4 Accessibility Laws governing Architectural Building
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4 Accessibility Laws governing Architectural Building



Welcome to part one of a seven part series on the California Building Code. This presentation outlines the 4 accessibility laws governing architectural building, why they are important, and how to ...

Welcome to part one of a seven part series on the California Building Code. This presentation outlines the 4 accessibility laws governing architectural building, why they are important, and how to follow them. The access laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of any defined disability. By learning these laws, you can protect your clients from lawsuits and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.



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4 Accessibility Laws governing Architectural Building Presentation Transcript

  • 1. 4 Accessibility Laws Explained 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 2. What are access laws for? • Prohibit discrimination on the basis of any defined disability. • “Discrimination" under Title III of the ADA is a "failure to remove" architectural barriers in existing facilities, or a failure to provide adequate access that persons without disabilities would normally enjoy. 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 3. Why learn these 4 laws? •Protect your client from lawsuits. •You wanna be an architect someday, right? •The boring but important: “To protect the Health, Safety, and Welfare of the Public.” 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 4. What are 4 access laws to know about? • Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Section 504. • ADA Title II • ADA Title III • Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 5. Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Section 504 • The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 ("ABA“)is an Act of Congress. • Requires that facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with funds supplied by the United States Federal Government be accessible to the public. – The ABA marks one of the first efforts to ensure that certain federally funded buildings and facilities are designed and constructed to be accessible to people with disabilities. – Facilities that predate the law generally are not covered, but alterations or leases undertaken after the law took effect can trigger coverage. – Applies to anything built within the last 40 years. • The Act includes uniform standards for the design, construction and alteration of buildings so that physically handicapped persons will have ready access to and use of them. These Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) are developed, maintained, and enforced by an Access Board. – 4 Federal agencies are responsible for the setting the standards: Department of Defense, Department of Housing and Urban Development, General Services Administration, U.S. Postal Service. • Special NOTE: Some departments have, as a matter of policy, also required compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines (which otherwise do not apply to the Federal sector) in addition to UFAS. 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 6. If Section 504 Applies to your project: • Can affect site selection • Can affect facility selection • Program Access may require retroactive modifications to existing facilities • Residential requirements can be significantly different. • It may be advantageous for your client to use UFAS rather than ADA Standards for Accessible Design. 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 7. ADA Title II Public Services (and public transportation) • Applies to any state or local government, or its instrumentalities, regardless of federal financial assistance. This would include local housing agencies, such as your public housing authority. 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 8. ADA Title II Public Services (and public transportation) – Covers public agencies (local, county, state, etc., government and their units). That section generally requires the agencies to comply with regulations similar to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. – Access includes physical access described in the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards or the ADA Standards for Accessible Design and access that might be obstructed by discriminatory policies or procedures of the entity. – Title II is specific to public transportation provided by public entities. It includes all commuter authorities. This section requires the provision of paratransit services by public entities. – It states that a "public entity" can be any state or local government or any department or agency thereof. 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 9. If ADA Title 2 Applies: • Access may require retroactive modifications to existing facilities. • Access requirements can exceed the technical standards. 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 10. ADA Title III Public Accommodations (and Commercial Facilities) • "Public accommodations" include most places of lodging (such as inns and hotels), recreation, transportation, education, and dining, along with stores, care providers, and places of public displays. • Under Title III of the ADA, all "new construction" (construction, modification or alterations) after the effective date of the ADA (approximately July of 1992) must be fully compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines ("ADAAG") • More importantly Title III also has application to already existing facilities. – This means that even facilities that have not been modified or altered in any way after the ADA was passed still have obligations. The standard is whether "removing barriers" (typically defined as bringing a condition into compliance with the ADAAG) is "readily achievable," defined as "easily accomplished without much difficulty or expense." – The statutory definition of "readily achievable" calls for a balancing test between the cost of the proposed "fix" and the wherewithal of the business and/or owners of the business. Thus, what might be "readily achievable" for a sophisticated and financially capable corporation might not be readily achievable for a small "mom- n-pop" outfit. 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 11. Exceptions to ADA Title III • Some private clubs and religious organizations • Some historic properties (those properties that are listed or that are eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, or properties designated as historic under State or local law). – Must still comply with the provisions of Title III of the ADA to the "maximum extent feasible" but if following the usual standards would "threaten to destroy the historic significance of a feature of the building" then alternative standards may be used. 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 12. If the ADA Title III applies: • If it is a place of public accommodation, “readily achievable” clause may require retroactive modifications. 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 13. Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) • Applies to virtually all forms of housing, whether for sale or rent. The exceptions include (a) buildings with four or fewer units where the landlord lives in one of the units, and (b) private owners who do not own more than three single family houses, do not use real estate brokers or agents, and do not use discriminatory advertisements. 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 14. Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) • Idea started in 1968 as part of the Civil Rights Act. • Not officially created until 1988. • Not applicable until after 1991. • Includes Public Housing or Housing funded by Federal Funds especially multi-family dwellings 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 15. If the FHAA applies: • UFAS and ADAAG kick in. • The guidelines may have additional accessibility requirements beyond Section 504 or ADA Title III. • Many residential structures that are not typically considered multifamily housing must comply with the Guidelines. 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 16. Questions to Ask Your Client/Project Manager: 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 17. More Questions to Ask Your Client/Project Manager: 4 Accessibility Laws Explained
  • 18. Resources US Access Board: http://www.access-board.gov/gs.htm Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Amended: http://www.access-board.gov/about/laws/ABA.htm ADA Title II and Title III: http://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA): http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing/title8.htm http://www.huduser.org/Periodicals/CITYSCPE/VOL4NUM3/schill.pdf 4 Accessibility Laws Explained