Access Board to Meet on September 14

Laptop with Board meeting on screenThe Access Board will hold its next meeting on September 14 from 1:30 – 3:00 (ET) at the Board's conference space in downtown Washington, D.C. The meeting will be webcast live, but members of the public are also welcome to attend in person. The meeting agenda includes updates on Board rulemaking and other activities. A vote is scheduled on final standards the Board is developing for medical diagnostic equipment. The Board also plans to complete review of its final rule to refresh requirements for information and communication technologies.

A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting. Those interested in making comments in person or by phone should send an email to Rose Bunales at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by September 7 with "Access Board meeting - Public Comment" in the subject line. Please include your name, organization, state, and topic of your comment in the body of the message.

Further information is posted on the Board's website.

Meeting of the U.S. Access Board
September 14, 1:30 – 3:00
Webcast link: www.access-board.gov/webcast
Access Board Conference Center
1331 F Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, D.C.
Note: For the comfort of all participants and to promote a fragrance-free environment, attendees are requested not to use perfume, cologne, or other fragrances.

 


Resources Available on Voting and Polling Place Accessibility

Button with the term "vote" and the International Symbol of Accessibility replacing the letter "o"Voting is a fundamental and protected right for all citizens, including those with disabilities. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws, people with disabilities must have full and equal opportunities to vote. The Department of Justice (DOJ), which regulates and enforces ADA mandates that apply to state and local governments, offers several guides on the subject. These include the “ADA Checklist for Polling Places,” a 25-page resource DOJ recently updated that explains what makes a polling place accessible from entry onto the site to voting areas. It also recommends design remedies and provides a survey checklist for evaluating polling place accessibility. Other resources from DOJ include a bulletin that provides solutions to common access problems at polling places and a guide to federal laws that protect the rights of voters with disabilities.

In addition to the ADA, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 established requirements for voting systems used in Federal elections and requires access to polling places and voting systems for persons with disabilities. Under the law, each precinct in the country must have at least one accessible voting machine or system so that people with disabilities, including those with vision impairments, are afforded the same opportunity for participation, including privacy and independence, available to other voters. The Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which implements HAVA and issues guidance on meeting the requirements of the law, including guidelines for voting systems, is another key resource on accessible voting. The EAC offers a “BeReady16” toolkit that includes a section on accessibility, and other resources on accessible polling places and voting systems for voters with disabilities and voting officials. Visit EAC’s website at www.eac.gov for further information.

Those who encounter accessibility issues in voting can contact the Voting Section of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division which enforces civil provisions of federal laws that protect the right to vote, including HAVA and the Voting Rights Act. Complaints can be filed through an online form or submitted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (email), (800) 253-3931 (phone), (202) 307-3961 (fax), or the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Room 7254 – NWB, 950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20530.

 


ASTM International and RESNA Work to Advance Inclusive Fitness

Exercise is key to health and wellness, yet ensuring access to fitness equipment for all users has long been elusive. ASTM International, a standard-setting organization with over 30,000 members that represents 140 countries, is developing and supplementing standards for the accessibility of fitness equipment. In addition, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) is leading an initiative to advance inclusive fitness.

ASTM International’s Subcommittee F08.30 on Fitness Products released in 2013 universal design standards for fitness equipment (ASTM F3021-15, Specification for Universal Design of Fitness Equipment for Inclusive Use by Persons with Functional Limitations and Impairments). These standards provide design and construction requirements for all types of fitness equipment and address features such as seats, back support, hand grips, adjustment devices, controls, instructions, labels, and color contrast. A companion standard for evaluating fitness equipment according to the F3021 Standard is also available (ASTM F3022-15, Test Method for Evaluating the Universal Design of Fitness Equipment for Inclusive Use by Persons with Functional Limitations and Impairments). The Fitness Products Subcommittee is currently reviewing portions of both standards.

The subcommittee also has supplemented or is reviewing standards for specific types of fitness equipment to include provisions for accessibility or universal design. These include equipment and evaluation standards for elliptical trainers (ASTM F2810-15 and F2811-15), motorized treadmills (ASTM F2115-12 and F2106-12), exercise bicycles and upper body ergometers (ASTM F1250-13 and F3023-13), and strength equipment (ASTM F2216-12 and F2277-12). The subcommittee welcomes participation from all interested parties in its work on standards for inclusive fitness. Visit ASTM International’s website at www.astm.org for more information.

RESNA is leading an international effort to ensure access to fitness through the development of guidelines, standards, and certification procedures through its Standards Committee on Inclusive Fitness. Created in 2012, this RESNA committee is engaging experts and interested parties in the establishment of consensus criteria for a holistic approach to inclusive fitness. The goal of this initiative is to establish guidelines that define a set of instructions for achieving universal access to fitness facilities. It would build upon the work of the ASTM subcommittee by providing requirements for the number and types of equipment in a facility that must meet the ASTM fitness equipment standards and setting procedures for validating compliance. This work also encompasses access to fitness facilities according to established standards, such as those issued under the ADA, education and certification of staff and trainers, policies, inclusive programming, and use of labels to identify compliant equipment and facilities. Additional details are available on RESNA’s website at www.resna.org.

The Access Board is participating in this work through its membership on the respective ASTM subcommittee and RESNA committee. For further information, contact Seanna Kringen, M.S. of Beneficial Designs, Inc. who is the Technical Editor for the ASTM Subcommittee on Fitness Products and chairs the RESNA Standards Committee on Inclusive Fitness at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (831) 685-4798.

 

 


Upcoming Board Webinars

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The next webinar in the Board’s free monthly series will take place September 1 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will feature an open question and answer session. Questions are welcome on the Board's accessibility requirements and rulemaking activities, including the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards, new standards being developed for medical diagnostic equipment, and other topics related to the Board's work. Presenters will answer questions submitted in advance during the first half of the session, leaving time in the second half to answer questions in the live session.

The following webinar on October 6 will provide a refresher session on signs.

For more information or to register, visit www.accessibilityonline.org. Webinar attendees can earn continuing education credits. The webinar series is hosted by the ADA National Network in cooperation with the Board. Archived copies of previous Board webinars are available on the site.

 


Board Transportation Engineer Melissa Anderson, P.E to Join Consulting Firm

Melissa Anderson, P.E.Melissa Anderson, P.E., the Access Board’s Transportation Engineer will be leaving her position in late September to join Cole and Associates, Inc., a multi-disciplined engineering and consulting firm headquartered in St. Louis. She will serve as a vice president in charge of accessibility consulting and education, self-evaluations, and transition plans on a national scale.

Anderson, who started work at the Board in July 2011, has been active in the Board’s development of new guidelines for accessible public rights-of-way, which are currently being finalized, and the update of the Board’s ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles. She regularly provides technical assistance and training to the public on accessible transportation and pedestrian network systems. Anderson previously served as a transportation engineer for city and state governments. As the Missouri Department of Transportation’s accessibility expert, she reviewed plans for state and local projects, provided technical assistance, developed the department’s ADA transition plan, and established standards and policies for bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

 


Access Currents is a free newsletter issued by the Access Board every other month by mail and e-mail. Send questions or comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (800) 872-2253 ext. 0026 (voice) or (800) 993-2822 (TTY). Mailing address: 1331 F Street, N.W., Suite 1000; Washington, D.C. 20004-1111.