Ensuring Accessibility: ADA Compliant Turnstiles and Gates Requirements

|By Drew Schwarz

At a Glance: ADA Compliance Means Access for Everybody

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the rights of disabled individuals
  • The ADA has specific laws regarding turnstiles and security gates at entrances
  • Hayward Turnstiles ADA Gates provide handicap access without compromising security or requiring an alternate entrance

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a piece of civil rights legislature that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and guarantees that they have the same opportunities as everybody else when it comes to participating in the mainstream of American life. Such protections include the abilities to enjoy employment opportunities, purchase goods and services and participate in government programs and services.
George HW Bush signing the Americans with disabilities act in 1990 with one disabled individual on either side of him
Signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, the Americans with Disabilities Act (commonly shortened to ADA) is an “equal opportunity” law for people with physical or mental disabilities modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Act is the world’s first ever comprehensive declaration of equality for people with physical and mental

disabilities and was a collaborative effort of people from both political parties along with individuals from multiple branches of both state and federal government.

The access control industry–relating to turnstiles and ADA gate installations specifically–and the ADA are directly related because of the tendency for access control products to be used at entryways. As the ADA rightfully states, people with disabilities must be granted the same access as their peers, so ensuring that your turnstile access control system allows easy access to disabled entrants is imperative for ADA compliance.

What Are the Requirements for ADA Compliant Turnstiles and Security Gates?

Though revolving turnstiles (full height turnstiles and waist high turnstiles) provide the highest level of security by creating a physical entry barrier, their design inherently excludes people with disabilities from entering through them because both their lane width and barrier features do not allow easy access for individuals in wheelchairs, with walkers, or on crutches. Because of this, employing a revolving turnstile as the only entrance into a facility does not comply with ADA requirements.

man in wheelchair passing through ada compliant swing gate
To meet ADA requirements, an “accessible turnstile, gate, or opening must be provided” at a facility’s entrance either as an alternate entrance to a revolving turnstile or as a stand alone access control entrance option. A handicap accessible turnstile or gate that meets ADA compliance must have at least a 32-inch wide clear opening to allow wheelchairs and walkers to pass through without conflict. Further, openings more than 24 inches deep must provide a clear opening of 36 inches, so it is best to be mindful of architectural drawings to uncover instances where 36-inch clear openings are required instead of 32-inch clear openings.

ADA compliant turnstiles and security swing gates should always at minimum provide a 32-inch clear opening if they are the only means of handicapped accessible entry into a facility. Still unsure? Our Hayward Turnstiles access control experts are always here to answer any questions relating to ADA compliance, so contact us today with any questions.

Handicapped Accessible Turnstiles and Gates at Hayward Turnstiles

Most of the time, when you employ an access control system complete with entrance turnstiles, heightened levels of security and being able to control who can enter your facility are your main goals. These turnstiles are not always ADA compliant. Adding a side “alternate” entrance for handicapped accessibility would defeat the purpose of your access control system entirely as anybody could simply walk through the side entrance, lowering your overall level of security and control.

man in whelchair rolling through ada compliant swing gate next to waist high turnstile
There is a solution for this problem, though. Many companies elect to install ADA compliant swing gates directly next to waist high turnstiles (or full height ADA gates next to full height turnstiles) to provide an alternate entrance into their facilities without compromising entrance security or forcing disabled entrants to go all the way to the side of the building just to enter through some alternative entrance.
All of our Hayward Turnstiles ADA compliant gates, both full height and waist high, feature at least a 32-inch clear opening, with many of them featuring up to a 36-inch clear opening. Our gates are designed to match our full height and waist high turnstiles, too. So installing a gate next to your turnstile will look seamless.

Providing ADA Compliant Turnstiles and Gates for Over 15 Years

Our Hayward Turnstiles access control specialists have over 15 years of experience providing handicapped accessible solutions for our clients. Though it isn’t our job to check for ADA compliance, as a courtesy we always double-check with our customers to make sure they are in compliance before finalizing their orders. We are ready to spec your next ADA compliant turnstile and gate project. Are you? Fill out the form below to get started:

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