The compliance date set forth in the revised Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules is March 15, 2012, the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) reported. NAMA has prepared a “frequently asked questions” document that addressed many of the issues related to these new rules. A copy of this document can be found on the NAMA website at www.vending.org.
The new regulations change the reach range requirements for vending machines. They provide that the side reach range must now be no higher than 48 inches (instead of 54 inches) and no lower than 15 inches (instead of 9 inches). The side reach requirements apply to operable parts on accessible elements, to elements located on accessible routes, and to elements in accessible rooms and spaces.
The regulations apply to "public entities." "Public entities" include any federal, state or local government. It also applies to private entities that operate public accommodations. If an operator provides several banks of machines at one location, at least one of each machine type (snack, food, beverage, coffee) must be ADA compliant. Operators will not have to replace existing machines with new ADA compliant machines at a location, unless the location undergoes alterations or new equipment is brought in. The requirement applies to "fixed equipment." For more information, contact Sandy Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org.