Texas Access
State Licensed Registered Accessibility Specialists
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Technical Illustrations (applicable only to the 1994 Texas Accessibility Standards)

The following graphical illustrations are based on the old 1994 TAS and could be utilized for determination of compliance with Safe Harbor as allowed under Section 202.4 of the new 2012 TAS. These graphical illustrations are not sanctioned or approved by the TDLR, may not represent an entirely accurate interpretation of the code, and are not intended to be a substitute for the Texas Accessibility Standards. Please read the Disclaimer at this website for additional exclusions. To view graphical illustrations applicable to the new 2012 TAS, click here.

Measurements represented are based on adult dimensions and anthropometrics. For mounting heights suitable in schools and other facilities used primarily by children see TAS section 2.1.1.

Alterations to an Area Containing a Primary Function
Counters - Sales and Service Counters, Teller Windows, Information Counters
Curb Ramp - Built-up (in parking access aisles)
Curb Ramp - Flared Sides
Curb Ramps - In the Public Right-of-Way
Curb Ramps - NOT in the Public Right-of-Way
Curb Ramp - Surface Texture
Door Hardware Pulls
Dressing and Fitting Room - Benches
Drinking Fountains - As Protruding Objects
Exterior Route Connecting with a Public ROW Sidewalk that Exceeds 2%
Exterior Routes and Connecting Routes - Multiple Sites and Single Sites
Exterior Slopes
Lavatory Mirrors - Angled (not allowed) NEW
Locker Rooms - Accessible Storage
Parking Signage - Height
Parking Layout - Travel behind
Passenger Loading Zones at Medical Care Facilities
Seating and Tables - Fixed or Built-in
Toilet Room - Door Swing
Toilet Room - Signage Mounting Location
Toilet Room - Technical Requirements
Toilet Room - Toilet Paper Dispensers
Water Closets - Flush Controls
Wheelchair - Clear Floor and Ground Space
Wheelchair Dimensions for Adults Seated in Wheelchairs


Alterations to an Area Containing a Primary Function

4.1.6 (2) Alterations to an Area Containing a Primary Function: In addition to the requirements of 4.1.6 (1), an alteration that affects or could affect the usability of or access to an area containing a primary function shall be made so as to ensure that the accessible route to the altered area and the parking, restrooms, telephones, and drinking fountains serving the altered area, are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, unless such alterations are disproportionate to the overall alterations in terms of cost and scope, and specifically approved by the commissioner in accordance with the variance procedures contained in Rule 68.31. Related criteria established by the Attorney General of the United States shall be among the evidence considered by the commissioner.

EXCEPTION: Accessible parking required by 4.1.6(2) shall comply with 4.1.2(5)(a) except that the Total Parking in Lot column in Table 2 may be applied only to the total number of spaces assigned to, or reasonably considered for use by the occupants of and visitors to, the altered area.

3.5.44 Primary Function. With respect to an alteration of a building or facility, the primary function is a major activity for which the facility is intended. Areas that contain a primary function include, but are not limited to, the customer services lobby of a bank, the dining area of a cafeteria, the meeting rooms in a conference center, as well as offices and other work areas in which the activities of the public accommodation, commercial facility, or other private entity using the facility are carried out. Mechanical rooms, boiler rooms, supply storage rooms, employee lounges or locker rooms, janitorial closets, entrances, corridors, and restrooms are not areas containing a primary function.

Comment: Regarding the requirement to upgrade these existing features, remember that 4.1.6(2) only requires those which are "serving the altered area". For instance, if the tenant or occupant is altering an area containing a primary function (of the business), and is providing toilet rooms within the tenant space for the use of the occupants and its guests, then only those toilet rooms must comply, and any other existing public toilet rooms (e.g. core toilet rooms in a multi-tenant facility) do not have to receive the upgrades.

Counters - Sales and Service Counters, Teller Windows, Information Counters

The left half of the graphic below applies to department stores and miscellaneous retail stores where counters have cash registers and are provided for sales or distribution of goods or services to the public. At least one of each type shall have a portion of the counter which complies with this requirement (for instance Express, Cash Only, or 10-Item sales counters constitute different types).

The right half applies to ticketing counters, teller stations in a bank or other financial institution, nurse stations in hospitals or other medical facilities, reception and information counters, registration counters in hotels and motels, box office ticket counters, and other counters that may not have a cash register but at which goods or services are sold or distributed or information exchanged.

Reference 7.1 and 7.2 in the TAS for more information.

