Accessible Boating Facilities

photo of accessible boat slip"Whenever any barrier stands between you and the full rights and dignity of citizenship, we must work to remove it, in the name of simple decency and justice.The promise of the ADA...has enabled people with disabilities to enjoy much greater access to a wide range of affordable travel, recreational opportunities and life-enriching services.”

President George W. Bush, New Freedom Initiative, February 1, 2001

The recreation facility guidelines described in this guide focus on newly designed or newly constructed and altered boating facilities. Other provisions contained in ADAAG address elements commonly found at a boating facility, such as accessible vehicle parking spaces, exterior accessible routes, and toilet and bathing facilities. ADAAG addresses only the built environment (structures and grounds). The guidelines do not address operational issues of a facility. Questions regarding operational issues should be directed to the Department of Justice, 1-800-514-0301 or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY).

Recreational boating facilities can include fixed and floating facilities. Facilities can vary in size from one boat slip (for example, at a small campground facility) to several thousand slips, and can handle boats ranging in size from small canoes to large sailboats and powerboats. Facilities may be located in the same waterfront area or even in the same site (such as a State park with a large lake) and include marinas, launching facilities, piers, and docks that are designed for recreational use.

These guidelines do not cover the design of passenger vessels or ferry docks, and do not address access on and off passenger vessels. These issues will be addressed in future rulemaking for passenger vessels.