Accessible Design in Public Housing: NYCHA Staff Training Program

Version 4.0 July 9, 2001

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Edward Steinfeld and Danise Levine, 2001
Additional information
Common/public spaces
Community kitchens used by residents
In kitchens that residents will use as part of community center programs, the design must follow the same rules that govern the design of kitchens in dwelling units. 

In a U-shaped kitchen the counter edge
at the rear end blocks the completion of
a K-turn. Also, to have a parallel approach
to appliances and fixtures, more than 40" 
is needed. Thus, a larger clearance is
needed between opposing cabinets and
fixtures in a U-shaped kitchen.

A galley kitchen with a dead end would 
not be considered a U-shaped kitchen
because there is no counter at the end. 
The required knee clearances at the
counters would allow people who use
wheelchairs to turn around with no

Figure 1

Is the clearance between all opposing cabinet, counter, appliances or walls at least 40 inches except in U-shaped kitchens where the clearance must be 60 inches?
Is there 30 x 48 inches clear space at appliances? (see Figure 1)


Use other survey form to determine whether or not this space has the necessary meet the requirements for the design of the kitchen 

- Controls
- Counters
- Range
- Refrigerator
- Sink
- Storage
5.2 Food Service Lines

This kitchen layout is better than the 
one to the right because there is much 
more maneuvering room in the cafeteria 
line area.

Figure 2

Does the food service line have a minimum clear width of 36"?

Kitchens that are staffed by paid
employees or volunteers are
workplaces, not public
accommodations. They fall
under Title I of the ADA,
Employment.  The ADA requires
that spaces in workplaces be
accessible in terms of entry and 
exit and access to electrical 
controls, windows and doors.
Equipment, fixtures and work
stations could be adapted 
if needed as a "workplace

Figure 3

Is there an accessible path of travel into the kitchen?


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