Accessibility Brown Bag: Operable Parts in Accessible Kitchens (1 MCE)

Operable Parts in Accessible Kitchens: Switches, receptacles, and other appliance controls

Designing and constructing usable and accessible kitchens for both residential dwelling units with mobility features and common use kitchens requires a strong knowledge of the 2010 ADA Standards, “Building Blocks”. “Building Blocks” is Chapter 3 of the ADAS and Division 3 of the California Building Code Chapter 11B. These code sections outline the minimum requirements for reach ranges, clear floor areas, knee and toe clearances, operable parts, and other accessibility fundamentals. This Brown Bag discussion will cover the proper layout of typical kitchen configurations, “I”, “L”, and “U”, and incorporate accessible convenience outlets, appliances, and accessible storage. The discussion will also introduce what defines a “kitchen” and a general review of casework specifications. The format for learning will be applied design with exercises in small groups. Bring your brown bags and felt tips, and an appetite for fun!


Learning Objectives

  1. Introduction to Building Blocks of Accessible Design
  2. Review what rooms qualify as kitchens, common use kitchens, and the typical kitchen layouts.
  3. Understand how all the building blocks work together to provide useable spaces for accessible kitchens
  4. Describe the limits and features of building blocks and other requirements, including reach ranges, clear floor areas, knee and toe clearances, operable parts, and other applicable rules of accessible kitchen design.
  5. Realize how critical proper dimensional tolerances are and the importance of appliance and cabinetry layout and product selection is to achieve compliance.


About the Presenter

Dawn Anderson, AIA, CASp, IOR

Ms. Anderson is a Senior Building Inspector and Access Compliance Officer in the Architectural Access Division of the Mayor’s Office on Disability at the City and County of San Francisco. Dawn’s primary responsibilities are conducting plan reviews and inspections of city owned, operated, leased, or funded facilities. Projects include alterations and new construction of large affordable housing developments, civic buildings, and various outdoor environments. Her duties also include interdepartmental advisement, facility surveys, programmatic and scoping analysis and assistance, and inspections for permanent construction and temporary facilities in an effort to remove architectural barriers and promote civic engagement.



  • AIASF Member: $5
  • General Admission: $10

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Accessibility Brown Bag Series

Join AIASF on the final Wednesday afternoon of the month for the following sessions:

View all upcoming AIASF Accessibility programs here.


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