Courthouse Access

The Board's guidelines issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) have been completely updated and revised. The ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) cover the construction and alteration of facilities in the private sector (places of public accommodation and commercial facilities) and the public sector (state and local government facilities). The accessibility guidelines issued under the ABA primarily address facilities in the Federal sector and others designed, built, altered, or leased with Federal funds. The guidelines under both laws have been updated together in one rule that contains three parts: a scoping document for ADA facilities, a scoping document for ABA facilities, and a common set of technical criteria that the scoping sections will reference. As a result, the requirements for both ADA and ABA facilities will be made more consistent.

Current Status: On July 23, 2004, the Board published the guidelines in final form along with a regulatory assessment.

ADA standards and ABA standards maintained by other agencies have been updated based on these guidelines.

The Board organized the Courthouse Access Advisory Committee to promote accessibility in the design of courthouses. The Committee was charged with developing design solutions and best practice recommendations for accessible courthouses. In addition, the Committee’s charter called for recommendations on outreach and educational strategies for disseminating this information most effectively to various audiences. The Committee’s 35 members included courthouse architects, disability groups, members of the judiciary, court administrators, representatives of the codes community and standard-setting entities, government agencies, and others.

Over the course of its two-year charter, the Committee met quarterly in different cities and toured various types of courthouses in each location. In developing its recommendations, the Committee followed a consensus-based model according to protocols governing Federal advisory committees. In November 2006, the Committee submitted its report to the Board.


Final Report to the Board

News Release on the Report

Courtroom Mock-up


Committee Members

Notice Establishing Committee

Press Release


November 4-5, 2004, Washington, DC (minutes)

February 10-11, 2005, Phoenix (minutes)

May 5-6, 2005, Washington, DC (minutes)

August 4-5, 2005, Chicago (minutes)

November 17-18, 2005, San Francisco (minutes)

February 9-10, 2006, Washington, DC (minutes)

May 18-19, 2006, Miami (minutes)

July 20-21, 2006, Boston (minutes)

November 14-15, 2006 Washington, DC


Dave Yanchulisphone:  202-272-0026 (voice) or 202-272-0082 (TTY) 
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. fax: (202) 272-0081