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ADA Accessibility Guidelines. Americans with Disabilities Act. What is ADA?. The ADA is a federal civil rights law signed into legislation on July 26 th , 1990 by President George Bush. It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.

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ada accessibility guidelines

ADA Accessibility Guidelines

Americans with Disabilities Act

what is ada
What is ADA?
  • The ADA is a federal civil rights law signed into legislation on July 26th, 1990 by President George Bush.
  • It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.
  • It is designed to make American society more accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • The ADA laws became enforceable in 1992 and 1993.
  • The ADA is divided into 5 parts, regulating:
    • Employment
    • Public Services
    • Public Accommodations
    • Telecommunications
    • Miscellaneous
part i employment
Part I: Employment

Possible changes may include restructuring jobs, altering the layout of workstations or modifying equipment. Employment aspects may include the application process, hiring, wages, benefits.

part ii public services
Part II: Public Services

Relates to public transportation, buses, trains and even private buses and vans.

part iii public accommodations
Part III: Public Accommodations
  • Refers mainly to accessibility requirement of public buildings including:
    • Hotels, restaurants, auditoriums, shopping centers, banks, hospitals, museums, libraries, educational facilities, child care centers, and recreational facilities
    • This is the section that designers focus on.
what is an accessible route
What is an accessible route?

An accessible route is a continuous, unobstructed path connecting all accessible elements and spaces in a building or facility. This includes pathways, corridors, doorways, floors, ramps, elevators and clear floor space at fixtures.

myths and facts
Myths and Facts
  • MYTH: ADA requires business to spend lots of money to make their existing facilities accessible.
  • FACT:ADA law requires that public accommodations remove architectural barriers in existing facilities when it is “readily achievable” (Can be done “without much difficulty or expense.” Easy steps include adding ramps, installing grab bars, lowering paper towel dispensers, rearranging furniture, installing offset hinges to widen a doorway, painting new lines to create an accessible parking space.
myths and facts9
Myths and Facts
  • MYTH: The government thinks everything is “readily achievable”.
  • FACT: Not true: Installing elevators is not considered “readily achievable.” Maybe there isn’t room to add a ramp, the business could provide curb-side service.
  • What does the term "readily achievable" mean?It means "easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense."

Q. What does the ADA require in new construction?A. The ADA requires that all new construction of places of public accommodation, as well as of "commercial facilities" such as office buildings, be accessible. Elevators are generally not required in facilities under three stories or with fewer than 3,000 square feet per floor, unless the building is a shopping center or mall; the professional office of a health care provider; a terminal, depot, or other public transit station; or an airport passenger terminal.


Under general rules governing lawsuits brought by the Federal Government, the Department of Justice may not file a lawsuit unless it has first unsuccessfully attempted to settle the dispute through negotiations.

The Department may file lawsuits in Federal court to enforce the ADA and may obtain court orders including compensatory damages and back pay to remedy discrimination. Under title III the Department may also obtain civil penalties of up to $55,000 for the first violation and $110,000 for any subsequent violation.

settlements without litigation
Settlements without litigation
  • An individual with a mobility disability alleged that a Virginia restaurant failed to provide equal access for people with disabilities who drive to the restaurant and enter through the parking garage. The restaurant placed signage directing people with disabilities to the accessible entrance and to the accessible toilet rooms, provided an accessible door threshold, adjusted door pressures, and removed a protruding object in the bar area.
kansas city downtown hotel group llc
Kansas City Downtown Hotel Group, LLC.

The Department reached an agreement with the Kansas City Downtown Hotel Group LLC to ensure that the facilities of the Kansas City Marriott are accessible to individuals with disabilities. The Kansas City Marriott is a large hotel complex with two towers containing a total of 983 guest rooms and a number of bars and restaurants. Under the agreement, the hotel will create an additional eight accessible guest rooms dispersed among all classes of sleeping accommodations, bringing the total number of rooms accessible to people with mobility disabilities and people who are deaf or hard of hearing to 29. The hotel will also provide an accessible counter at the reception desk, ensure that guests who are deaf are provided with a communication kit with visual notification devices, make the 12th Street Pub accessible, provide house and pay telephones in the lobby that are equipped with volume controls and are hearing-aid compatible, and furnish a TTY at the reception desk with appropriate signage to indicate its availability.

chapter 1 application and administration
Chapter 1: Application and Administration
  • Explains graphic conventions used in figures
  • Refers to various standards that are incorporated into the document
  • Definitions
chapter 2 scoping requirements
Chapter 2: Scoping Requirements
  • Explains which facilities must comply
  • Exemptions allowed
  • Number of accessible wheelchair spaces, parking spaces, drinking fountains, toilet compartments, telephones, assistive listening systems, guest rooms, boat slips, playground equipment.
chapter 3 building blocks
Chapter 3: Building Blocks
  • 302: Floor or Ground Surfaces
  • 303: Changes in Level
  • 304: Turning Space
  • 305: Clear floor or ground space
  • 306: Knee and Toe Clearances
  • 307: Protruding Objects
  • 308: Reach Ranges
  • 309: Operable Parts
chapter 4 accessible routes
Chapter 4: Accessible Routes
  • 402: Accessible Routes
  • 403: Walking Surfaces
  • 404: Doors, Doorways, and Gates
  • 405: Ramps
  • 406: Curb ramps
  • 407: Elevators
  • 408: Limited use elevators
  • 409: Private Residence Elevators
  • 410: Platform Lifts
chapter 5 general site and building elements
Chapter 5: General site and Building Elements
  • 502: Parking Spaces
  • 503: Passenger loading zones
  • 504: Stairways
  • 505: Handrails
chapter 6 plumbing elements and facilities
Chapter 6: Plumbing Elements and Facilities
  • 602: Drinking Fountains
  • 603: Toilet and Bathing Rooms
  • 604: Water closets and toilet compartments
  • 605: Urinals
  • 606: Lavatories and Sinks
  • 607: Bathtubs
  • 608: Showers
  • 609: Grab Bars
  • 610: Seats
chapter 7 communication elements and features
Chapter 7: Communication Elements and Features
  • 702: Fire Alarms
  • 703: Signs
  • 704: Telephones
  • 705: Detectable Warnings
  • 706: Assistive Listening Systems
  • 707: Automatic Teller Machines
  • 708: Two-way Communication Systems
chapter 8 special rooms spaces and elements
Chapter 8: Special Rooms, Spaces and Elements
  • 802: Wheelchair Spaces, Companion Seats and designated aisle seats
  • 803: Dressing, Fitting and Locker Rooms
  • 804: Kitchens and Kitchenettes
  • 805: Medical Care and Long-term Care Facilities
  • 806: Transient Lodging Guest Rooms
  • 807: Holding Cells and Housing Cells
  • 808: Courtrooms
  • 809: Residential Dwelling Units
  • 810: Transportation Facilities
  • 811: Storage
chapter 9 built in elements
Chapter 9: Built-in Elements
  • 902: Dining Surfaces and Work Surfaces
  • 903: Benches
  • 904: Check-out Aisles and Sales Counters
chapter 10 recreation facilities
Chapter 10: Recreation Facilities
  • 1002: Amusement Rides
  • 1003: Recreational Boating Facilities
  • 1004: Exercise Machines and Equipment
  • 1005: Fishing Piers and Platforms
  • 1006: Golf Car Passages
  • 1007: Miniature Golf Facilities
  • 1008: Play Areas
  • 1009: Swimming Pools