ADA Kitchen/ADA Laundry: How to Create an Accessible Wheelchair Accessible Workspace in a Small Space: Fold down table/Fold down counter

Universal/accessible design of the home from an occupational therapy and a construction perspective. This blog is part of a quest for cool, convenient, functional design that makes life safer, easier, and as maintenance-free as possible. It's about the lifestyle.
Need an accessible work area but don't have much room? Why not try a flip down work space? Here are a few of my favorites.

Create-a-Surface by Stacks and Stacks



Create-a-Surface from Stacksandstacks.com



Create-a-surface is very convenient and folds up small but may be a little flimsy, the brackets are very short. It did get very high customer satisfaction ratings.

Create-a-Surface Specs.
  • The locking brackets of this shelf kit are adjustable to two positions; 90 and 0 degrees, allowing you to fold it completely flat against the wall and out of the way when not in use.
  • 20" x 36" work surface is made of 3/4" easy-to-clean white laminate with rounded corners.
  • Easily supports up to 150 lbs. Hamper, ironing board and accessories not included.
  • Unable to find price.

Knape & Vogt Laminate Folding Wall Mount Shelf Unit


Knape & Vogt Folding Wall Mount Shelf Unit
Specs. for Knape & Vogt Folding Wall Mount Shelf Unit

  • Holds up to 150 pounds.
  • Easy to clean laminate surface is useful for a wide range of tasks.
  • Rounded corners and soft edges.
  • Kit comes with all of the mounting hardware you need for installation. A tape measure, drill and level are recommended to make sure it's the perfect addition to your workspace.
  • Measures 36'' x 20''.
  • $30.00

4D Concepts Folding Wall Table in Solid Pine from Sears


4D Concepts Folding Wall Table in Solid Pine from Sears



4D Concepts Folding Wall Table Specs.
  • Constructed of a basic solid pine. Features: -Solid pine finish -Uniquely designed table that folds down from wall -Great for tight dining space
  • Weight:14 lbs
  • Dimensions: 23.63" W x 16.13" H x 31.5" D
  • $75.99
  • Does not specify maximum load.

Folding Work Station by Improvementscatalog.com






Folding Work Station specs.
  • 48"x18" work surface for your shop, laundry, garage or to use as a plant potting bench. And when you're done, the work station.

  • Folds down flat against the wall, to just 1-3/4" thick.

  • The Folding Work Station has sturdy locking brackets of powder-coated steel, strong enough to hold up to 200 lbs.

  • Made of white laminate over 1/2"-thick particleboard with vinyl edging, the Folding Work Station wipes clean easily. Brackets must be mounted to studs (not anchors) for maximum stability.

  • $49.99 plus shipping & handling.
I love this folding workstation from the Car Guy Garage.

Folding workstation from the Car Guy Garage

Specs. folding workstation from the Car Guy Garage:

  • 22.5" Height x 6.5" Depth x 44" Width in closed position
  • Completely assembled, ready to install, mounting hardware included
  • Lightweight, high quality aluminum
  • Supports heavy loads yet weighs only 29 pounds
  • Durable red, white or black baked enamel finish
  • Precision riveted construction for greatest strength (no welds to crack)
  • Bench top locks securely in open and closed position
  • $338.99
Very Important Things to Remember When Creating an Accessible Flip Down Work Space:
  • When deciding where to install your workspace, make sure there is adequate room for a wheelchair or anyone else to maneuver. The ADA standard space for a wheelchair to make and adequate turn is 5' x 5' square space. A power wheelchair often requires larger turns so a 6'x 6' space is necessary. With a smaller wheelchair and a tighter turn a 4'x 4' space could suffice, but be careful. If the turning radius is too tight then the wheelchair turn will be difficult and a pair of footrests can do more damage than you can imagine to walls. Or of course you could create a 'T' turn space, which we aren't getting into here.
  • Attach the brackets to a stud, part of the wood framing in the wall. A fold down work area will be under an enormous amount of stress, it MUST be attached to a stud not just drywall with a wingit.
  • Make sure the work station is the ergonomically correct height for the user. Have the person you are making the space for sit down in a chair or if it's for someone in a wheelchair then set the height so it fits them perfectly. An ergonomically correct workstation is comfortable, safe, feels good and is easy to use. A small woman, a big man and someone in a wheelchair are different sizes, one size doesn't fit all. This is an important step, do it before you hang the work station.
  • The workstation needs to be easy to open and close. Make sure the brackets can accommodate the weight of the worktop surface or try to use lightweight (yet strong) materials for the workstation surface.