Are Schools Required To Have Disabled Parking?

When it comes to accessible parking, people generally have a lot of questions – especially if accessible parking is something you’ve never used before. Luckily, when it comes to using accessible parking in your everyday life, like at school, the rules are easy to understand. Here are a few of the most common questions about school accessible parking answered!

Disabled Parking At Schools

Just as with any other building, schools are required under the Americans with Disabilities Act to have accessible parking. There are different standards for different types of facilities and any changes are subject to incredibly strict requirements under the law.

For existing structures that were around before the most recent changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act, public schools that offer activities, programs, and services must ensure that those with disabilities can access the building. This is accomplished through disabled parking spaces.

Any newer school building must meet minimum standards set by the ADA, so they will absolutely offer disabled parking spaces when building new parking lots for the school.

Disabled Parking - no parking sign
Image by who?du!nelson on Unsplash: Disabled parking in schools isn’t complicated. How many handicapped parking bays are schools required to have?

How Many Handicapped Parking Bays Are Schools Required To Have?

How many disabled parking spots a school has depends on how many parking spaces they have total. Plus, one of every six disabled parking spaces must be accessible to a van.

The breakdown of required parking spaces is this:

  • Schools with 1 to 25 parking spaces: One disabled parking space and one accessible van space
  • Schools with 26 to 50 parking spaces: Two disabled parking spaces and one accessible van space
  • Schools with 51 to 75 parking spaces: Three disabled parking spaces and one accessible van space
  • Schools with 76 to 100 parking spaces: Four disabled parking spaces and one accessible van space
  • Schools with 101 to 150 parking spaces: Five disabled parking spaces and one accessible van space
  • Schools with 151 to 200 parking spaces: Six disabled parking spaces and one accessible van space
  • Schools with 201 to 300 parking spaces: Seven disabled parking spaces and one accessible van space

These continue by 100 spaces until they reach over 500. At that point, 2% of the total parking spaces in the lot must be accessible. For parking lots over 1000, 20 disabled parking spots plus 1 for each 100 over 1000 are required.

Disabled Parking In Schools: What Kind Of Signage Is Required?

It’s not enough to have disabled parking spaces available; they must also be clearly marked. Disabled parking spaces are identified by signs with the International Symbol of Accessibility. Any spaces that are van accessible must also clearly state so on the sign by including the words “van accessible.”

A sign must be mounted so that the lower edge is at least five feet off the ground. This helps the signs to be visible for both the people parking in them as well as parking enforcement.

When it comes to signage, however, there are a couple of exceptions. For smaller parking lots that have four or fewer spaces, they must still provide disabled parking, but they do not have to post a sign. Plus, anyone, whether they have a disabled parking placard or not, can park in the space. This only applies to very small parking lots.

Residential facilities with assigned parking are also not required to post signs for accessible spaces.

How Are Disabled Parking Spaces To Be Maintained?

The school is required under the law to ensure that the aisles, routes, and parking spaces themselves are in good condition. They must also be kept free from leaf build-up, ice, and snow to make it easy for someone with a disability to use them.

What About State Requirements For Parking Spaces?

The ADA is a federal law, but many states and local governments also have their own requirements in many cases. Often, these requirements are more stringent and specific. If you have questions about local laws related to disabled parking, you can find out more information from your local Department of Motor Vehicles.

Image by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash: School requirements for handicapped parking bays depend on the size of the parking lot. Disabled parking at schools should be easy to obtain.

How Do You Get A Disabled Parking Pass?

Again, each state has its own specific requirements for obtaining disabled parking placards and plates that allow you to parking disabled parking spaces. Your local DMV will have the information you need to obtain a permit. In general, you must have a medical condition verified by a medical professional. Common conditions that will grant you a disabled parking pass include:

  • Heart disease
  • Impaired mobility that requires the use of a mobility device such as a wheelchair or cane
  • Lung disease
  • A disorder that impairs your capacity to use your legs
  • Vision issues such as partial sightedness or low vision
  • Loss of one or both hands, one or both legs, or restricted use of them

Schools are places that need to be accessible to everyone, so make sure your school is following the rules and granting you the accessibility you’re entitled to under the law.

Featured image by Ben Mullins on Unsplash