New ADA Accessibility Guidelines Adoption Still in Limbo

Originally Published 2009

By Gary L. Cole AIA, Esq.

The revised Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), first released by the U.S. Access Board for public comment on July 23, 2004, were not, contrary to expectations, signed into law by President Bush prior to leaving office. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was followed by the ADAAG’s first publication in 1991. On September 25, 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, which became effective on January 1, 2009. Among its provisions, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 reverses certain recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings. More information regarding the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 can be found on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s website.

Though as of the date of this posting no updates regarding the ADAAG’s status appear on the Department of Justice’s ADA website, according to a DOJ representative on the DOJ’s ADA Information Line, the ADAAG will likely be subject to the new Obama administration’s review and a date of final adoption is unknown.

The new ADAAG features a revised format, the first major change since it was adopted and brings it into line with model building codes such as the International Building Code. The revised ADAAG’s new requirements will affect anyone in the real estate development industry including, but not limited to architects, contractors and attorneys.

Updates will follow on this Blog. © Copyright Gary L. Cole 2009

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