I am an architect with a few hundred C-stores under my belt. Fixture suppliers design and build sales and service counters directly for the owners. One owner recently received a huge ADA violation complaint letter (from a law firm) I am helping to resolve. One issue is the sale counter, which is 36” high end to end broken up with a few front facing displays. The complaint alleges violation of the front approach standard, with no toe/knee space nor a 34” high work surface. I am seeing some references and your NATSO article that implies an accessible cashier/transaction counter can be 36” long, 36” high and allow for a 48×30 wheelchair space. Does the ADA not consider signing a receipt or check an action that requires a 34” high work surface?

— Paul I. ANSWER: No.  The signing of a receipt or a check is a quick transactional action and not a long term work action and therefore does not require a work surface.  As such under the 2010 ADA Standards these are considered sales/service counters and not work surfaces.  Per Section 904.4.1 sales/service counters are required to be a maximum of … READ MORE

We are still at 60” for clearance to the underside of the regulatory signage for parking, etc. While this meets 2010 ADA California has increased their required heights, and many cities and states are following suit. Should we be following suit outside of CA to avoid issues down the road?

— Bruce D. ANSWER: I don’t think you need to worry about signage height on existing signs anywhere but CA if they comply with the 2010 ADA Standards. They can all vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but those will be building code and city ordinance issues. If you have to repair or replace the signs, they need to be 60″ minimum. … READ MORE

We are designing a cashwrap for a jewelry store and are looking at the height. Is a check writing surface required? If so… would it need to be 36″ wide @ 34″ high. If it is not required, can the cash register sit on top of the 36″ counter leaving 18″ clear on the side with a complete front to back 36″ height?

— Garron M. ANSWER: The ADA standards requirements for an accessible sales counter such as the one you describe is as follows: Side approach.  Maximum: 36″ high. (34″ in California) Minimum: 36″ wide when other non-accessible counters are provided that are 36″ wide or more. If other counters are less than 36″ wide, then the accessible counter must be as wide … READ MORE