Curb Ramp - Built-up

Built up curb ramps must not be located inside of parking access aisles, since the aisle is required to have a surface slope of not more than 2% in any direction, and the curb ramp could interfere with persons entering or exiting a parked or standing vehicle. TAS 4.6.3 & 4.7.6. For the purpose of this interpretation, the access aisle begins at the face of the wheelstops.

Curb Ramp - Flared Sides

The requirement for a detectable warning surface at flared curb ramps, should NOT be applied to any flared sides. Only the ramp surface should have the detectable warning features required by TAS 4.7 and 4.29. (See the sections below for additional information).

Curb Ramp - Type Required Based on Location

The ONLY surface texture TDLR is currently aware of that meets the intent of both the Texas Accessibility Standards and the currently enforceable federal Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines are detectable warnings (aka truncated domes) meeting the technical specifications of TAS 4.29.2.

With the intention of harmonizing both state and federal requirements, the Department issued Technical Memorandum 08-01 regarding surface texture requirements at curb ramps.

Note: For the purpose of these illustrations, Perpendicular and Parallel describe a direction in relation to the predominant direction of pedestrian travel along the walk, which in this case would be right to left, or left to right.

Curb Ramps in the Public Right-of-Way

All curb ramps constructed, renovated, modified, or altered within the public right-of-way must comply with Architectural Barriers Administrative Rule 68.102(b)(2).

In accordance with Administrative Rules 68.102 and TAS 2.2, the Department is allowing the detectable warning surface to be a minimum of 24 inches depth (in the direction of pedestrian travel) in lieu of the full depth of the curb ramp. The deviation from this particular technical requirement does not require a variance. The truncated domes must still extend the full width of the curb ramp (or landing as applicable at parallel curb ramps) and comply with TAS 4.29.2.

Download TxDOT Roadway Standards PED-05 and PRD-06 for pedestrian facilities constructed in the public right-of-way. Once there, scroll down to the 'Miscellaneous' section.

Curb Ramps NOT in the Public Right-of-Way

All curb ramps that are constructed, renovated, modified, or altered, but are NOT within the public right-of-way must comply with TAS 4.7.

The surface texture and contrast must extend the full width and depth of the curb ramp based on 4.7.4. Parallel curb ramps shall be allowed to have the surface texture and contrast on the two ramped surfaces unless the landing connects to a public street or right-of-way.

The Department strongly encourages the use of detectable warnings (truncated domes) complying with TAS 4.29.2 as the surface texture and contrast in lieu of the surface textures listed under TAS 4.7.4(1) as a means to satisfy both the state and federal requirements.

Technical Memorandum 08-01 (REVISED) supersedes Technical Memorandum 99-15 issued in July 1999 and which is no longer effective. TM 99-02 remains in effect for curb ramps that are NOT in the public right-of-way.

Although the Perpendicular type curb ramp is the most commonly used at accessible parking areas, the Parallel type curb ramp could be utilized where conditions preclude use of a Perpendicular curb ramp. This might include, an existing tenant walk that is too narrow to provide a length of run that would achieve the required minimum 1:12 running slope, or where the slope of the walk away from the building towards the parking area is such that the 1:12 slope cannot be achieved, or where the curb ramp encroaches into the maneuvering clearance of an outward swinging tenant door and the accessible parking area and curb ramps cannot be relocated due to the surface slopes of the adjacent parking areas.

If the Parallel type is absolutely necessary, we strongly recommend that the least possible slope be utilized and that pipe bollard protection be provided, in lieu of wheelstops, so that vehicle overhang and obstruction of the ramp is not possible. Also, it may be necessary to provide edge protection (e.g. curbing or railing) to eliminate any hazardous conditions. In any event, both types of curb ramps must fully comply with all of TAS section 4.7.

A comment about pipe bollard protection at accessible parking spaces: In addition to providing a physical barrier to prevent vehicles from obstructing curb ramps and accessible routes, steel encased concrete filled pipe bollards may also reduce or prevent building or facility damage, and injury or death, caused by vehicles surging forward. As our population ages, the number of incidents caused by elderly drivers making incorrect pedal error judgments continue to increase. In many of these incidents, wheelstops and/or curbs, and pole-mounted signs are insufficient physical barriers.

Curb Ramp - Surface Texture

A precast detectable warning system, such as the Detectable Warning Paver from the Pavestone Company, is an excellent product when properly laid. Click here for product details and specifications from Pavestone's web site. For an extensive list of Manufacturers of Detectable Warning Products, click here.

For existing curb ramp surface textures and surface contrasts that do not comply, compliant detectable warning systems including mats and panels, etc. may be found by searching (e.g.) Google, using the key words "detectable warning systems". These systems typically comply with the federal technical specifications for truncated domes.

