If you are disabled or are a contractor remodeling a kitchen for someone who is, you might be wondering if there are any accessibility-compliant (ADA compliant) appliances out there, specifically ranges and range hoods.
In this article, we will cover what the ADA is, what it’s for, and ultimately, find out if range hoods are ADA compliant or not.
Editor’s note: This article was updated on September 18, 2021, to include additional information regarding the Americans with Disability Act.
What is the ADA?
The ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was adopted in 1990 to allow everyone equal opportunities for access to public areas, schools, machinery, and more.
What does it mean to be ADA compliant?
ADA compliant means that the appliances comply with Americans’ disability act guidelines. These criteria have been established for those who are not able to use equipment as it is usually installed. For example, ADA-compliant appliances may have remote controls to facilitate the operation of the device.
Compliance with the ADA does not limit to appliances. Each area of your home can also be created with ADA in mind, such as your bedroom and bathroom. You may also see Americans’ disability act compliance around town or in schools, where children and staff may require lifts and ramps rather than steps.
If you want to see how important a compliant kitchen is to an actual disabled person, check out this video from Chelsie Hill as she takes you on a tour of her ADA-compliant kitchen.
Do range hoods have to be ada compliant?
No. Range hoods do not have to be ADA compliant. However, there are a plethora of manufacturers that sell ADA-compliant hoods for disabled individuals.
ADA compliant hoods often have controls separate from the hood. ADA compatible hood controls are either wall or remote switches. This clause is meant to make it easier for disabled people to operate their range hoods safely
According to Sections 308 and 309, range hood switches (or “operable parts”) must be situated 15 to 48 inches above the floor. If there is an obstacle (such as a cabinet or stove), the required height fluctuates depending on the depth of the obstruction. If the depth is less than 20 inches, the controls must still be 48 inches or lower. The controls must be no more than 44 inches off the floor if the depth exceeds 20 inches.
Controls cannot require that tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist or more than 5 pounds of force (lbf)” is required to operate the hood.
Click here to view the official ADA codes.
Below is an image of a woman overreaching just to use the buttons on her range hood. This is a perfect example of why the American Disabilities Act exists.
If you are looking for a hood that is compliant, make sure to read all the marketing material. If it doesn’t state ADA anywhere, odds are, it’s not compliant.
Does a range or stove need to be ADA compliant?
No. Ranges and stoves are not required to be ADA compliant. If you are looking for a range that is, make sure to read all the marketing material, if it doesn’t state ADA anywhere, odds are, it’s not compliant.
The controls of an ADA-compliant range must be between 15 inches and 48 inches above the ground. This makes it easy for individuals with disabilities to access the controls.
Anyone should be able to use the controls without crossing to reach the burners.
There must also be enough room for a person’s legs underneath the range. The space underneath the cooktop shall be isolated or designed such that they prevent burns, shocks, or other injuries.
Below is an image of a man in a wheelchair using an ADA-compliant sink. Notice how he fits comfortably under the sink.
If you are remodeling a home and are not disabled, you can rest assured that range hoods and ranges do not need to be ADA compliant, But, if you are looking for one that is, they are out there.
In this post, we covered the Americans with Disabilities Act, what compliance means, and how you can find out if a range hood is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here are some key takeaways:
- ADA stands for the American Disabilities Act
- Range hoods are not required to be ADA compliant
- Many range hood manufacturers make disability compliant range hoods
- To find out if a range hood is compliant, read the marketing
If you’d like to learn more about range hoods, check out our full blog here. Stay safe!