July 26, 2013, marks the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Under the ADA, the Access Board develops and maintains accessibility guidelines for the construction and alteration of facilities covered by the law, as well as guidelines for the design of transportation vehicles.  In the past year, the Board issued a proposed rule to address access to shared use paths, published proposed guidelines for passenger vessels, and formed a new Advisory Committee to develop recommendations for the Board’s use in updating sections of our guidelines covering fixed guideway systems, including rapid, light, commuter, intercity, and high speed rail.

Since passage of the ADA in 1990, the Board has issued 21 proposed rules, 15 advance, draft, or supplemental notices of proposed rulemaking, and 16 final rules as part of the accessibility requirements it is charged with developing. During the same time, the Board has involved 347 organizations in 14 advisory committees and regulatory negotiation committees on access to recreation facilities, a review and revision of the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines, telecommunications equipment access, passenger vessels, electronic and information technology, public rights-of-way, courthouse access, playgrounds, outdoor developed areas, rail vehicles, and medical diagnostic equipment.

This month we unveiled a new look for our website and introduced an on-line form for individuals to file Architectural Barriers Act complaints.  In coming months, will be releasing several sections to an online guide on the ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines consisting of illustrated technical bulletins and a supplementary series of short animations that will dynamically explain various requirements and the rationale behind them.  This builds on our telephone and email technical assistance along with our training and monthly webinars that are offered through a partnership with the National Network of ADA Centers.

The Board is proud of its work in developing accessibility requirements and providing training and technical assistance under the ADA and looks forward to continuing to advancing full access and inclusion for all in the years ahead.

Image provided by James C. “Jake” Billingsley (brain injury survivor) showing images of the international symbol of accessibility, a head with the brain highlighted, hands doing sign language, and a person using a cane.
The Americans with Disabilities Act 23rd Anniversary - July 26, 2013; Equality through Accommodations & Accessibility.