*Please note that compliance with TAS does not constitute compliance with federal law. A detectable warning surface texture consisting of anything other than truncated domes, may not comply with federal law. The utilization of truncated domes is the preferred method of achieving compliance with both state and federal law.

Door Hardware

Handles, pulls, latches, locks, and other operating devices on accessible doors shall have a shape that is easy to grasp with one hand and does not require tight grasping, tight pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate. Lever operated mechanisms, push type mechanisms, and U shaped handles are acceptable designs. Hardware required for accessible door passage shall be mounted no higher than 48 in (1220 mm) above finished floor.

Some users need the ability to secure the end of a walking cane or prosthetic device around a hardware pull without causing slippage. Other users with clutched-hand type impairments must insert their fist behind the handle while pulling outward. In all instances a one-handed operation is mandatory. "U" shaped pulls are an ideal means of achieving compliance and are universally accepted. The use of flat or panel-type door pulls is prohibited.

Dressing and Fitting Room - Benches

TAS 4.35.4 states in part: "Every accessible dressing room shall have a 24 in by 48 in bench fixed to the wall along the longer dimension (of the bench)..."

TAS states that the bench shall be 24" x 48". The 48" width requirement is not meant as a minimum width for the bench seat; It is an absolute measurement as stated ("shall have"). In a typical dressing or fitting room layout, the width of the room would be at least 60" in order to accommodate the required wheelchair turning radius, thus leaving a (e.g. 12") space at the end of the 48" wide bench.

Obstructions, gaps, or spaces within an accessible environment can be very useful. The space at the end of the bench is often needed while the person is leaning against the wall, or in a prone position, or for balance while resting on the bench; a place to wedge a foot for bracing while manipulating clothing or other objects utilizing both hands. Smooth, clear, environments can many times create barriers.

Drinking Fountains as Protruding Objects

TAS 4.15 Drinking Fountains and Water Coolers states, in part:

4.15.5 Clearances.
(1) Wall and post mounted cantilevered units shall have a clear knee space between the bottom of the apron and the floor or ground at least 27 inches high..."

TAS 4.4 Protruding Objects states, in part:

4.4.1 General. Objects projecting from walls (for example, telephones) with their leading edges between 27 inches 80 inches above the finished floor shall protrude no more than 4 inches into walks, halls, corridors, passageways, or aisles. Objects mounted with their leading edges at or below 27 inches above the finished floor may protrude any amount..."

In both sections it is quite clear that if the bottom of the leading edge of the drinking fountain is located EXACTLY at 27 inches above the finished floor, no more and no less, then the fountain would have the minimum knee clearance AND be able to protrude any amount. If the bottom of the leading edge is greater than 27 inches above the finished floor then additional skirting or a barrier may be required for cane detection purposes. Another option would be to recess the unit within an alcove.

Exterior Route Connecting with a Public ROW Sidewalk that Exceeds 2%

Where a new building or facility is being constructed, or there is a new addition to an existing building or facility, and where either contain an area having a Primary Function, an exterior route will be required to any planned or existing sidewalk located within the public right-of-way. As is sometimes the case, existing public sidewalks (and the adjacent roadway), have a longitudinal surface slope that exceeds 2%; therefore, it is acceptable to twist or warp the last 2 feet of the new exterior route, just before the intersecting point of the public sidewalk, even though that last 2 feet of the new exterior route may exceed a cross slope of 2%. IT is NOT acceptable to begin the twist or warp more than 2 feet away from the intersecting point.

Note: Newly constructed sidewalks that are located in the public right-of-way must comply with the Standards, except as specifically permitted in Rule 68.102.

Exterior Routes and Connecting Routes

TAS 4.1.2 Accessible Sites and Exterior Facilities: New Construction. An accessible site shall meet the following minimum requirements:

(1) At least one accessible route complying with 4.3 shall be provided within the boundary of the site from public transportation stops, accessible parking spaces, passenger loading zones if provided, and public streets or sidewalks, to an accessible building entrance.

(2) At least one accessible route complying with 4.3 shall connect accessible buildings, accessible facilities, accessible elements, and accessible spaces that are on the same site.

TAS 3.5.52 defines a Site as: A parcel of land bounded by a property line or a designated portion of a public right‑of‑way."

Additionally, the requirement for an exterior route and/or connecting route will be required in the following instances, where applicable:

1. If the project includes adding a new building (with an area containing a Primary Function) on the same site as an existing building.

2. If the project includes a new addition of building square footage (with an area containing a Primary Function) to an existing building.

Note: Where there is no existing or planned sidewalk adjacent to the site, an exterior route is not required, unless there is a public transportation stop (bus stop, train depot, etc.).

