The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (ABA) stands as the first measure by Congress to ensure access to the built environment for people with disabilities.  The law requires that buildings or facilities that were designed, built, or altered with federal dollars or leased by federal agencies after August 12, 1968 be accessible.  Facilities that predate the law generally are not covered, but alterations or leases undertaken after the law took effect can trigger coverage.

The law covers a wide range of facilities, including U.S. post offices, Veterans Affairs medical facilities, national parks, Social Security Administration offices, federal office buildings, U.S. courthouses, and federal prisons.  It also applies to non-government facilities that have received federal funding, such as certain schools, public housing, and mass transit systems.

If you are concerned about access to a facility that may have been federally funded, you can file a complaint about it with the Access Board under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA).  If you are concerned about other types of accessibility not covered by the ABA, see Other Resources for more information.

The ABA is enforced through standards for accessible design, which indicate where access is required and provide detailed specifications for ramps, parking, doors, elevators, restrooms, assistive listening systems, fire alarms, signs, and other accessible building elements. Facilities covered by the ABA must meet these standards.