Keep in mind that while compliance with the 1990 American Disabilities Act is mandatory, many states have provisions that supplement and / or are more stringent than federal guidelines. See Chapter 11 of the IBC.
Do you want to be ADA compliant, see above, or are you looking for empirical advice? I ask because a relative was in a wheelchair and had a lot of pet peeves?
Empirical advice. I'm not looking to "certify" or actually officially comply with anything, other than build 2 apartments people in wheelchairs or with physical disabilities can live a barrier-free lifestyle in.
Without ending up with a sterile hospice-like enviroment... My biggest stumbling block seems to be the kitchen range and sink, can't have upper cabinets, need short refrigerators, front-loading laundry, no doorknobs, no doorway thresholds...
I'm looking for basic pointers or rules of thumb. I bought a house and I'm gutting and renovating it for an aquaitnence who had a stroke and is confned to a wheelchair, possibly for life. His rent will be subsidized by the FDNY and another agency. There are stories all over about returning Afganistan war vets who are also in the predicament that they cannot find accomodations they can live with. I already got the 32" interior door minimum width, the 5' clear space within bathrooms, and switch / outlet heights are pretty obvious... but how does one design or build a kitchen or a laundry room a person in a wheelchair could use?
Be sure to ask him what his needs are and what abilities he still has. He will probably clue you in on some things you and I wouldn't even think of since we aren't living life in a wheelchair. I suppose you could get a wheelchair a go around looking at things from his point of view. Good luck and much respect.