The Access Board is an independent federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of accessibility guidelines and standards. Created in 1973 to ensure access to federally funded facilities, the Board is now a leading source of information on accessible design. The Board develops and maintains design criteria for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, medical diagnostic equipment, and information technology. It also provides technical assistance and training on these requirements and accessible design and continues to enforce accessibility standards that cover federally funded facilities.
The Board is structured to function as a coordinating body among federal agencies and directly represent the public, particularly people with disabilities. Twelve of its members are representatives from most of the federal departments. Thirteen others, who are appointed by the President, are members of the public, and most of them must have a disability.