Choosing A Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom Sink

Choosing A Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom Sink

As we become more aware of access issues in our buildings and communities, it’s important to consider every detail of accessibility. In this article, we’ll focus on bathroom washbasins—specifically on wheelchair sinks that meet or exceed ADA requirements, and how they can make both public and private restrooms safer, more comfortable, and more accessible to many individuals.

What Are Wheelchair Accessible Sinks?

Wheelchair accessible sinks are bathroom washbasins that have been designed to accommodate users with disabilities or limited mobility. In their most basic form, they meet minimum standards of height, clearance, and depth as prescribed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to make them more accessible to wheelchair users. Many newer designs, however, go beyond these requirements to make bathroom sinks safer and more comfortable for users and their caregivers. Some such designs include height adjustability for multiple users, safety rails for weakened users, and easy-to-clean surfaces, among other features.

This video showcases the Pressalit Wheelchair Sink as described by an Industrial Designer at Pressalit. This product won the 2017 Nightingale Silver Award for its unique design. The MATRIX MEDIUM wheelchair sink offers several smart features and it is both height-adjustable and easy to clean and maintain. The sink’s back-wall conceals plumbing completely, which again is positive in relation to hygiene. Therefore, the product is suitable for a household of people with different needs. This product is both suitable for people with and without disabilities.

Where Are Wheelchair Accessible Sinks Found?

Most newly constructed public buildings are required to meet ADA accessibility guidelines for bathroom sinks, but many businesses and facilities choose to install handicap sinks that exceed ADA requirements. Even some places that are exempt from the requirements, such as homes or older buildings, may feature wheelchair sinks to cater to disabled, weakened, or mobility impaired users. Here are some common places where you will find wheelchair accessible sinks:

Commercial Facilities
As we mentioned, most newer businesses are required to have at least one ADA-compliant restroom, but places that cater to broad swaths of the public—such as movie theaters, supermarkets, malls, or hotels—often elect to outfit their bathrooms with enhanced accessibility features.

Private Residences
Private homes are not subject to ADA requirements, but many homeowners with disabilities or mobility issues, as well as those caring for a disabled or elderly loved one, choose to install wheelchair sinks in order to increase safety and comfort. Wheelchair accessible bathrooms are especially popular with the Aging In Place movement, which seeks to preserve dignity and independence by keeping elderly individuals in their own homes as they age. Wheelchair sinks installed in the home can be customized to meet the specific needs of individual users.

Hospitals and Care Facilities
Wheelchair accessible sinks, naturally, are widely used in facilities that accommodate a large volume of disabled and weakened persons, such as hospitals and assisted living facilities. These types of places often have sinks with adjustable features to accommodate multiple users with different needs.

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