At a POS counter is it required to provide a full “CLEAR” counter space 36″x the depth of the counter? Meaning the POS monitor, or any other equipment shall not be placed in this area, and this area is left clear of any obstructions?

— Jonathan O.


There are several parts to this question that must be addressed first.

There is no explicit requirement that a 36” wide section of counter be provided.  The requirement is that if the counter is 36” wide or greater a 36” wide section of counter needs to be provided.  This raises the question as to how to measure the counter width.  We would first look at all of the counters.  If there all the counters are less than 36” wide then the accessible counter only needs to be as wide as the widest counter provided.  The location of the POS at all of the counters would be a part of defining the width of the counters.

The depth of the accessible counter at 36” high and the appropriate width is only required to extend the depth of the PUBLIC portion of the counter.  Where the PUBLIC portion ends and EMPLOYEE portion begins is an interpretive matter.  The question we generally ask is where do we expect that it would be inappropriate for the public to reach and define this as the demarcation between the two portions of the counter. Often times we define this to be the POS device.  The public should not be reaching past this point on the counter.

What is the POS device that you are referring to?  If it is the cash register and monitor then these are not public equipment.  If it is the credit card/key pad that the public is intended to interact with it is our opinion that this can be within the accessible counter space as it is a part of the transaction area. No other obstructions should be within the required accessible counter area.

– Brad

Brad Gaskins