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ADA Compliance in the Classroom: Accessible Furniture

May 9, 2014

According to, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities and transportation. The proposed bill was signed into law in July of 1990, and was primarily designed in order to prevent discrimination as a result of a functional impairment or disability.  Since its inception, amendments have been made to include design and accessibility requirements in public settings, and therefore, many manufacturers have begun to create products that can be altered depending on the individual using it.

Image Source: ATD American

As teachers or school administrators, it is important to realize that you will interact and be involved with a variety of students throughout your career. This means that it is crucial for schools to be equipped with furniture that can be adapted to meet each students’ needs. In regards to the elements of design, the ADA requires that public settings, such as schools, have accessible entrances and exits, restrooms, water fountains and telephones. Additionally, in order to be ADA compliant, classrooms must incorporate furniture that can be used by students who exhibit a disability and may require the use of additional services such as a wheelchair.

In order to accommodate students with disabilities, here at Nickerson Corporation, we work with innovative manufacturers who provide ADA compliant versions or substitutes for all of their products. The following is a small example of ADA compliant products that can be used in the classroom.


Global Industrial:

1. Equity Height Adjustable Computer Workstations: This adjustable computer station allows students with wheelchairs to sit comfortably and can be resized depending on the student using it.

2. Allied – Round Activity Tables: Tables in this family come with adjustable legs, meeting ADA height requirements of 26 1/2″ to 35 1/2″ in order to accommodate students in wheelchairs.

Hussey Seating:

1. Flip Up Armrest: For stadium seating, the flip up armrest allows viewers to easily and comfortably access their seat. This is generally placed at the end of each row and once the spectator is happily seated, it can be adjusted to act as a full armrest until they exit.

2. Skid-Mounted and Companion Chairs: In a stadium setting, these seats are mounted on skids for standard seating, but can easily be removed in order to accommodate guests in a wheelchair. For maximized comfort, sections are available in 2 chair or 3 chair width, depending on the number of wheelchairs needed.

Lab Select:

1. ADA Accessible Rinse Sink with Counter: In keeping with ADA design standards, this product is created to provide enough space for students with wheelchairs to access the sink comfortably. The rinse counter also provides a sloped counter, integral sink, and raised edges in order to minimize spills.

Since students spend more time at school than at home, it is important to provide a comfortable environment where they can excel with ease. For more information on ADA compliant products, contact us at 631-666-0200 today!