Board to Hold Public Hearing in Atlanta on May 8
The event will take place at the Atlanta Hilton from 9:30 to 12:00. Registration is not required, but those who wish to provide testimony on the standards for medical diagnostic equipment are encouraged to contact Kathy Johnson in advance at email@example.com, (202) 272-0041 (voice), or (202) 272-0065 (TTY). The Board requests that those attending the event refrain from wearing perfume, cologne and other fragrances for the comfort of all participants.
Applications for Medical Diagnostic Equipment Advisory Committee Due April 27
A notice published by the Board provides further details, including application instructions. The deadline for applications is April 27. The committee is expected to meet at least four times over the course of two months beginning in September. Committee meetings will be open to the public and will provide opportunities for all interested parties to provide information. Its work will be conducted in accordance with regulations governing Federal advisory committees. Committee membership is voluntary, and members will not be paid or reimbursed for their services.
Susan Brita Elected Chair of the Board
The Board elected as its Vice Chair Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA, of Seattle. Braimayer is a registered architect and principal with Studio Pacifica, Ltd., an architectural consulting firm focused on accessibility and accessible design she co-founded.
The Board is structured to function as a coordinating body among Federal agencies and to directly represent the public, particularly people with disabilities. Half of its members are representatives from most of the Federal departments. The other half is comprised of members of the public appointed by the President. Board officers serve for a term of one year.
Report Issued on Wheelchair Transfer Study
Findings from the study indicate that a high percentage of subjects could transfer to surfaces approximating the median seat height of wheelchairs. The results also indicate how variations above or below this height, as well as presence of horizontal gaps, affect transfer ability. Horizontal gaps up to three inches did not appear to affect level transfers, but did affect transfers to lower or higher surfaces. These and other findings are explained in a final report, "The Impact of Transfer Setup on the Performance of Independent Transfers," which is available on the HERL website.
DOJ Delays Effective Date for ADA Requirements Covering Existing Pools and Spas
In 2010, DOJ updated its ADA regulations and implemented revised standards governing the construction and alteration of facilities covered by the ADA. These standards, which became effective March 15, 2012, include new provisions for swimming pools, wading pools, spas, and other types of recreation facilities. The standards provide detailed specifications on how to achieve access to pools and spas by lift, sloped entry, and other means (sections 242 and 1009).
While the standards apply primarily to new construction and alterations, DOJ regulations also include mandates applicable to existing facilities. Barriers to access at places of public accommodation must be removed where it is readily achievable to do so. State and local government entities are responsible for providing access to public programs and services which may include retrofits and structural changes to facilities. Under DOJ's revised regulations, these barrier removal and program access obligations must encompass access to various types of recreation and other facilities newly covered in the ADA standards, including pools and spas. (Other types of spaces and elements previously retrofitted to meet the original standards do not need to be further modified to meet the new standards.)
In response to confusion among pool owners and operators over their ADA responsibilities in providing access to existing pools and spas, DOJ issued a notice delaying the effective date for addressing access to existing pools and spas from March 15 to May 21, 2012. In a companion notice, DOJ sought public comment on whether a 6-month extension (to September 17, 2012) is warranted. Public comments to the notice, which are currently under review by DOJ, can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov.
For further information, visit DOJ's website. Technical assistance on the ADA design requirements, including provisions for pools and spas as they apply in new construction and planned alterations, is available from the Access Board at (800) 872-2253 (voice), (800) 993-2822 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org. A guide on the requirements in the ADA standards for pools and spas is also available from the Board.
Board Webinar to Cover Accessible Communication Elements
The webinar series is made available in cooperation with the ADA National Network. For more information, including registration instructions, visit www.accessibilityonline.org. Questions for the webinar can be submitted in advance through this website. Archived copies of previous Board webinars are also available on the site.
Access Currents is a free newsletter issued by the Access Board every other month by mail and e-mail. Send questions or comments to email@example.com or call (800) 872-2253 ext. 0026 (voice) or (800) 993-2822 (TTY). Mailing address: 1331 F Street, N.W., Suite 1000; Washington, D.C. 20004-1111.