Obama Administration Directs Department of Justice to Withdraw Proposed ADA Accessibility Guidelines

Originally Published 2009

By Gary L. Cole AIA, Esq.

As predicted in a January 23, 2009 posting on Law/Ark, the Obama administration has directed the Department of Justice to withdraw the final draft of the revised Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) from the Office of Management and Budget review process. It was hoped that prior to leaving office President George W. Bush would sign into law the much awaited revised ADAAG, first issued for public comment on July 23, 2004. The ADAAG include, among other things, the core physical specifications for accessibility under the ADA and work in concert with many state and local accessibility laws.

On January 28, 2009, the Department of Justice posted the following notice on their ADA website:

“Proposed ADA Regulations Withdrawn from OMB Review

On January 21, 2009, the Department of Justice notified the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that the Department has withdrawn its draft final rules to amend the Department’s regulations implementing title II and title III from the OMB review process. This action was taken in response to a memorandum from the President’s Chief of Staff directing the Executive Branch agencies to defer publication of any new regulations until the rules are reviewed and approved by officials appointed by President Obama. No final action will be taken by the Department with respect to these rules until the incoming officials have had the opportunity to review the rulemaking record. Incoming officials will have the full range of rule-making options available to them under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Withdrawal of the draft final rules does not affect existing ADA regulations. Title II and title III entities must continue to follow the Department’s existing ADA regulations, including the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.”

It is unknown whether the new ADAAG will be signed into law by President Obama in 2009 or even later.

Updates will follow on Law/Ark. © Copyright Gary L. Cole 2009

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