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Americans with Disabilities Act

Accessibility Standards

About the ADA Accessibility Standards

Accessibility standards issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) apply to places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and state and local government facilities in new construction, alterations, and additions.  The ADA Standards are based on minimum guidelines set by the Access Board. 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) issue the ADA Standards.  DOJ’s ADA Standards apply to all facilities except public transportation facilities, which are subject to DOT’s ADA Standards.  This version of the ADA Standards combines both documents and notes unique provisions in the DOJ Standards and the DOT Standards.  The Access Board is responsible for providing technical assistance and training on these Standards.

Guide to the ADA Standards

guides icon

A Guide to the ADA 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

Figures in the ADA Standards are available for download (zip file of figures in .dwg format).


Background

  • July 26, 1991 – The Board publishes the original ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), which are also adopted as standards by DOJ on the same day.

  • September 6, 1991 – The Board publishes the original ADAAG for Transportation Facilities, which are also adopted by DOT on the same day.

  • September 14, 1994 – The Board creates the ADAAG Review Advisory Committee to assist in updating the ADAAG.

  • July 10, 1996 – ADAAG Review Advisory Committee submits its final report to the Board.

  • January 13, 1998 – The Board publishes ADAAG supplements covering state and local government facilities and building elements designed for children’s use.

  • November 16, 1999 – The Board jointly proposed updates to ADAAG and to the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Guidelines for public comment.

  • October 18, 2000 – The Board publishes an ADAAG supplement on play areas.

  • September 3, 2002 – The Board issues an ADAAG supplement on recreation facilities.

  • July 23, 2004 – The Board issues the updated ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines as a final rule.

  • October 30, 2006 – DOT adopts new ADA Standards for transportation facilities based on the updated ADA Guidelines (effective November 29, 2006).

  • September 15, 2010 – DOJ adopts new ADA Standards (effective March 15, 2012) under title II and title III of the ADA.

  • May 7, 2014 – The Board publishes a supplement to the ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines on emergency transportable housing.

  • September 26, 2014 – The Board issues correction to final guidelines for emergency transportable housing.

Technical Assistance

Contact the Access Board for guidance on these standards: