We’ve talked about high density shelving a lot here, but did you know that it also provides complete ADA compliance? Mobile systems not only reduce your storage footprint by half or double it in the same space, but it also ensures that none of your employees are hindered from accessing the materials they need—and for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), this is extremely important.

Ensuring Mobile Shelving Complies with ADA Guidelines

ADA compliance turnaround aisle spaceStorage is addressed in the Title III Nondiscrimination on The Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities section of the ADA, so facilities are responsible for making sure their storage adheres to these guidelines. And more importantly, accessible storage creates a positive environment for everyone, including those with permanent and temporary disabilities. Though mobile storage is not specifically addressed in the ADA, it offers multiple options that allow the systems to comply with guidelines. Powered high density shelving in particular is the easiest and most accessible system to use and has a variety of programmable options available.

Safety devices

Automatic safety sweeps will stop movement of carriages if an obstruction breaks the infrared beam, which protects stored items as well as the people in open aisles. The carriage won’t move again until the safety has been reset, which is easily done with the push of a button.

Accessible aisles

ADA wheelchair accessible aislesAccording to ADA guidelines, accessible aisles must be 32 inches at minimum and 36 inches continuous clearance for wheelchairs. For wheelchair turning clearance, a floor space of 60 inches is needed. Mobile shelving can provide the proper space between aisles in less floor space then stationary shelving, which has to provide equal amounts of space between each shelf. With mobile shelves, ADA accessible aisles can simply be made when and where they’re needed. Additionally, dual access aisles provide entry and exit on both ends and may eliminate the need for a turnaround.

Floor surface

Mobile shelving rails are mounted flush to the floor, which eliminates tripping hazards for anyone walking or using mobility aids.


Your mobile system contractor will calculate ramp requirements for your specific application. Ramps are required for wheelchair access when there is a change in levels greater than ½ inch.

Opening force

ADA guidelines state that doors cannot exceed 5 ft-lb. The primary concern for mobile systems is how easily a person using a mobility device can access it. This is why we recommend powered shelving, as they are easiest to move for wheelchair users or even users on crutches. A remote control can also be added, allowing users to start opening an aisle before they reach the shelving.

Control height

ADA guidelines set a range from the floor of 35-48 inches for elevator call buttons. These guidelines should also be applied to mobile shelving controls. Similarly, signage can be located adjacent to the controls for ease of access and readability.

Contact Us for More Information on ADA Compliance with Mobile Systems

Southwest Solutions Group® provides ADA compliant high density mobile shelving and other storage solutions to all types of facilities and applications across every industry. If you’re interested in storage systems with ADA compliance, we would also be happy to provide you with a free consultation to determine your exact needs before you commit to buying anything. For more information or to speak with a specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.