ADA Checklist - How to Use this Checklist

Get Organized

One person can conduct a survey, but it’s easier with two people. One person can take measurements and the other person can fill out the checklist and take photos.

Obtain Floor Plan or Make Sketch

A floor plan helps the surveyors to get organized and to know how many elements there are, such as entrances and toilet rooms. If plans are not available, sketch the exterior and interior layout of interior and exterior spaces and mark the elements on the sketch.

Make Copies of the Checklist

Determine how many copies of each section of the checklist you need. For example, most facilities have more than one toilet room.

Gather Tools

  • Checklist
  • Clipboard
  • Tape measure
  • Electronic or carpenter’s level - 24 inches
  • Door pressure gauge or fish scale
  • Camera
  • Bag to hold these items

Conduct the Survey

Start Outside

Start from site arrival points such as drop-off areas and sidewalks. Determine if there is an accessible route to an accessible entrance. If there is a parking lot or garage check for the correct number of accessible parking spaces, including van-accessible spaces. Is there an accessible route from the accessible parking spaces to an accessible entrance? Next survey the entrances. If there is an accessible entrance, determine if there are signs at inaccessible entrances directing people to the accessible entrance. Go inside and continue through the facility.

Keep Good Notes

Write on the front of each checklist where you are surveying. You may end up with six toilet room checklists. When you get back to your office you’ll want to know which one is the checklist for the first floor women’s room. If there isn’t an accessible entrance you’ll want to indicate how many steps there are and how much space is available to install a ramp or lift. This is a good time to take photographs.

Take Good Measurements

When in doubt write it down. It’s better to have too much information than not enough. Even if something is in compliance it’s helpful to have exact measurements.

Parking Spaces

Measure from the center of marking lines. If lines are not adjacent to another space or aisle the measurement can be to the full width of the line.

Door Clear Width

Open the door 90 degrees, measure from the face of the door to the edge of the door stop.

Door Opening Force

If you’re using a door pressure gauge place it where you would push open the door.

If you’re using a fish scale place it where you would pull open the door.

Accessible Slopes

You can measure slope with a 24 inch level and a tape measure. Put the level on the surface in the direction you are measuring. Put one end at the high point of the surface and raise the other end so that the bubble is in the middle of the level’s gauge. The level is now level. Measure the distance between the end of the level at its bottom point and the surface.

For a ramp the maximum running slope allowed is 1:12. That means for every inch of height change there should be at least 12 inches of ramp run. If the distance between the bottom of the level and the ramp surface is 2 inches or less, then the slope is 1:12 or less (2:24 = 1:12 and 1.5:24 = 1:16 which is a more gradual slope than 1:12). If the distance is greater than 2 inches, the ramp is too steep. For example, if the distance is 3 inches, then the slope is 1:8 (3:24 = 1:8 which is a steeper slope than 1:12).

For the parts of an accessible route that aren’t a ramp, the maximum running slope allowed is 1:20. That means for every inch of height change there must be at least 20 inches of route run. The distance from the bottom edge of the level to the surface should be no more than 1.2 inches (1.2:24 = 1:20).

For the cross slope of an accessible route the maximum slope allowed is 1:48. The distance from the bottom edge of the level to the surface should be no more than ½ inch (.5:24 = 1:48). The cross slope of an accessible route is the slope that is perpendicular to the direction of pedestrian travel.

Slopes may also be measured using a digital level. Be sure to read the instructions. Measure with the percent calculation rather than the degrees calculation. For a ramp the maximum running slope allowed is 8.33% (8.33% is a 1:12 slope). For an accessible route without a ramp the maximum running slope allowed is 5% (1:20). For the cross slope of an accessible route the maximum slope allowed is2.083% (1:48).

Check that You Got Everything - Before you leave the site review all the checklists. Make sure you know which checklist goes with which entrance and which toilet room and that you’ve got all the information you need. It is better to do it now than to have to go back.