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Accessibility Standards

Review Design Standards General Statements before utilizing this web page.


Requirements
Laws
Executive Orders (EOs)
Regulations
Building Codes & Industry Standards
Government Directives & Government Standards
National Park Service (NPS) Requirements
Professional Guidance
Resources


Requirements

Laws

About the Architectural Barriers Act and Other Disability Rights Laws

  • Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) - The ABA requires access to facilities designed, built or altered with Federal dollars or leased by Federal agencies. The law covers a wide range of facilities, including post offices, social security offices, prisons, and national parks. It also applies to non-government facilities that have received Federal funding, such as certain schools, public housing, and mass transit systems. Passed in 1968, the ABA stands as the first measure by Congress to ensure access to the built environment. Facilities that predate the law generally are not covered, but alterations or leases undertaken after the law took effect can trigger coverage.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government services, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and telecommunications. Unlike the ABA, the ADA's coverage is not tied to the presence of Federal funding. For more information, contact a regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTACs) or the appropriate Federal agency.
  • The Rehabilitation Act - The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ensures access to programs and activities that are federally funded. It also protects the rights of Federal employees with disabilities. Federal agencies are responsible for enforcing requirements as they apply to their own programs, services, and employment practices. The law also requires electronic and information technology procured by Federal agencies to be accessible according to standards issued by the Access Board.
  • The Fair Housing Act - The Fair Housing Act, as amended in 1988, prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of disability, as well as race, color, gender, and religion. It covers housing in the public and private sectors and bans discrimination in any aspect of selling or renting housing. Under the law, new multifamily housing must be able to be adapted for accessibility according to established guidelines. The law also requires reasonable exceptions to housing policies and operations so that people with disabilities are afforded equal housing opportunities.

Executive Orders (EOs)


Regulations


Building Codes & Industry Standards

  • International Building Code (IBC) 2012
  • International Existing Building Code (IEBC) 2012
  • ANSI A117.1 - 2003 (Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities)

Government Directives & Government Standards

Communication

Architecture

ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) Supplements

Transportation

Housing

Modifications & Waivers

The Architectural Barriers Act authorizes the Administrator of the General Services Administration, the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Secretary of the Department of Defense, and the United States Postal Service to modify or waive the accessibility standards for buildings and facilities covered by the Architectural Barriers Act on a case-by-case basis, upon application made by the head of the department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States concerned. The General Services Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Defense, and the United States Postal Service may grant a modification or waiver only upon a determination that it is clearly necessary. Section 502(b)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 authorizes the Access Board to ensure that modifications and waivers are based on findings of fact and are not inconsistent with the Architectural Barriers Act. (ABAAS F103)

Advisory F103 Modifications and Waivers. The provisions for modifications and waivers differ from the requirement issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act in that "equivalent facilitation" does not apply. There is a formal procedure for Federal agencies to request a waiver or modification of applicable standards under the Architectural Barriers Act.


National Park Service (NPS) Requirements

Management Policies

Management Policies 2006 - The Guide to Managing the National Park System

See Universal Design and Accessibility in the NPS Management Policies 2006 for quick reference to all accessibility references in the Management Policies.

Director's Orders (DOs)

NPS Memos

Denver Service Center (DSC) Requirements

HFC Programmatic Accessibility Requirements
These guidelines are required to be followed for interpretive media and exhibits included in DSC projects.


Professional Guidance