Thursday, March 17, 2011
Justice Department’s New ADA Rules Go into Effect
Revised regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) took effect March 15. The revised rules are the department’s first major revision of its guidance on accessibility in 20 years.
The regulations apply to the activities of more than 80,000 units of state and local government and more than seven million places of public accommodation, including stores, restaurants, shopping malls, libraries, museums, sporting arenas, movie theaters, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, hotels, jails and prisons, polling places, and emergency shelters. The rules were signed by Attorney General Eric Holder.
They also have a new document, “ADA Update: A Primer for Small Business,” to help small businesses understand the new and updated accessibility requirements.
“The new rules usher in a new day for the more than 50 million individuals with disabilities in this country,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. “The rules will expand accessibility in a number of areas and, for the first time, provide detailed guidance on how to make recreation facilities, including parks and swimming pools, accessible.”
ADA rules adopt the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which have been retooled to be more user-friendly for building code officials, builders, and architects, and have been harmonized with state and local accessibility codes. The 2010 standards also include, for the first time, standards on making swimming pools, parks, golf courses, boating facilities, exercise clubs, and other recreation facilities accessible for individuals with disabilities.
Entities covered by the
have one year to comply with the new standards. The amended regulations contain many new or expanded provisions on general nondiscrimination policies, including the use of service animals, the use of wheelchairs and other power-driven mobility devices, selling tickets for wheelchair-accessible seating at sports and performance venues, reserving and guaranteeing accessible rooms at hotels, providing interpreter services through video conferencing, and the effect of the new regulations on existing facilities. ADA
For more information about the