241 and 612 Saunas and Steam Rooms
Section 241 of the 2010 Standards sets scoping for saunas and steam rooms and section 612 sets technical requirements including providing accessible turning space and an accessible bench. Doors are not permitted to swing into the clear floor or ground space for the accessible bench. The exception in section 612.2 of the 2010 Standards permits a readily removable bench to obstruct the required wheelchair turning space and the required clear floor or ground space. Where they are provided in clusters, five percent (5%) but at least one sauna or steam room in each cluster must be accessible.
Commenters raised concerns that the safety of individuals with disabilities outweighs the usefulness in providing accessible saunas and steam rooms. The Department believes that there is an element of risk in many activities available to the general public. One of the major tenets of the ADA is that individuals with disabilities should have the same opportunities as other persons to decide what risks to take. It is not appropriate for covered entities to prejudge the abilities of persons with disabilities.
241 General. Where provided, saunas and steam rooms shall comply with 612.
EXCEPTION: Where saunas or steam rooms are clustered at a single location, no more than 5 percent of the saunas and steam rooms, but no fewer than one, of each type in each cluster shall be required to comply with 612.