop or pho joint and things are just a bit more of a pain than they need to be? Like the bathroom seems as if it’s big enough to be accessible, but there’s a changing table across from the toilet and there’s just not quite enough room to maneuver comfortably. Or how about staying in an “accessible” room at a hotel, and there’s room to maneuver, but you can’t actually reach the “ADA bathroom” shower controls?

If you travel or just go out and do stuff in your own town (you know, live) it’s impossible to avoid the countless bathrooms across the country that feature a little blue wheeler on the door, but sure don’t feel accessible when you need to use them. Unlike entrance stairs or doorways that are too narrow to fit through, proper accessibility in a bathroom isn’t always obvious. The problem is, if you don’t know the specifics of the ADA guidelines, it’s hard to complain. “This doesn’t feel accessible to me,” isn’t likely to sway a business owner to make changes or the DOJ to look into it.

Unfortunately, ADA enforcement often relies on chair users knowing their rights and being willing to speak out. But the ADA standards, like any other regulatory code, aren’t exactly easy reading. That’s why United Spinal Association has a whole division of people to help businesses meet ADA guidelines and ensure proper access.

This easy-to-understand infographic gives a good overview of ADA bathroom guidelines and regulations for public accommodation bathrooms — that is places like hotels, event spaces, restaurants shops and other businesses that serve the public. When you actually know the details of what places are required to provide, it’s easier to tell when they aren’t meeting their obligations. Plus, the guidelines can help provide a framework to work from if you’re looking to remodel your own bathroom. This infographic was produced by The Bath Outlet, an online retailer of bathroom furnishing that offers a range of ADA compliant sinks.


ADA bathroom guidelines infographic