Revisions to Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, including ADA Standards for Accessible Design, have been adopted by the federal government. Compliance with the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design will be mandatory on March 15, 2012. While DPD doesn’t enforce ADA or the ADA Standards, building owners and designers are responsible for compliance. Some of the new ADA Standards have been incorporated into the 2009 edition of ICC A117.1, but Seattle will not enforce the 2009 A117.1 until the next edition of the Seattle Building Code is adopted in 2013, and the 2009 Seattle Building Code does not include the revised ADA regulations.
Highlights of the changes include provisions for recreational facilities such as golf, boating and play areas; and a significant change that affects employee work areas. To quote the U.S. Access Board “Under the 1991 Standards, its was necessary to design work areas to permit an employee using a wheelchair to approach, enter, and exit the area. Under the 2010 Standards, it will be necessary for new or altered work areas to include accessible common use circulation paths within employee work areas, subject to certain specified exceptions.”
More information about the revised ADA regulations can be found on the Department of Justice website
www.ada.gov/regs2010/ADAregs2010.htm#titleII_final_2010 and on the Access Board’s site
www.access-board.gov/ada/index.htm and www.ada.gov/regs2010/factsheets/2010_Standards_factsheet.html.