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The Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) rulemaking has concluded. The PROWAG final rule has been published in the Federal Register. Please visit the Access Board’s PROWAG page for the guidelines.

Guide to the ADA Accessibility Standards

This guide explains requirements in the current editions of the ADA Standards issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). It was developed by the U.S. Access Board in cooperation with DOJ and DOT. It is important to use this guide along with a complete copy of the ADA Standards as it explains, but does not contain or reprint, the text of the ADA Standards.

DOJ updated its ADA Standards in 2010, which are referred to as the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. These standards, which replace the original ADA Standards DOJ issued in 1991, became mandatory for newly constructed and altered facilities as of March 15, 2012. DOJ’s ADA Standards apply to all facilities covered by the ADA except public transit facilities.

DOT issued its current edition of the ADA Standards for Transportation Facilities in 2006. These standards apply to facilities used by state and local governments to provide public transportation. They became effective on November 29, 2006 and replace earlier standards issued by DOT in 1991.

The current DOJ and DOT ADA Standards are very similar as both documents are closely based on the Access Board’s ADA Accessibility Guidelines (2004). This guide explains requirements of both standards, which are jointly referred to as the “ADA Standards” or “the standards.” Most provisions of each standard are identical and discussed in this guide without distinction. Both standards contain several unique provisions not found in the other. In these limited areas, the guide notes the differences and explains how they are to be applied. This guide does not cover requirements of the original 1991 ADA Standards issued by DOJ or DOT.

In addition to explaining the requirements of the standards, this guide also provides clearly labeled recommendations for best practices that exceed the minimum requirements and are thus optional to follow. In addition, the guide provides links to other federal accessibility requirements that may also apply to entities covered by the ADA.

The guide currently covers most chapters of the standards. Additional sections on remaining chapters will be posted as they become available. Sign up to the Board’s news email list to receive updates on the release of other sections of the guide.

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 or (800) 872-2253 (voice), or (800) 993-2822 (TTY).

Technical Assistance

Contact the Access Board for guidance on these standards