About the ABA Accessibility Standards
Standards issued under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) apply to facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with federal funds. Passed in 1968, the ABA is one of the first laws to address access to the built environment. The law applies to federal buildings, including post offices, social security offices, federal courthouses and prisons, and national parks. It also covers non-federal facilities, such as public housing units and mass transit systems, built or altered with federal grants or loans.
Four agencies establish the ABA Standards according to guidelines issued by the Access Board: the General Services Administration (GSA), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
This edition of the ABA Accessibility Standards has been adopted by GSA, DOD, and USPS:
HUD has not yet adopted this version of the standards and continues to apply the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) to residential facilities under its jurisdiction.
The Access Board provides technical assistance and training on the ABA Standards and UFAS. It also enforces the ABA Standards through the investigation of complaints.
Guide to the ABA Standards
A Guide to the ABA Standards is also available. This companion resource explains and illustrates provisions in the standards and includes a series of animations on accessibility. The Board developed this information in cooperation with DOJ and DOT.
Figures in the ABA Standards are available for download (zip file of figures in .dwg format).
August 4, 1982 – The Board publishes the minimum guidelines under the ABA.
August 7, 1984 – The ABA standard-setting agencies jointly adopt the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS).
November 16, 1999 – The Board jointly proposed updates to the ABA Accessibility Guidelines and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines for public comment.
July 23, 2004 – The Board publishes the updated ADA-ABA Accessibility Guidelines as a final rule.
May 17, 2005 – USPS adopts the ABA Accessibility Standards.
November 8, 2005 – GSA adopts the ABA Accessibility Standards.
October 31, 2008 – DoD adopts the ABA Accessibility Standards with policy Memorandum, Subject: Access for People with Disabilities.
September 26, 2013 – The Board issues a supplement to the ABA Accessibility Guidelines on outdoor developed areas, which become part of the ABA Standards sixty (60) days later.
May 7, 2014 – The Board publishes a supplement to the ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines on Emergency Transportable Housing (ETH). On September 26, 2014, The Board issues a correction to ETH final guidelines.