Maximum Exterior Slopes

Lavatory Mirrors - Angled (not allowed)

Locker Rooms - Accessible Storage

TAS 4.1.3(12) states, "If fixed or built in storage facilities such as cabinets, shelves, closets, and drawers are provided in accessible spaces, at least one of each type provided shall contain storage space complying with 4.25. Additional storage may be provided outside of the dimensions required by 4.25."

The requirement for accessible lockers, storage cubicles, shelves and rods is established under 4.25.

Of concern is the need for locker equipment manufacturers, suppliers and vendors to design, specify and install accessible lockers in educational facilities. In addition to the clear floor space at accessible lockers, this includes the need for accessible locker hardware such as handles, latches and locking mechanisms complying with 4.27.

Not all locker rooms have a function where occupants are expected to dress or change clothes, so a 24" x 48" bench under 4.35 would not be required. Conversely, not all dressing rooms have lockers, so the requirement for accessible lockers is of course not applicable. In the illustration below, assume that occupants are expected to dress or change clothes. In that case, an additional bench complying with 4.35 must be provided within the locker room area.

Note: As referenced in 4.25.3, Figures 38(a) and (b) allow only a maximum high side reach range of 48 inches. For single-tiered lockers required to be accessible under 4.1.3(12), the maximum 48 inch height allowed (for reach over a e.g. bench) is not achieved as the rods or shelves are located higher than that reach range. Therefore, a clear floor space must be provided directly in front of the accessible locker to allow a 54 inch high side reach.

In the red shaded box below left, the bench (with a maximum depth of 21 inches) could extend in front of the locker, so long as the hardware, shelf and hanging rod are not located higher than 48 inches. *For the purpose of this illustration we have designated the lower tiered locker to have components that are greater than 48 inches high, therefore a clear floor space would also be required at that locker.

Parking Signage - Height

Accessible parking signs must not be mounted or affixed less than 60 inches above the parking surface to the bottommost required character or symbol on the sign. For spaces designated as van accessible, this minimum height would be measured to the bottom of the words "Van Accessible". For standard accessible parking spaces the height would be measured to the bottom of the border surrounding the symbol.

A common error during construction is the installation of a standard accessible sign at the 60" height, and then a second "Van Accessible" sign is mounted underneath that sign thus creating a violation.

Another issue has to do with projection of the sign horizontally from the sides of the pole. If the pole is set in a walk that is part of an accessible route of travel, then the sign cannot project more than 4 inches from either side of the pole, unless the bottom of the bottommost sign is mounted at least 80 inches above the walking surface. It may then project any amount. Use of a pipe bollard (see second illustration below) may be an acceptable solution, where the horizontal projection of the sign is not greater than 4 inches from the sides of the pipe bollard.

Parking Layout - Travel Behind

TAS 4.3.2(5): "Accessible routes shall be located so that users are not required to wheel or walk behind parked vehicles (except the one they operate or in which they are a passenger) or in traffic lanes."

TAS 4.6.3: "Parked vehicle overhangs shall not reduce the clear width of an accessible route."

Various types of disabilities may require users to travel along a route at a slower pace than other users. In addition, some users may be traveling at a lower profile, where a wheelchair or other mobility assistance device might not be visible (line of sight) to vehicle operators backing out of an adjacent parking space. The layout of accessible parking areas must be done so as to ensure the safety of all users.

In this possible solution, concrete filled steel pipe bollards are not required for route protection but are strongly recommended, as wheelstops do not always prevent vehicle overhang and obstruction of the route. In addition, stand alone galvanized pole-mounted signs tend to get knocked down by vehicles over time, thus potentially rendering the route inaccessible.

Passenger Loading Zones at Medical Care Facilities

TAS 6.1 General, states: Medical care facilities included in this section are those in which people receive physical or medical treatment or care and where persons may need assistance in responding to an emergency or where the period of stay may exceed twenty-four hours. TAS 6.1(1) defines Hospitals as general purpose hospitals, psychiatric facilities, detoxification facilities, outpatient facilities and all public use and common use areas are required to be designed and constructed to be accessible.

Looking at TAS 6.2 Entrances. At least one accessible entrance that complies with 4.14 shall be protected from the weather by a canopy or roof overhang. Such entrances shall incorporate a passenger loading zone that complies with 4.6.6. The configuration might look something like this:

Seating and Tables - Fixed or Built-in

The failure to provide accessible tables (where tables are provided in Restaurants, Cafeterias, Snack Bars, and Vending Areas), is an ongoing one. Not only do moveable non-fixed furniture type tables have to meet the 5% requirement specified under Section 5 and Section 4.32, fixed tables also have to be accessible. It is not correct to assume that if moveable non-fixed furniture type tables are provided that meet the requirements of Section 4.32, that fixed tables do not have to comply. Both moveable AND fixed tables must meet the 5% requirement independently.

