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Breaking the 'Reach Barrier' for People With Dwarfism and Other Disabilities

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Characterized as the biggest state and local building code change in 20 years, October 8, 1997 is a date few know to commemorate.

This is when the ICC/ANSI A117.1 Committee on Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities broke the six-inch reach barrier.

Lowering the standard from 54 to 48 inches in new or altered buildings and facilities made ATMs, gas pumps, elevators — everything activated with a push, pull or turn — accessible to people with dwarfism and half a million others whose disability involves a reach limitation.

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