Does the architectural design of burn centers comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act?

David L. Kirby, J. Stewart O'Keefe, Jeffrey G. Neal, David J. Bentrem, Richard F. Edlich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that hospitals and burn centers be designed and constructed so that all public and common use areas are accessible. At least 10% of patient bedrooms and toilets must be accessible to persons with mobility disorders. The purpose of this study was to determine whether four hospitals with burn centers complied with Title III of the ADA. The burn centers agreed to participate in this study only if they were first assured anonymity, because of the Health Care Financing Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requires that each hospital comply. With use of the ADA accessibility guidelines, we developed a survey instrument that was validated by a state government building inspector. This tool was used to inspect the burn center facility and common use areas in four hospitals with burn centers. In the four hospitals, numerous architectural barriers to persons with disabilities were noted. No burn center had a designated accessible room for persons with disabilities. The bedrooms, bathrooms, sinks, bathtubs, and toilets were not accessible to persons with disabilities. The common use areas in the hospitals, in contrast, had few architectural barriers to persons with disabilities. Only one burn center had plans to eliminate architectural barriers in its hospital. Because the four hospitals with burn centers had numerous architectural barriers for persons with disabilities, it can be concluded they do not comply with Title III of the ADA and are subject to severe penalty from the Health Care Financing Administration and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-160
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Nursing(all)
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)

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