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

The ADA Guidelines for wheelchair access to picnic tables are as follows*: "Wheelchair spaces shall provide knee space at least 27 inches (685 mm) high, 30 inches (760 mm) wide, and 19 inches (485 mm) deep.  Toe clearance 9 inches (230 mm) high minimum shall extend an additional 5 inches (127 mm) minimum from the knee clearance." And "Toe clearance shall be 30 inches (760 mm) wide minimum."

These dimensions create a Clearance Box that must fit under the picnic table to be an ADA compliant table. Many popular tables are not compliant.

Below are illustrations of some of the Pilot Rock brand ADA compliant tables compared to a few other brands which claim to be accessible. We have installed our ADA Clearance Box under each table to see if it meets the access requirements. Judge for yourself.

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.

The ADA Clearance Box fits completely underneath the W Series table end. This Pilot Rock table provides all of the required vertical and horizontal knee and toe clearances. (Note: this unique table design is covered under six patents.)
Pilot Rock UT Series and XT Series tables with a two-foot extended top (denoted by "/E" in the model number) provides more than enough knee/toe space under the top to comply with ADA.
Pilot Rock AT Series A-frame tables are available with a top extended one foot at each end. This provides adequate knee clearance under the table top and the A-frame space provides the toe clearance needed to meet the guidelines.
This competitor's traditional steel frame table claims to be wheelchair accessible with an 8 ft. top centered on 6 ft. frames (top extended one foot at each end). Many different brands offer this top/seat configuration as “accessible”. However, the clearance box does not fit. There is not enough knee clearance (19 in.) and toe clearance (plus 5 in. = 24 in. total) to provide complete wheelchair access under the table top. This table design does NOT comply with ADA.
The manufacturer of this table claims “universal access” but notice that the ADA clearance box does not fit completely under the table top. The frames get in the way of the required 5 in. x 9 in. x 30 in. toe clearance space, so it does not provide total wheelchair access under the table. This table does NOT comply with ADA.
This competitor's table brand does provide enough knee and toe clearance under the top to meet ADA guidelines. However, the inadequate frame design (less than transverse frame angle bends) and the lightweight materials cause instabilities in this table which creates a problem for the public to use safely.

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

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-20 B2 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.

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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