American ADA Requirements for Door Handle Heights

Woman in Wheelchair Talking

Since 1990, the US has been asking different businesses the guarantee that their public buildings provide the same services for all kinds of people, including people with disabilities. that’s how ADA Accessibility Guidelines were created, these guidelines will help you to build your own public building with accessible designs available for all people. That way, you will be showered with more customers. 

These requirements not only affect local businesses. but also for public transportation, places for public accommodation, private clubs, churches, etc…

Today, we will talk about everything you need to know about building a door according to the ADA Requirements.

Door Specifications

The number 1 thing to take into consideration is that the door needs to be wide enough to fit a wheelchair. Entryways should be at least 32 inches wide. 

Next, the clearance area around the door should be 36 inches. When it comes to double doors, the width should be of 48 inches, one important thing is that both doors should swing in the same direction, the clearance area should be of 54 inches, 

Door Handle Height

The door handle height is one of the most important things, even if the door is wide enough to fit a wheelchair, even if it has enough clearance area, that is of no use if people can’t reach the door handles, basically, they wouldn’t even be able to open the door and enter your establishment, that’s why it’s so important. 

The first thing you need to know is that the handles need to have a simple design that is easy to handle and easy to grip, it can’t involve wrist twisting movements. 

The average door handle height is 48 inches above the floor. Obviously, this is an average and there is no “standard door handle height”. That said, it can’t be higher than 48″. 

If the door has a closer, it should take around 3 seconds to close. Also, the door can’t be too heavy, the maximum force that is allowed to use to open a door is 5 pounds. 

Lastly, according to ADA, doors should provide access to the whole building, if the building is connected by only stairs and not by wheelchair ramps as well, then that is considered a direct violation of the law. 

The building should be wheelchair-accessible, it should provide a safe route to transportation stops, parking lots, sidewalks, and public streets. 

This law started operating on January 26th of 1992. Establishments built before that era don’t need modifications. As for buildings newer than that date, it is strictly necessary to avoid a violation of the law.