WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today made available online the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards or Standards). These standards were adopted as part of the revised regulations for Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
When the standards go into effect on March 15, 2012, they will set minimum requirements – both scoping and technical – for new construction and alterations of the facilities of more than 80,000 state and local governments and over seven million businesses. Until the 2012 compliance date, entities have the option to use the revised standards to plan current and future projects so that their buildings and facilities are accessible to more than 54 million Americans with disabilities.
“To protect the right of people with disabilities to participate in everyday life with family, friends, and colleagues, we must ensure access to buildings and facilities,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. “This online version of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design will enable architects, contractors, local government service providers, small business owners, disability rights advocates, and others to find in one place the information they need to provide that accessibility. Whether they search the standards on laptops, desktops or smart phones, in offices, in the field or at home, they can find answers to their questions quickly and efficiently.”
On July 26, 2010, the 20th anniversary of the ADA, President Obama announced newly revised ADA regulations. The final regulations were published in the Federal Register on Sept. 15, 2010. The 2010 Standards, which were adopted as part of the revised regulations, consist of regulatory text and the 2004 ADA Accessibility Guidelines, originally published in the Federal Register as 36 CFR part 1191, appendices B and D. To make it easier for readers to find the necessary requirements for their projects, the department assembled this online version that brings together the information in one easy-to-access location and enables viewers to search the text efficiently with their Internet browsers.
In addition to the official version of the 2010 Standards, the department has also posted on the website important guidance about the standards that is compiled from material in the Title II and Title III regulations. This guidance provides detailed information about the department’s adoption of the 2010 Standards, including changes to the standards, the reasoning behind those changes, and response to public comments received on these topics.
Title II of the ADA applies to state and local government entities and protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in services, programs, and activities provided by state and local government entities.
Title III prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the activities of places of public accommodation (businesses that are generally open to the public and that fall into one of twelve categories listed in the ADA, such as restaurants, movie theaters, schools, day care facilities, recreational facilities and doctors’ offices) and requires newly constructed or altered places of public accommodation-as well as commercial facilities (privately owned, nonresidential facilities like factories, warehouses or office buildings)-to comply with the ADA Standards.
People interested in finding out more about the ADA or the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design can call the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (Voice) or 800-514-0383 (TTY), or access the ADA website at www.ada.gov.