Department Classroom Guidance

For any questions about calculating your room capacities, suggested furniture layouts, or disability access in the classroom please contact us

Tina Deemer 
Director of Academic Resources and Special Projects 
Academic Affairs 

Eric Bell 
Physical Access Consultant 
Disability Resources 

Capacity Calculation 

  • In rooms with movable furniture, the general calculation for a room’s capacity is the total area divided by 19. This 19 sq. ft. calculation accounts for the space needed for each person, student seating, accessible routes into and through the room, and adequate space at/around the teaching station. 
  • The first row of desks should be a minimum of 6 feet from the front wall of the room to the front edge of the desks. 
  • We are available for consultation! There many different styles of rooms and furniture across campus which may present challenges when calculating the space neededed for the items listed above.  

Classroom Accessibility 

Classroom Door Clearance: 

  • A 5 foot by 5 foot (5x5) clear floor space is required on the interior side of classroom doors. That 5x5 box, centered at the door, is to be free of any obstructions including garbage/recycle bins. 

Accessible Seating Location: 

  • The accessible seating location should be as inclusive as possible, meaning it should be inside the seating footprint of the room whenever possible, which provides a shoulder to shoulder relationship with at least one other student seat. 
  • An accessible desk is height adjustable with a knee clearance of 28" from the floor to the bottom of the desk or desk apron. 
  • The accessible desk needs a clear floor space of 48” behind the edge of the desk to allow for approach and maneuvering. There can be either one or two chairs at the accessible desk depending on classroom capacity. 

Accessible Circulation Route: 

  • There needs to be an accessible circulation route from the exterior door to the accessible seating location, and from the accessible seating location to the teaching area. Accessible routes are a minimum of 36” wide and completely free of obstructions including backpacks and any other items. 

Teaching Area: 

  • The teaching station (often height adjustable and contains room technology access) needs a minimum of 36” clear floor space from the back edge to the front wall to provide maneuvering clearance, although 48” is preferable when space allows. 
  • When space allows, an additional teaching table (typically a trapezoid shape) at the front of the room is recommended and needs to be separate from the accessible desk. The teaching table should not be height adjustable to distinguish it from the accessible desk. 

Contact us for consultation!