More than 50 million Americans with disabilities are potential customers for clothing stores across the country. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires all retailers to remove barriers from older buildings and design or build new facilities that are ADA-compliant. As a retailer you know that providing a comfortable changing area for all customers to try on merchandise is important for boosting customer satisfaction and driving more sales. By following ADA Accessibility Guidelines, you can ensure that your fitting rooms meet ADA requirements so that every customer has a comfortable and satisfactory shopping experience.
ADA Fitting Room Requirements
- Provide clear floor space for turning. Under the ADA, a person using a wheelchair must be able to easily make a 180-degree turn inside an ADA fitting room whether they have entered through a swinging or sliding door. Additionally, doors are not to swing into any part of the turning space. You must also make sure that the passage width for wheelchairs complies with the space allowance and reach ranges detailed in section 4.2 of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG).
- Ensure fitting room doors are ADA compliant. Fitting room doors must have a minimum clear opening of 32 inches with the door open 90 degrees, measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop.
- Provide an ADA accessible bench. Every ADA fitting room in your store must comply with section 37 of the ADAAG by providing an ADA accessible bench. You will know if a fitting room bench is ADA approved if:
- Clear floor space is provided and positioned for parallel approach to a short end of a bench seat.
- The bench is fixed and has a seat that is 20 inches minimum to 24 inches maximum in depth and 42 inches in length.
- The bench provides back support that is 42 inches minimum in length and extends from a point 2 inches maximum above the seat to a point 18 inches minimum above the seat.
- Position mirrors in the proper spots. If you provide mirrors in your standard fitting rooms, ADA fitting rooms must also be provided with full-length mirrors measuring at least 18 inches wide by 54 inches in height. Whether a customer is sitting on the bench or standing, they should be able to clearly see their body in the mirror.
Tip! The United States Access Board website shares images and diagrams with detailed ADAAG guidelines for further clarification.
ADA Fitting Room Maintenance Checklist
A key part of ADA compliance is proper maintenance of accessible fitting rooms so that they are consistently usable by your customers. Without close attention from you or your staff, ADA fitting rooms can become inaccessible by those who need to use them. Here’s how to ensure your fitting rooms remain accessible:
- Keep ADA signage visible. Make sure that all signs for accessible fitting rooms are readable and mounted next to the latch side of the fitting room doors at 5 feet to centerline.
- Ensure ADA fitting rooms can be accessed easily. During business hours, all ADA fitting rooms must remain unlocked or have keys readily accessible. For example, if your standard fitting rooms are always unlocked, then ADA fitting rooms should always be unlocked also. If your staff uses keys to open fitting room doors for customers, the keys must be equally accessible for every fitting room.
- Remove anything from fitting rooms that doesn’t belong. Under no circumstance should your store use ADA fitting rooms for extra storage, furniture, trash cans, or other retail equipment. Floor and wall space should never be blocked by any obstacles and fitting room doors should be able to swing freely.
- Maintain your elevators. If customers use elevators to access dressing rooms or other floors of your store, you must ensure they are clean, free of debris, and repaired regularly.
Choose the Right ADA Fitting Rooms for Your Store
If you’re looking for the perfect accessible dressing rooms that meet ADA requirements, look no further than our high-quality fitting rooms. Our experienced team designs, manufactures, and delivers ADA fitting rooms for retailers large and small. With three designs and seven finishes, we can easily accommodate your retail needs. Request a fitting room quote today!