ADA Compliance: Important Dates

  September 6, 2011

I'm Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is, new ADA regulations.

The U.S. Department of Justice in July announced the adoption of the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. It is important facility managers understand several key dates related to the use and enforcement of the new standards.

The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and the Title III Final Rule Amending 28 CFR Part 36: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities were published in the Federal Register on Sept. 15, 2010. That created the following enforcement dates:
• March 15, 2011 — the rules become effective.
• March 15, 2012 — all renovations, new construction and readily achievable barrier removal, not already performed, must comply with the 2010 standards.

Between Sept. 15, 2010 and March 15, 2012, facilities can choose between the 1991 standards and the 2010 standards. But organizations must complete all barrier-removal by March 14, 2012, if not using the 1991 standards. Those areas then become a safe harbor under the 2010 ADA standards. When a manager chooses to use either the 1991 standards or the 2010 standards, the entire building then must comply with that standard.

It also is essential managers understand the impact of these dates on design or construction for alterations and new buildings.

Projects begun under the 1991 standards must comply with those standards.

Projects completed recently under the 1991 standards do not require changes.

For projects that will be completed before March 14, 2012, managers must determine which standard will be more beneficial to comply with. For the 1991 standard, organizations must complete all construction by March 14, 2012.


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