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Obama Administration Delays Implementation Of New ADA Rules



Implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act Tile III regulations has been delayed until the Obama Administration can review the guidelines, the Department of Justice has announced.


ADA

Implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act Tile III regulations has been delayed until the Obama Administration can review the guidelines, the Department of Justice has announced.

The DOJ issued a call for public comments in June for the "Final Guidelines" from the Access Board, a sign that the new guidelines were nearing the point where they would replace the old guidelines, which dated to 1994.

The "Final Guidelines" were originally released in July 2004

It isn't clear how long the new guidelines might be delayed. The notice posted on the ADA Web site indicated that the Obama Administration hadn't yet appointed new officials to review the guidelines.

"I would guess it won't be any time very soon," says Penny Reddy, vice president and chief operating officer of Accessibility and Development Associates Inc, an ADA consulting firm.

Reddy says she doesn't think that the Obama Administration has specific objections to the guidelines, but wants to conduct a routine review instead. The ADA Web site says it took the action based on a general directive from Rahm Emanuel, the Obama administration's new chief of staff.

In the meantime, Reddy suggests that anyone considering modifications to their facilities adhere to the 1994 ADA guidelines.

"We've been advising our clients that since 2004," Reddy says. "They are just not enforceable yet, so it's a very tricky line to tread."

Reddy says one example where facially managers could run into trouble if they use the 2004 guidelines prematurely concerns water closet centerlines.

The 1994 guidelines required the centerline to be exactly 18 inches off the sidewall. But the 2004 guidelines allowed the water closets to be between 16 to 18 inches off the sidewall.



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  posted on 2/2/2009   Article Use Policy

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