Standards issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) address access to buildings and sites nationwide in new construction and alterations. Similar standards apply to building and sites funded by the Federal government under Architectural Barriers Act (ABA).


Intro to the ADA Standards

Intro to the Guide on the ADA Standards

Background to the ADA Standards

The Board's guidelines issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) have been completely updated and revised. The ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) cover the construction and alteration of facilities in the private sector (places of public accommodation and commercial facilities) and the public sector (state and local government facilities). The accessibility guidelines issued under the ABA primarily address facilities in the Federal sector and others designed, built, altered, or leased with Federal funds. The guidelines under both laws have been updated together in one rule that contains three parts: a scoping document for ADA facilities, a scoping document for ABA facilities, and a common set of technical criteria that the scoping sections will reference. As a result, the requirements for both ADA and ABA facilities will be made more consistent.

Current Status: On July 23, 2004, the Board published the guidelines in final form along with a regulatory assessment.

ADA standards and ABA standards maintained by other agencies have been updated based on these guidelines.

Intro to the ABA Standards Guide

Background to the ABA Standards

Apply to facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with Federal funds


A supplement to the standards that will address temporary housing provided in disasters and emergencies

A supplement to the standards that will address acoustics in classrooms

Acoustical performance is an important consideration in the design of classrooms.  Research indicates that levels of background noise and reverberation, little noticed by adults, adversely affect learning environments for young children, who require optimal conditions for hearing and comprehension.  Poor classroom acoustics are an additional educational barrier for children who have hearing loss and those who use cochlear implants, since assistive technologies amplify both wanted and unwanted sound.  Children who have temporary hearing loss, who may comprise up to 15% of the school age population according to the Centers for Disease Control, are also significantly affected, as are children who have speech impairments or learning disabilities.  Kids whose home language is different than the teaching language are also at additional risk of educational delay and failure.