Pilot Rock RJ Thomas Mfg. Co.

ADA Guidelines

Browse general information, product comparisons, and guidelines on accessibility compliance for picnic tables, campfire rings, and charcoal grills.

Picnic Tables

Compliance comparison with ADA Guidelines for Wheelchair Accessibility

Diagram of ADA Wheelchair Accessibility for picnic tables

The ADA Guidelines for wheelchair access to picnic tables are as follows*: 

TOE CLEARANCE: Space from the surface to 9 in. (230mm) high shall be considered toe clearance; toe clearance shall extend 17 in. (430mm) minimum under the element; toe clearance shall extend 6 in. (150mm) maximum beyond knee clearance at 9 in. high; toe clearance shall extend 25 in. (635mm) maximum under an element; toe clearance shall be 30 in. (760mm) wide minimum.

KNEE CLEARANCE: Space from 9 in. (230mm) to 27 in. (685mm) above the surface shall be considered knee clearance; knee clearance shall be 11 in. (280mm) deep minimum at 9 in. (230mm) above surface, and 8 in. (205mm) deep minimum at 27 in. (685mm) above the surface; knee clearance shall extend 25 in. (638mm) maximum under the element at 9 in. (230mm) high; knee clearance shall be 30 in. (760mm) wide minimum.

These dimensions create a Clearance Box that must fit under the picnic table to be an ADA compliant table. Many tables claim to be "wheelchair accessible" but they might not be "ADA compliant". Below are illustrations of some popular Pilot Rock brand picnic tables and how they meet or exceed the ADA guidelines for compliance.

NOTE: There is no such thing as an "ADA Approved" or "ADA Certified" picnic table. There is no approving or certifying organization. Compliance with the ADA guidelines is left to the manufacturer and the customer.

According to the Draft Final Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas, the Pilot Rock picnic table is designed to comply with accessibility guidelines for clear ground space, 1011.2.1, and wheelchair space, 1011.4, including knee and toe clearance complying with Section 306 of the ADA-ABA accessibility guidelines.

For more information on the "Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board" Federal Register, contact:

Bill Botten
Office of Technical and Information Services, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
1331 F St. NW Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20004-1111
Ph: 202-272-0014


Campfire Rings
ADA Guidelines for Wheelchair Accessibility

Firering ada illustration

On September 26, 2013 the Final Guidelines for Federal Outdoor Recreation Sites were issued. In the Final Guidelines, the reach and operability specifications for campfire rings are as follows:

1011.5.1 Fire Building Surface:

Fire building surfaces shall be 9 inches minimum above the ground.

1011.5.2 Cooking Surface:

Where provided, cooking surfaces shall be 15 inches minimum and 34 inches maximum above the ground.

1011.5.3 Raised Edges or Walls:

Where firerings are constructed with raised edges or walls, the depth of the raised edge or wall shall be 10 inches maximum.

309.4 Operation:

Operable parts shall be operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist. The force required to activate operable parts shall be 5 pounds maximum.

R.J. Thomas Mfg. builds a variety of wheelchair accessible and ADA compliant campfire rings. We build our campfire rings to withstand the use and abuse of public campgrounds. On most firerings, the cooking grate is designed to be indestructible (two people can stand on it without deformation), but this makes it too heavy for 309.4. Our model FSW-30/18/PA campfire ring scores highest on all points of accessibility. The swivel grate is lighter weight, and meets all the requirements of 309.4, but could suffer damage if abused.

Our variety of accessible campfire rings are designed to meet the different requirements of your installations.

Charcoal Grills
ADA Compliance for Wheelchair Accessibility

The ADA Guidelines for charcoal grills specify that the cooking grate of a grill can be moved with one hand without the need to grip, and with 5 lbs. or less of force. The cooking grate can not be more than 34 in. above ground surface.

The Pilot Rock ASW Series charcoal grill satisfies all of these requirements. The single level swivel cooking grate rotates 180 degrees from directly over the fire to completely outside of the firebox with little force by pushing against a single handle. The handle never passes over the fire. Positioning the grate outside of the firebox makes fire building and food transferring easier and safer.

ASW grate illustrationASW20 B2 charcoal grill

This charcoal grill has been designed to meet the rules presented in the Draft Final Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas 1011.3 (ADA-ABA 309.4) and 1011.5 (ADA-ABA 902.3) as presented by the U.S. Access Board, Oct. 19, 2009, and meets the Final Guidelines issued Sept. 2013.

The United States Access Board issued the final accessibility guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas in May 2014. Click here to open the complete document.

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