Computer Lab Accessibility Guidelines

The SF State standards for providing physical and programmatic access within computing facilities on campus are largely based on Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Signage

Any posted signs should follow the guidelines below:

  • Signs should be computer-generated, while maintaining a minimum of 70% contrast difference between characters/graphics and background.
  • Reduce glare by avoiding use of high gloss or laminated products.
  • Select a sans-serif font such as Arial and 18 points size minimum.
  • Size characters and symbols according to viewing distance. Signs mounted 80" or more above the finished floor must have 3" high minimum characters.
  • Include Braille representation of sign content.
  • Mount sign so that the height of Braille characters is at 60 inches from the floor, and the floor space below sign is free and clear of obstructions.
  • Be prepared to offer assistance to users with disabilities upon request and convey sign content verbally.

Facility Standards

Doorways

Doorways, including emergency exits, need a minimum of 32" clearance. Maneuvering clearance for wheelchair riders requires that the floor area around doorways be free and clear of obstructions.

Reception Areas/Counters

Maneuvering clearance requires a minimum space of 60" diameter or a 60" by 60" T-shaped space off of an aisle for a pivoting 180-degree turn of a wheelchair rider. Service counter access requires that there must be at least a section that is at a height of 28" - 31" to work surface. Seating for wheelchair riders must be provided at counters, with knee spaces at least 27" high, 30" wide, and 19" deep.

Aisles

Side aisles should be a minimum of 36" wide, and main aisles should be a minimum of 44" wide. For facilities set up with rows of multiple workstations, measure from the back of an empty chair, pushed in, to the surface edge of the next row of workstations.

Workstation Approach

There should be 30" by 48" clear floor space at all accessible workstations connected to an aisle. When seating for wheelchair riders is provided at tables or counters, knee spaces of at least 27" high, 30" wide, and 19" deep should be provided. The tops of accessible tables and counters should be from 28" to 31" above the finish floor or ground. If the clear floor space only allows forward approach to an object, the maximum high forward reach allowed should be 48". The minimum low forward reach is 15" (measurements are from the finished floor.)

Protruding objects

Objects projecting from walls with their leading edges between 27" and 80" above the finished floor should protrude no more than 4" into walks, halls, corridors, passageways, or aisles. Objects mounted with their leading edges at or below 27" above the finished floor may protrude any amount.

Facility Furniture

Workstations tables

A minimum of 1:20 workstations must be manually adjustable and allow for the measurements stated above under "workstation approach". Adjustable workstation chairs and footrests need to accompany the 1:20 adjustable workstations.

Library furniture

For a map of accessible furniture in the Library, please view the Library Map of Accessible Furniture

Workstation Standards

The Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC) in collaboration with Information Technology Services (ITS) and representatives from other key areas on campus have determined SF State specific workstation standards for all computing facilities on campus. This determination is an activity of the Information Access Subcommittee of the All University Committee on Students, Faculty, and Staff with Disabilities which is charged with guiding the campus in providing equal access to all program activities at SF State per Academic Senate Policy F95-24. This document is subject to change pending advances in technology and/or modification to established principles for disability access.

These standards are broken down into three levels of access.

  1. The first level is entitled "Baseline" and is the standard for all computing facilities on campus, even those not currently offering specialized hardware/software. This ensures that such facilities have the necessary physical and electronic infrastructure to respond to the needs of a potential wheelchair user and/or a request from a user to install adaptive software.
  2. The second level is entitled "Accessible" and is the standard for providing essential access to adaptive software/hardware for a range of users with disabilities.
  3. The third level is entitled "Enhanced Accessible" and is the standard for providing access to adaptive software/hardware for a broader range of users with disabilities in larger facilities on campus.

Baseline Standard for Any Computing Facility on Campus

Hardware/Software Configuration

  • System requirements for Windows: minimum of 1.6 Ghz processing speed, 1 GB RAM and a 40 GB hard drive
  • User access to screen resolution adjustment; disable all desktop settings in the operating system while enabling the correct permissions and policies on the video card's control panel
  • Non-integrated/replaceable sound card (laptops excluded)
  • Ability for user to define key repeat delay and other accessibility features

Workstation Furniture Placement and Design

  • Locate with a minimum 36" for side aisles and 44" for main aisles
  • Determine paths of travel that allow for a wheelchair user to turn around. A minimum of 60" diameter inside entrance/reception area of facility and a 60" by 60" T-shaped space off of an aisle within a facility for a pivoting 180-degree turn of a wheelchair is required, (i.e., the intersection of two 36" minimally wide aisles.)
  • Provide a minimum of 30" by 48" footprint of clear floor space at all workstations connected to the aisle
  • Work surface height of 28" - 31" from the finished floor
  • Minimum knee clearance of 27" high, 30" wide, and 19" deep
  • Maximum high forward reach of 48"
  • Minimum low forward reach of 15"
  • Make available a standard portable foot rest

Accessible Standard for Workstations (1:20 ratio*)

Hardware/Software Configuration

All baseline standards with the addition of the following

  • Screen reader software for Windows: JAWS 
  • Screen magnification software for Windows: Zoomtext
  • Minimum 21" monitor screen

Workstation Furniture Placement and Design

All baseline standards with the addition of the following

  • Manually height adjustable work surface/keyboard tray using a maximum force of 5 pounds.

Enhanced Accessible Standard for Workstations (1:100 ratio**)

Hardware/Software Configuration

All baseline and accessible standards with the addition of the following:

  • CCTV (Closed Circuit Television)
  • Braille Embosser and Braille translation software for Windows: Duxbury
  • Voice Recognition software (space defined) for Windows: DRAGON Naturally Speaking
  • Scanner with document feeder combined with scan and read software for Windows: OpenBook

Workstation Furniture Placement and Design

All baseline and accessible standards with the addition of the following

  • Electrically-powered height-adjustable work surface/keyboard tray.

* One workstation out of every 20 needs to meet the accessible standard. Example one: If a computing facility has a total of 15 workstations, then one of the 15 needs to meet the minimum accessible standard. Example two: If a computing facility has a total of 25 work stations, then two of the 25 need to meet the minimum accessibility standards.

** In facilities with 100+ workstations, one out of every 100 needs to meet the enhanced accessible standard. This is in addition to the standard of 1:20 listed above.