Current as of: 2013
(1) In this section, "access" means the physical characteristics of a place which allow persons with functional limitations caused by impairments of sight, hearing, coordination or perception or persons with semiambulatory or nonambulatory disabilities to enter, circulate within and leave a place of employment or public building and to use the public toilet facilities and passenger elevators in the place of employment or public building without assistance.
(a) Except as provided in par. (b), the department shall by rule provide minimum requirements to facilitate the use of public buildings and places of employment by physically disabled persons where traffic might reasonably be expected by such persons.
(b) The department may not promulgate a rule requiring that a unisex toilet room be provided in any public building or place of employment.
(a) Any place of employment or public building, the initial construction of which is commenced after July 1, 1970, but prior to May 27, 1976, shall be so designed and constructed as to provide reasonable means of ingress and egress by the physically disabled with the exception of:
1. Apartment houses with less than 20 units, row houses and rooming houses;
2. Convents and monasteries;
3. Jails or other places of detention;
4. Garages, hangars and boathouses;
5. All buildings classified as hazardous occupancies;
7. State buildings specifically built for field service purposes such as but not limited to conservation fire towers, fish hatcheries, tree nursery buildings; and
8. University residence halls at universities which have at least 3 residence halls for men and 3 residence halls for women so constructed as to allow physically disabled persons reasonable means of ingress and egress to such buildings.
(b) The requirements of par. (a) may be accomplished by at least one ground or street level entrance and exit without steps, by ramps with slopes not more than one foot of rise in 12 feet, coated with a nonskid surface, or by elevator or such other arrangement as may be reasonably appropriate under the circumstances and which meets with the approval of the department or in lieu thereof with the approval of the municipality wherein the building is located. The doors of such entrance and exit must have a clear opening of at least 40 inches in width and shall otherwise conform to the department building code.
(c) If any ground or street level entrance or exit is not so designed or constructed a sign shall be placed at such entrance or exit indicating the location of the entrance or exit available for wheelchair service.
(d) Any place of employment or public building, unless exempted by rule of the department, the initial construction of which is commenced on or after May 27, 1976, shall be designed and constructed so as to provide reasonable means of access. Buildings, as defined in s. 703.02 (5), 1975 stats., of 2 stories or less in height shall be exempt from requirements relating to parking space, ramps and grade-level entrances.
(e) The department shall by rule provide minimum regulations to ensure the access to and use of buildings prescribed in pars. (a) to (d).
1. Except as provided in subd. 2., no governmental unit may issue any authorization to occupy any place of employment or public building prescribed in pars. (a) to (d) unless the owner thereof files with that governmental unit a true certification of compliance with the rules under par. (e) applicable to that place of employment or public building relating to the reservation and marking of parking spaces for use by a motor vehicle used by a physically disabled person.
2. An authorization to occupy a place of employment or public building prescribed in pars. (a) to (d) may be issued prior to the completion of parking facilities for that place of employment or public building if the owner files a true certification that upon completion of any parking facility for that place of employment or public building that parking facility shall comply with the rules under par. (e) applicable to that place of employment or public building as specified in subd. 1.
(3) Any place of employment or public building subject to sub. (2) shall be so designed and constructed to allow physically disabled persons reasonable means of access from a parking lot, if any, ancillary to such buildings.
(4) The owner of any building who fails to meet the requirements of this section may be required to reconstruct the same by mandatory injunction in a circuit court suit brought by any interested person. Such person shall be reimbursed, if successful, for all costs and disbursements plus such actual attorney fees as may be allowed by the court.
(a) Every place of employment and public building, except those described in sub. (2) (a) 1. to 8., the construction of which is begun after May 24, 1974 but prior to May 27, 1976, on each floor that is accessible to disabled persons, including persons in wheelchairs, which has public toilets shall have:
1. All public toilet rooms and at least one toilet compartment therein so designed and constructed that they will be suitable for entry and use by handicapped persons, including persons in wheelchairs;
2. The toilet compartment specified under par. (a) so designed and constructed to allow sufficient space between the front entrance of the compartment and adjacent furniture, fixtures or walls to permit the compartment door to open at least 95° and to allow a person in a wheelchair ample room to readily maneuver himself or herself or the wheelchair into the compartment; and
3. At least one lavatory, sink, mirror and towel dispenser or hand drier in each public toilet room accessible to a disabled person, including a person in a wheelchair, if such item is provided.
(b) Within 90 days after May 24, 1974, the department shall adopt, by rule, specifications to effect the requirements of par. (a). The department, in so adopting rules, shall consider the specifications established in the most current revision of "American Standard Specifications for Making Buildings and Facilities Accessible to, and Usable by, the Physically Handicapped", published by the American standards association of New York.
(g) The owner of any public building who fails to comply with this subsection may be compelled to meet its requirements in a circuit court suit by any interested person. Such person shall be reimbursed, if successful, for all costs and disbursements plus such actual attorney fees as may be allowed by the court.
(h) Each toilet room accommodation provided for disabled persons as required under this section shall be identified on its entrance as a disabled accommodation, and directions to such accommodations shall appear at the building's primary entrance.
(7) The international symbol of accessibility as adopted by the rehabilitation international in 1969 is established as the official state symbol designating buildings and facilities constructed and designed to be accessible. The symbol may be used only in buildings or other facilities, or parts thereof, which meet the standards for access established by rule of the department. If anyone uses or causes the use of the symbol in violation of department standards, the department shall order the discontinuance of such use until such standards are met. Whoever fails to comply with a department order under this subsection shall be fined $50.
(8) Every passenger elevator installed in a place of employment or public building after October 1, 1978 shall be equipped with raised letters and numerals on the operating panel and the external door frame on each floor, and the letters and numerals shall be designed and placed to maximize the ability of persons with functional limitations to use the passenger elevator without assistance.
(9) To the extent that the historic building code applies to the subject matter of this section, this section does not apply to a qualified historic building, as defined under s. 101.121 (2) (c), if the owner elects to be subject to s. 101.121.
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