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Toolkit allows anyone to test for ADA compliance
Date:7/19/2010

ty are hard to grasp without actual demonstration," he says, "and sometimes I would catch that 'deer in the headlights' look that all teachers get from time to time when we see that students aren't quite getting it. In the effort to find a better way to enable the students, I came up with instruments to help them test the difficult features more easily."

The items in the compliance assessment kit include "the StoryStick," "the Magic Slope Block," "the Multitool," "the Door Force Tool," "the Font Guide," and the "Key Torque tool." There are also sound and light level meters and a good old-fashioned measuring tape.

The Story Stick can do several things. It identifies barriers to wheeled accessibility along paths, in hallways and in rooms. "Barriers than an able-bodied assessor might step over without noticing are reliably located by the Story Stick," Anson says. It also measures a wide range of heights required by ADA. If a wall outlet is too low, the Story Stick will tell you. Ditto if a toilet seat is too high. Is there enough room for a wheel chair to turn around? The Story Stick provides the answer.

"Slopes are specified by the ADA in grade ratios such as 1:12 or 1:48. Those with limited facility in math may find assessing slopes difficult. The Magic Slope Block takes the difficulty out of the process." The Magic Slope Block provides a simple pass-fail test for all ADA-mandated slopes. In addition, it tests the maximum gaps between an elevator and the floor of a building or the maximum allowable gap in a grating that is part of an accessible path.

The ADA standards for accessible signage are very complex, and are described in terms of ratios that are based on the height of a letter. The ratios are complex enough that many sign makers cannot reliably interpret them. The ADA-CAT Font Guide helps determine whether signage is accessible. "Although the allowable sizes are hard to figure without a tool," says Anson, "the
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Contact: Laura Snyder
laura@dickjonescomm.com
Dick Jones Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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