Note: Tabletop support posts and their legs must not obstruct the knee clearance required under Section 4.32. 


Toilet Room - Door Swing

4.22.2 Doors. All doors to accessible toilet rooms shall comply with 4.13. Doors shall not swing into the clear floor space required for any fixture (except see graphic below right).

The entry door to the toilet room cannot be fully opened when a wheelchair user is using the accessible fixture, control, or dispenser. For example, if a person using a wheelchair is positioned in the clear floor space at the lavatory and that clear floor space overlaps the space needed to swing the door open, the door cannot be fully-opened.

TAS 4.19.3 allows for the Lavatory Clear Floor Space (CFS) to extend under the sink a maximum of 19". In our graphic below, assume that the sink length is 18" deep. In this case the CFS may extend under the sink all the way to the wall. A common misconception is that the CFS cannot extend past the forward side of the drain pipe. As a side note, under TAS the door may swing any amount into the 60" diameter CFS for the Toilet Room.

Great news for space planners: Technical Memorandum 03-02 allows the door in a single user toilet room or bathroom to encroach in the clear floor space of an accessible plumbing fixture, provided there is a 30" x 48" clear floor space beyond the arc of the door swing, that allows someone in a wheelchair to travel clear of the door. So, not only can you encroach into the 60" turning radius, you can now encroach into the CFS of an accessible fixture. 


Toilet Room - Signage Mounting Location

People who are blind or visually impaired are trained to search at a consistent height for tactile signs. They may not be able to find the sign if it is not mounted in the correct location. They may be struck by the door if signage is mounted on the door or at the wrong side of the door. Signage utilized to designate accessible toilet rooms shall be wall mounted at the correct height. 



Toilet Room - Technical Requirements 


Toilet Room - Toilet Paper Dispensers

Toilet paper dispensers (TPD's) shall be installed within reach, as shown in TAS Fig. 29(b) and 30(d). Dispensers that control delivery, or that do not permit continuous paper flow (such as tissue sheets), shall not be used. Users with back problems find it difficult, if not impossible, to bend forward to access a toilet paper dispenser that is mounted outside of the ranges specified. Users should be able to lower their hand on the dispenser side, while seated in an upright position, to access the dispenser. The dimensions represented apply to both single roll and double roll units. No portion of an accessible TPD shall be mounted in violation of these ranges.

Editor's Note: Most TPD's are mounted exactly at the 19 inch height, where 19 inches is the minimum height. If locating the dispenser in this area creates an obstruction on the narrow side of the water closet (e.g. a protruding surface mounted dispenser) then the dispenser may be mounted higher, as permitted by TAS 4.2.6, for a maximum high side reach of 54 inches AFF to the center of the dispenser. In this scenario the TPD would be mounted above the sidewall grab bar. However, when doing so, the TPD should be mounted high enough above the grab bar so that the seated user is not required to bend or contort their wrist or hand to reach the dispenser. One continuous fluid motion is all that should be required. The installation range of a toilet paper dispenser is from 19 inches to 54 inches above the finished floor to the centerline of the dispenser, and a maximum of 36 inches out from the water closet rear wall. 


Water Closets - Flush Controls

TAS 4.16.5* Flush Controls. Flush controls shall be hand operated or automatic and shall comply with 4.27.4. Controls for flush valves shall be mounted on the wide side of toilet areas no more than 44 in (1120 mm) above the floor."

Flush valves and related plumbing can be located behind walls or to the side of the toilet, or a toilet seat lid can be provided if plumbing fittings are directly behind the toilet seat. Such designs reduce the chance of injury and imbalance caused by leaning back against the fittings. Flush controls for tank-type toilets have a standardized mounting location on the left side of the tank (facing the tank). Tanks can be obtained by special order with controls mounted on the right side. If administrative authorities require flush controls for flush valves to be located in a position that conflicts with the location of the rear grab bar, then that bar may be split or shifted toward the wide side of the toilet area. 


Wheelchair - Clear Floor and Ground Space

A clear floor space that allows a forward or a parallel approach by a person using a wheelchair must be provided at controls, dispensers, receptacles, and other operable equipment. This includes controls and operating mechanisms in accessible spaces, along accessible routes, or as part of accessible elements (for example, thermostats, alarm activating devices, ventilators, electrical outlets, access card readers, light switches and dispenser controls). 


Wheelchair Dimensions for Adults Seated in Wheelchairs