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ACCESSIBILITY LAWS & CASE STUDIES. Presented by: Gary S. Kessler. Federal Accessibility Laws – Americans with Disabilities Act.

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accessibility laws case studies


Presented by:

Gary S. Kessler

federal accessibility laws americans with disabilities act
Federal Accessibility Laws – Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed by President Bush on 7/26/90, and became effective in 1992. Ever since, the entire country has been growing increasingly aware of the prevailing trend in anti-discrimination laws.
federal accessibility laws americans with disabilities act4
Federal Accessibility Laws – Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Title II – prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and applies to all programs, activities and services provided by public entities.

Federal Accessibility Laws – Americans with Disabilities Act

  • Title III – extends Title II to all privately owned public accommodations, such as movie theaters, restaurants, office buildings and museums.

Federal Accessibility Laws – Americans with Disabilities Act

  • No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of a disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the . . . goods, services or facilities . . . of any place or public accommodation.
  • ADA’s prohibitions against discrimination apply to “any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation,” that a landlord can be, and often is liable for noncompliance.

Federal Accessibility Laws – Americans with Disabilities Act

  • Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who:
    • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
    • Has a record of such an impairment; or
    • Is regarded as having such an impairment
texas accessibility statutes
Texas Accessibility Statutes
  • In 1991, the Texas Architectural Barriers Act (“TABA”) created the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations (“TDLR”).
  • In 1993, the TDLR adopted the Texas Accessibility Standards (“TAS”)
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Texas Accessibility Statutes
  • The TAS program provides three basic functions:
    • Licensing
    • Plan Reviews and inspections
    • Enforcement of all new building and facilities construction and renovations
texas accessibility statutes10
Texas Accessibility Statutes
  • Buildings and facilities with construction, renovation or alteration costs of $50,000 or more, are required by statute to be submitted for review to either the Elimination of Architectural Barriers Department of TDLR, or to an Independent Contract Provider (ICP) under contract with the State.
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Texas Accessibility Statutes
  • The TDLR and ICPs review construction documents and conduct inspections for compliance with the TABA and the TAS. When there is non conformity, you must ask for a variance.
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Texas Accessibility Statutes
  • Three common reasons for rejecting a variance:
    • Lack of information supporting reason for the variance
    • Nothing to support the fact that the variance is “structurally inpracticable”
    • In variances for projects involving alterations, there is no reason given why the variance is “technically infeasible.”
  • “Structurally impracticable” and “technically infeasible” are very technical terms that are often applied capriciously.
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Texas Accessibility Statutes
  • The TDLR is concerned with providing access to many public areas –
    • Parking and passenger loadings
    • Stairs, ramps, elevators
    • Drinking fountains
    • Lavatories
    • Signs
    • Telephones, ATM’s
    • Fitting Rooms
    • Fire alarms
    • Medical care facilities
    • Transportation facilities