AN ACT AMENDING CHAPTER 69, TITLE 29, DELAWARE CODE, BY REQUIRING THAT CERTAIN BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES CONSTRUCTED WITH STATE FUNDS ADHERE TO CERTAIN PRINCIPLES, STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS TO MAKE THE SAME ACCESSIBLE TO AND USABLE BY THE PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED, AND PROVIDING FOR ENFORCEMENT.
WHEREAS, the President's Committee on Employment of the handicapped has recommended the institution of requirements in public works contracts for the construction of facilities for the convenience of handicapped persons; and
WHEREAS, several states have enacted legislation creating such standards; and
WHEREAS, the public policy of this State favors assistance to handicapped persons enabling them to participate as fully as possible in the life of our community;
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:
Section 1. Chapter 69, Title 29, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new Section 6918 to read as follows:
§ 6918. Standards of construction; protection of physically handicapped
Every public works contract shall require construction performed pursuant to the contract to conform to the following standards, compliance with which shall be enforced by the State Department of Labor:
(a) Walks. Public walks shall be at least 48 inches wide and shall have a gradient not greater than 5 percent. These
walks shall be of a continuing common surface, not interrupted by steps or abrupt changes in level. Wherever walks cross other walks, driveways, or parking lots they shall blend to a common level. A walk shall have a level platform at the top which is at least 5 feet by 5 feet, if a door swings out onto the platform or toward the walk. This platform shall extend at least 1 foot beyond each side of the doorway. A walk shall have a level platform at least 3 feet deep and 5 feet wide, if the door does not swing onto the platform or toward the walk. This platform shall extend at least 1 foot beyond each side of the doorway.
(b) Special Parking Areas. At least one parking area shall be made accessible to the building by either placing it at the grade level of the building or providing ramps at curbs or steps between the parking area and the building.
(c) Ramps for the Handicapped. Where ramps with gradients are necessary or desired, they shall conform to the following specifications:
(1) The ramp shall not have a slope greater than 1 foot rise in 12 feet, or 8.33 percent, or 4 degrees 50 minutes.
(2) The ramp shall have handrails on at least one side, and preferably two sides. The top of handrails shall be 32 inches above the surface of the ramp and shall extend 1 foot beyond the top and bottom of the ramp.
(3) The ramp shall be at least 32 inches wide (inside clear measurements) and have a surface that is nonslip.
(4) If a door swings out onto the platform of the ramp shall be at least 5 feet by 5 feet. This platform shall be clear of door frame.
(5) If the door does not swing onto the platform or toward the ramp, this platform shall be at least 3 feet deep and 5 feet wide. This platform shall be clear of door frame.
(6) The bottom of the ramp shall have at least a 6 foot level run.
(7) Where the ramp exceeds 30 feet in length, level platforms shall be provided at 30 foot intervals. Level platform shall also be provided at turns in the ramp. Platforms shall be at least 32 inches wide by 5 feet long.
(d) Entrances and Doors. Each building shall have at least one entrance which is accessible to individuals in wheelchairs. This entrance shall provide access to elevators either on a level plane or by ramp.
Doors shall have a clear opening of no less than 32 inches when open and shall be operable by a single effort. The floor on the inside and outside of each doorway shall be level for a distance of 5 feet from the door in the direction the door swings and shall extend 1 foot beyond each side of the door. Sharp inclines and abrupt changes in level shall be avoided at doorsills. As much as practicable, thresholds shall be flush with the floor.
(e) Stairs. Steps in stairs shall be designed wherever practicable so as not to have abrupt (square) nosing. Stairs shall have handrails 32 inches high as measured from the tread at the face of the riser. Stairs shall have at least one handrail that extends at least 18 inches beyond the top step and beyond the bottom step. Steps should, wherever possible, and in conformation with existing step formulas, have risers that do not exceed 7 inches.
(f) Floors. Floors shall wherever practicable have a surface that is nonslip. Floors on the same story shall be of a common level throughout or be connected by a ramp in accord with subsection (c) of this section.
(g) Rest Rooms.
(1) Toilet rooms shall be accessible to, and usable by, the physically handicapped and shall have space to allow traffic of individuals in wheelchairs.
(2) Toilet rooms shall have at least one toilet stall that: (i) is 3 feet wide,
(ii) is at least 4 feet 8 inches, preferably 5 feet deep,
(iii) has a door (where doors are used) that is 32 inches wide and swings out,
() has handrails on each side, 33 inches high and parallel to the floor, 11/2 inches in outside diameter, with 11/2 inches clearance between rail and wall, and fastened securely at ends and center,
(i) has a water closet with the seat 20 inches from the floor.
(3) Toilet rooms shall have lavatories with narrow aprons, which when mounted at standard height are usable by individuals in wheelchairs; or shall have lavatories mounted higher, when particular designs demand, so that they are usable by individuals in wheelchairs.
(4) Mirrors and shelves shall be provided above lavatories at a height as low as practicable and no higher than 40 inches above the floor, measured from the top of the shelf and the bottom of the mirror.
(5) Toilet rooms for men shall have an approximate number of wall-mounted urinals with the opening of the basin 19 inches from the floor, or shall have floor-mounted urinals that are on level with the main floor of the toilet room.
(6) Toilet rooms shall have an appropriate number of towel racks, towel dispensers, and other dispensers and disposal units mounted no higher than 40 inches from the floor.
(h) Fountains. An appropriate number of water fountains or other water-dispensing means shall be accessible to, and usable by, the physically disabled.
Water fountains or coolers shall have up-front spouts and controls. Water fountains or coolers shall be hand-operated or hand-and-foot operated.
(i) Elevators. Where elevators are to be provided they shall be accessible to, and usable by, the physically disabled at all levels normally used by the general public. Elevators shall be designed to allow for traffic by wheelchairs.
(j) Controls. Switches and controls for light, heat, ventilation, windows, draperies, elevators, fire alarms, and all similar controls of frequent or essential use, shall be placed within the reach of individuals in wheelchairs.
(k) Hazards. Every effort shall be exercised to obviate all hazards to individuals with physical disabilities.
Section 2. This Act shall not apply to the case of buildings or facilities for which contracts for the planning and/or design have been awarded prior to July 1, 1966, although the General Assembly strongly recommends that in such cases, the standards herein prescribed be followed whenever feasible.
Approved May 4, 1966.