The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law July 26, 1990 by President George H. Bush.  This legislative act was developed as a civil rights action for individuals with a physical or mental impairment that could substantially limit one or more of the major life activities.

 

This legislation is intended to allow individuals with disabilities, access equal to or similar to that of the general public.  This includes access to public transportation, all public spaces, communications and other accommodations.  Title III of the ADA requires  all alterations beginning after January 26, 1992 to comply with the technical requirements of the ADA. 

 

The ADA is broken down into several titles (Title I through Title VII) and each has its own guidelines.  Requirements vary depending upon the funding used for a specific construction project (private or public funding) and whether the building is used as a commercial facility or a place of public accommodation.  However, compliance is required to some degree for all buildings. 

 

When an existing building is being brought into compliance due to construction taking place, each element that is in the scope of work is required to be brought into compliance.  While there is also the requirement for certain elements outside the scope of work to be in brought into compliance if not already done. When that is not possible due to structural or technical infeasibilities, or due to disproportionate costs, some type of approved protection must be applied.  The best possible protection in Texas is through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) thru the Variance procedure.  http://www.license.state.tx.us/ab/ab.htm

 

The federal law (ADA) and its design standard (ADAAG) are enforced by the United States Department of Justice. Technical assistance for the law itself is provided through the Department of Justice http://www.ada.gov/ while technical assistance for the design standards is provided by the United States Access Board  http://www.access-board.gov/

 

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David Christensen                                                            Registered Accessibility Specialist

David Christensen                                                            Registered Accessibility Specialist

P.O. Box 1757

Roanoke, Tx 76262

David Christensen                                                            Registered Accessibility Specialist