The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that was signed into law in 1990 is a civil rights law that allows people with disabilities to have access to businesses and public venues. The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design revised, created enforceable accessibility standards, and set minimum scoping and technical requirements addressing Title II regulations for State and Local governments and Title III for public accommodations and commercial facilities. These scoping and technical requirements are to be applied during the design, construction, and alternation of buildings and facilities. ADA sets planning requirements for the following different facilities; Site, Building, Spaces, Elements, and Special Facilities.
~ Site: which include parking, drop-off, walkways, ramps and steps. Site accessibility involves arriving at the site, parking a vehicle or being dropped off, and getting to the building or facility. It also includes the ability to move from one building to another. Changes in elevation can be accomplished by ramps, elevator, or lift.
~ Building: which include stairs, lifts, elevators, doorways, and corridors. Once an accessible route has been provided to the building, an accessible entrance is essential. As many entrances as possible should be accessible. Once inside the building, easy direct access to elevators and corridors that lead to other portions of the building is essential.
~ Spaces: which include Toilet Rooms, Bathtubs, Shower, Break Rooms, Auditorium, conference Rooms and Dressing and Fitting Rooms. Once you have made it possible for people to move about the facility easily, you need to determine what spaces should be made accessible. Rooms like toilet rooms will be found in all buildings, Other spaces are more specialized and occur less frequently but must be made accessible because of their public use.
~Elements: which include Telephones, Drinking Fountains, Kiosk & ATM, and Sales and Service Counters. Elements such as telephones, drinking fountains, ATM machines, and service counters are sometimes provide in the building or facility.
~Special Facilities: which include Librarys, Restaurants & Cafeterias, Medical Care Facilities, and Transient Lodging. Some buildings are designed for special use and purposes. There are specific accessibility requirements developed for certain types of facilities.
Existing commercial facilities and public accommodations must meet the same minimum accessibility standards as new construction. Rehabilitation and restorations qualify as alternations, therefor, when rehabilitation or restoration is undertaken, access for the disabled must be incorporated into the existing building. Tax credits and deductions up to $15,000 per year are available to commercial and private owners for the rehabilitation of the facility to remove architectural barriers.
Historic public facilities must remove barriers when it is "readily achievable" to do so. Readily achievable means "easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense." Providing accessible parking is often readily achievable, and is considered a top priority because it enables many people with disabilities to "get to the door." Historic preservation efforts seek to make our built heritage available for future generations to enjoy.
~ Accessibility compliance review.
~ Parking stall layout and re-striping plans.
~ ADA Audits that identity accessibility barriers.
~ Assist in applying for Tax Credits for the removal of accessibility barriers.
~ New design accessibility reviews.
~ Existing and Historic Buildings transition and implementation plans and strategies.
~ Assist in the development of written ADA policies.
~ Due Diligence Reports.
~ Code Review.