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September 4, 2008 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
I’m Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s topic is, ADA compliance.
Nearly 20 years after the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, many institutional and commercial facilities continue to struggle with providing facilities that are accessible to visitors with disabilities.
In an effort to remedy the situation, the U.S. Department of Justice recently issued proposals to adopt new design standards for facilities under the ADA.
Under the act, the department is responsible for maintaining standards for new construction and alterations consistent with Access Board guidelines. The standards apply to the construction and alteration of all facilities covered by the ADA except transportation facilities, which are subject to standards maintained by the Department of Transportation.
The new standards would apply to state and local government facilities subject to Title II of the ADA, as well as to places of public accommodation and commercial facilities covered by Title III of the law.
The Department of Justice notices also address issues relating to the application of the new standards, including effective dates. Through these proposals, the department also is revisiting or supplementing other sections of its regulations, which have changed little since their original publication in 1991.
Among the possible new or revised provisions are removal of barriers in existing facilities, accommodation of service animals, and the maintenance of accessible features.
The notices are available through the online edition of the Federal Register, www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/.
For more information, visit the Department of Justice’s ADA web site at www.ada.gov.
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