Kitchens and Kitchenettes

Thursday, July 1, 2021
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern Time Zone


Access to kitchens and kitchenettes is the subject of many technical inquiries received by the U.S. Access Board. This webinar will review scoping and technical requirements for kitchens and kitchenettes in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards. Presenters will use illustrations and diagrams and discuss how various specifications apply and relate to each other, including those for clear floor space and turning space, required clearances at fixtures and appliances, work surfaces, and storage. Presenters will also address frequently asked questions and common sources of confusion concerning accessible kitchens and kitchenettes.

Continuing Education Recognition Available

Certificate Credit hours
California Architects Board 1.5
Certificate of Attendance 1.5
ICC 1.5


Bobby Stinnette, Accessibility Specialist, U.S. Access Board

Scott Windley, TA Coordinator and Senior Accessibility Specialist, Office of Technical and Information Services, U.S. Access Board

Questions for presenters:

1 Kitchen in school, that is work area, no student access is allowed, what is required for accessible requirements: hand sinks per Health department( are they required to be accessible), floor mats ( are they required to meet accessible floor requirements) dressing rooms, accessible route (width and turning point), work counter heights, work area sinks, restrooms, freezer, dry food storage?
2 For a full commercial kitchen in a public facility (i.e. recreation center) covered under Title II, is the commercial kitchen (and appliances) required to be made fully compliant with the regulations? The commercial kitchen is designed to be used (rented) by the public to serve the adjacent hall for special events. Some of the commercial appliances and fixtures do not have accessible alternates in the market. What does the Access Board recommend to make sure the kitchen is compliant?
3 We are aware that fire stations are required to be accessible. What is the extent of the application of compliance in the kitchen? The kitchen cabinets and appliances are only used by able bodied firefighters. Any injured firefighters are re-assigned to a different facility. The public is also not allowed to use the kitchen. Lowering the countertops to compliant height may cause back injuries to firefighters.
4 Can you please cover exactly what triggers the difference between the wet bar which does not require a forward approach to the sink and a full kitchen. (606.2). Is a ceramic induction plate (sits on countertop or can be recessed into countertop) considered a cook top? Does a built-in fixed microwave trigger it? Does a loose counter-top microwave trigger forward approach? Is the triggering factor a "cooking appliance" or a "conventional range"?
5 How do you measure the 50% of shelving required to be compliant? (804.5) Is the "storage element" measured as 15" to the drawer/door pull? Or 15" to the lower shelf surface? Does 50% mean 1 drawer if there are 2 drawers? Or 1 drawer bank if there are 2 drawer bank? Is it measured in lineal feet (e.g. if 1 drawer bank is 12" wide and another drawer bank is 24" wide). Is it OK to make the 12" wide drawer bank accessible only? Or is it 2 drawers in the 12"w drawer bank and 2 drawers in the 24" wide drawer bank because it's 50% of the lineal footage? Do you have creative solutions to show how other people have complied with meeting the 50%?
6 Does Section 226.1 of the 2010 ADA Standards require work surfaces to be provided within the common area kitchens of public housing facilities subject to Section 233?
7 To calculate accessible storage in kitchens per 804.5, does one include removable shelving and/or cabinets as part of the storage provided, or are they exempt since they are not permanently attached?
8 Are the areas underneath sinks, work surfaces, or over the exhaust hoods considered storage spaces for purposes of calculating the amount of accessible kitchen storage provided? What about the cabinet storage inside L-shaped corners?
9 For compliance with Section 804.5 of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which requires at least 50 percent of shelf space to be accessible, do drawers count as “shelf space”?

Session Questions

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