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Guide to the ABA

Accessibility Standards

Standards issued under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) apply to facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with federal funds. Four agencies establish the ABA Standards according to guidelines issued by the Access Board:

  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • General Services Administration (GSA)
  • U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

This guide explains requirements in the current editions of the ABA Standards issued by DOD, GSA, and USPS, which are substantively the same as each is closely based on the Board’s updated ABA guidelines (2004). (HUD has yet to update its ABA Standards and continues to apply the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards to facilities under its jurisdiction.)

It is important to use this guide along with a complete copy of the ABA Standards as it explains, but does not contain or reprint, the text of the ABA Standards. In addition to explaining the requirements of the ABA Standards, this guide also provides clearly labeled recommendations for best practices that exceed the minimum requirements and are thus optional to follow.

This guide is in the public domain, and users are free to distribute and share its content or to disseminate copies. Questions or comments on the guide should be directed to the Access Board at, (800) 872-2253 (voice), or (800) 993-2822 (TTY).

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Technical Assistance

Contact the Access Board for guidance on these standards