What Do Engineers and Architects Need To Know About The
Americans With Disabilities Act ?
The Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law intended to protect qualified
persons with disabilities from discrimination in employment, government services
and programs, transportation, public accommodations, and telecommunications.
The ADA covers a wide range of legal and regulatory issues with regard to Americans
with disabilities. This course will focus on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, with which engineers and architects need to comply when
working on new constructions or alterations of existing structures. The ADA
Accessibility Design Guidelines include general instructions and definitions
as well as technical specifications and requirements on elements and spaces.
Specific requirements for restaurants, cafeterias, medical facilities, business
facilities, lodging facilities, libraries and transportation facilities are
also discussed in the ADA Accessibility Design Guidelines. It is very important
for engineers and architects to get familiar with the guidelines. In some states,
professional engineers who design buildings are required to have certain professional
development hours (PDH) in ADA Accessibility Design Guidelines for their PE
This course includes a multiple choice quiz at the end.
At the conclusion of this course, the student will:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law enacted on July 26, 1990. It is intended to protect qualified persons with disabilities from discrimination in employment, government services and programs, transportation, public accommodations, and telecommunications. The ADA supplements and complements other federal and state laws which protect persons with disabilities. The Department of Justice published revised regulations for Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 "ADA" in the Federal Register on September 15, 2010. The Department is providing this document with the official 2010 Standards in one publication. The document includes:
• The 2010 Standards for State and local governments, which consist
of the Title II regulations at 28 CFR 35.151 and the 2004 ADAAG at
36 CFR part 1191, appendices B and D;
• The 2010 Standards for public accommodations and commercial facilities, which consist of the Title III regulations at 28 CFR part 36, subpart D, and the 2004 ADAAG at 36 CFR part 1191, appendices B and D.
State or local government will be in compliance with the ADA for new construction and alterations if it follows the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities, which is the standard that must also be used for public accommodations and commercial facilities under title III of the ADA. A public accommodation is a private entity that owns, operates, leases, or leases to, a place of public accommodation. Places of public accommodation include a wide range of entities, such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctors' offices, pharmacies, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, and day care centers. Private clubs and religious organizations are exempt from the ADA's title III requirements for public accommodations.
A public entity must ensure that individuals with disabilities are not excluded from services, programs, and activities because existing buildings are inaccessible. A State or local government's programs, when viewed in their entirety, must be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. This standard, known as "program accessibility," applies to facilities of a public entity that existed on January 26, 1992. Public entities do not necessarily have to make each of their existing facilities accessible. They may provide program accessibility by a number of methods including alteration of existing facilities, acquisition or construction of additional facilities, relocation of a service or program to an accessible facility, or provision of services at alternate accessible sites.
The ADA requires that all new buildings constructed by a State or local government be accessible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities. In addition, when a State or local government undertakes alterations to a building, it must make the altered portions accessible. The design of new public accommodations and commercial facilities and the alterations of the existing public accommodations and commercial facilities must also comply with Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities.
In this course you are required to study the following:
Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities
provide guidelines and specifications for accessibility to places of government
buildings, public accommodation and commercial facilities by individuals with
disabilities. These guidelines are to be applied by engineers and architects
during the design, construction, and alteration of such buildings and facilities
to the extent required by regulations issued by Federal agencies, including
the Department of Justice, under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as revised in 2010.
Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.