The revised Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) impacts vendors whose equipment does not meet the “upside down rule”. The “upside down rule” basically asks if the building where your machine is located was to be turned upside down, would your vending machine remain fixed or would your machine fall? If your equipment falls, then you are exempt from the new ADA rules. However, ADA law does apply to you if you use the building’s plumbing or wiring. This clause does not apply to power cords or electricity received from your location. As long as your vending machine is not bolted or secured to the building and your machine isn’t hard wired into the electric or plumed into the building then new ADA rules do not apply to you.
If, however, your vending machine is bolted, here’s the scope of items that are regulated: depository, vending machine, product and change machine. All components must meet the new standards. Vending machine product must be delivered at a minimum height of 15″ to all users. All buttons or switches must be within reach range.
Stand-alone machines are considered to be like furniture as long as they’re not bolted to the wall or floor and doesn’t use the building’s wiring or plumbing.
The Department of Justice regulates and enforces the ADA. If you bolt your machine to the building, and don’t comply with regulations, the cost can be great! If you have multiple machines at one location and either item is bolted, one of those machines has to be ADA compliant.
Even though this isn’t a requirement, it is good practice to implement, if your machine isn’t bolted. Take a look at the diagram used in this article. There must be at least 30” of space in front of the machine and 48” of space when parallel to the vending machine.
If you have questions, an ADA Specialist is available to speak with you via telephone at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY)