Background

Guidelines issued by the Board serve as the baseline for standards used to enforce the ABA.  These standards are maintained by the General Services Administration (GSA), the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  GSA, DOD, and USPS have adopted ABA Accessibility Standards that are based on updated ABA guidelines the Board published in 2004.  HUD has yet to update its standards and continues to apply the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) to facilities under its jurisdiction. 

ABA Accessibility Standards and Related Material

Standard-Setting Agency Adoption of the ABA Accessibility Standards

Timeline:

  • August 4, 1982 – Board publishes the Minimum Guidelines and Requirements for Accessible Design (the basis for Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards)
  • August 7, 1984 – ABA standard-setting agencies jointly adopt the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS)
  • November 16, 1999 - Board proposes updates to its ABA Accessibility Guidelines jointly with its ADA Accessibility Guidelines
  • May 15, 2000 - Deadline for public comments on the proposed rule; over 2,500 comments received
  • July 23, 2004 - Board publishes the updated ADA-ABA Accessibility Guidelines as a final rule
  • May 17, 2005 - USPS adopts ABA Accessibility Standards (effective October 1, 2005)
  • November 8, 2005 - GSA adopts ABA Accessibility Standards (effective May 8, 2006 for new construction and alterations, June 30, 2006 for lease-construction as of June 30, 2006, and February 6, 2007 for other lease actions)
  • October 31, 2008 - DOD adopts ABA Accessibility Standards (effective immediately)
  • September 26, 2013 - Board publishes final guidelines for Federal Outdoor Developed Areas as a supplement to the ABA Accessibility Guidelines 
  • November 25, 2013 - Requirements for Federal Outdoor Developed Areas become mandatory as part of the ABA Accessibility Standards