Board Releases Proposed Guidelines for Emergency Transportable Housing
Emergency transportable housing units, which are designed and manufactured for transport over roadways, have a smaller footprint than other types of housing and pose unique accessibility challenges. Access to such housing was found to be problematic in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The proposed rule would revise certain provisions in the ADA and ABA guidelines to address these types of units, including requirements for ramps, floor surfaces, kitchens, showers, and bedrooms. The proposal would require additional features, such as folding seats in roll-in showers, to improve accessibility. Some changes are responsive to design constraints and would provide exceptions from certain technical criteria for elements such as entry ramps under certain conditions. Accessible communication features, including smoke alarms and weather alert systems, are also addressed.
The proposed changes are based on consensus recommendations prepared by an advisory panel organized by the Board, the Emergency Transportable Housing Advisory Committee. This committee included representatives from disability groups, industry and code groups, and government agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The proposed rule includes a discussion of these requirements that highlights areas where additional information is sought. The deadline for comments on the guidelines is August 17. Comments can be submitted or viewed at www.regulations.gov. The Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed rule in Washington, D.C. on July 11 that will provide an additional forum for submitting comment and will offer a call-in option for those unable to attend in person. Additional details are posted on the Board's website.
For further information, contact Marsha Mazz at firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 272-0020 (v), or (202) 272-0076 (TTY).
Public Submits Comments on Proposed Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment
The Board is organizing an advisory committee of stakeholders to develop consensus recommendations on how the standards should be finalized based on a review of the public comments. Committee members will include representatives from disability groups, equipment manufacturers, health care providers, and standard-setting organizations. The Board requested applications for committee membership through a notice issued in March and will announce the committee's formation in coming weeks. The committee is expected to hold its first meeting in September. Committee meetings and deliberations will be open to the public and will be conducted in accordance with regulations governing Federal advisory committees.
Those interested in this rulemaking or the work of the advisory committee can sign up to receive email updates. For further information, visit the Board's website or contact Rex Pace at email@example.com, (202) 272-0023 (v), or (202) 272-0052 (TTY).
For further details on viewing the webcast, visit the Board's website. The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at the Board's Conference Center at 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 800, in downtown Washington, D.C. For further information, contact Rose Bunales at firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 272-0006 (v), or (202) 272-0057 (TTY).
DOJ Extends ADA Compliance Date for Existing Pools and Spas to January 31
DOJ issued an initial 2-month extension in March and sought information from the public on whether a longer extension was warranted. In response, DOJ received almost 2,000 comments from the public. Respondents favored a longer extension by about a 2 to 1 margin, but many comments against further extension offered compelling reasons not to further delay implementation. As indicated in a published notice, DOJ determined that an extension to January 31, 2013 was justified due to on-going confusion over the obligation to address barriers at existing sites and acceptable alternatives for achieving access.
Further information on this extension and ADA requirements for existing pools and spas is available from DOJ on its website or its technical assistance line at 800-514-0301 (voice) 800-514-0383 (TTY). 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 email@example.com. A guide on the requirements in the ADA standards for pools and spas is also available from the Board.
Upcoming Board Webinars
The following webinar, to be held August 2, 2012 2:30 - 4:00 (ET), will review requirements for detention and correctional facilities.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.