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NAMA Advises Operators Of Revised ADA Accessibility Regulations

Posted On: 8/5/2010

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National Automatic Merchandising Association, NAMA, Ned Monroe, Department of Justice Americans with Disabilities Act, vending machine ADA side reach requirement, vending, vending machine, vending machine business, vending machine ADA compliance

CHICAGO -- The National Automatic Merchandising Association has alerted its members to new a "side reach" requirement specified in revised regulations issued by the Department of Justice in relation to the Americans with Disabilities Act. It may impact vending machines, NAMA noted.

The reach range requirements have been changed to provide that the side reach range must now be no higher than 48" instead of 54" and no lower than 15" instead of 9". These requirements apply to "operable parts on accessible elements," to "elements located on accessible routes" and to "elements in accessible rooms and spaces."

Section 4.2.6 of the 1991 standards specifies a maximum side-reach height of 54". The 2010 standards, in section 308.3, reduce that maximum height to 48", the association reported. The 2010 standards also add exceptions for certain elements to the scoping requirement for operable parts. However, under safe harbor provisions, existing facilities that comply with the 1991 standards are not required to comply with the lower side-reach requirement unless the facility undergoes alteration. Section 35.150(b)(2) of the new rules provides details.

The Justice Department expects that vending machines and "prefabricated food service components" purchased and installed in businesses after the 2010 standards become effective will be designed to comply with the 2010 standards, as many have already done in the decade since the 48" side-reach requirement has been part of the model codes and standards. These serve as the basis for construction codes adopted by many jurisdictions.

The rules will become effective six months after they are published in the Federal Register. Information may be requested from NAMA senior vice-president, government affairs Ned Monroe by emailing

The regulations can be viewed here.