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ICC ANSI A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities

Course Outline

Almost everyone will experience disabilities at some point during his/her life. The ICC ANSI A117.1, a national standard, is the cornerstone of U.S. accessibility standards development. It provides details, dimensions, and specifications to help design professionals develop their plans so that the buildings and facilities will offer unobstructed entry and ease of use to all users with disabilities. This course is based entirely on ANSI A117.1-2003 and Chapter 11 Accessibility of IBC 2006.

New to the 2003 edition of ANSI A117.1 are criteria for enhanced reach range, additional provisions for assembly areas, and an addition and rearrangement for accessible dwelling and sleeping units. These new criteria are intended to provide a level of coordination between the accessible provisions of this standard and the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines.
This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to understand:

Background Information

The International Code Council (ICC) was established in 1994 by the BOCA, ICBO and SBCCI as a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing a single set of comprehensive and coordinated national model construction codes. The first edition of the International Building Code (IBC 2000) was officially published in March 2000, following several public hearings in 1998 and 1999 and a public comment forum in 1997. The third edition of the International Building Code (IBC 2006) was published in January 2006. As of November 2008, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the IBC. Chapter 11 Accessibility of IBC 2006 is based primarily on ANSI A117.1-2003.

ANSI A117.1 was first published in 1961 and later revised in 1980 and 1992. Since 1994, the ICC has taken over from CABO as Secretariat for the ANSI Accredited Standards Committee, issuing the ICC ANSI A117.1 in 1998 and 2003. The next edition of ANSI A117.1 is expected to be finalized by the end of 2008.

In the U.S., some 49 million people have disabling conditions that interfere with their life's activities. People with disabilities are entitled to the same rights and the same opportunities as all other American citizens. Disability rights include the right to exist within society, the right to integrate and the right to value and meaning. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the first comprehensive federal legislation protecting the rights of people with disabilities, was passed in 1990. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the term ‘disability’ means, with respect to an individual –

The definition of disability set forth in ADA does not distinguish between type, severity, or duration of the disability. Professionals who design buildings and facilities are responsible under the ADA to make them accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.

Course Content

The purpose of this course is to help engineers, architects and land surveyors become familiar with the design provisions in the IBC 2006 and ANSI A117.1-2003. In this course, you are required to study the entire ANSI A117.1 and Chapter 11 of IBC 2006. If your office does not have these publications, you may order a copy from the Online Store of ICBO or access a digital version from the following weblinks:

ANSI A117.1 (2003 Version, PDF)
Chapter 11 of 2006 International Buidling Code (PDF version, you just need to study Chapter 11)

The following contains the outline of ANSI A117.1-2003:

ANSI A117.1-2003

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Application and Administration
Chapter 2 - Scoping
Chapter 3 - Building Blocks
Chapter 4 - Accessible Routes
Chapter 5 - General Site and Building Elements
Chapter 6 - Plumbing Elements and Facilities
Chapter 7 - Communication Elements and Features
Chapter 8 - Special Rooms and Spaces
Chapter 9 - Built–In Furnishings and Equipment
Chapter 10 - Dwelling Units and Sleeping Units

By studying the materials contained in the Related Links below, you will also gain a good understanding of the subject.

Course Summary

To protect the safety and welfare of the public, all design professionals must be familiar with the latest building code requirements. This course and its quiz questions highlight the important design provisions in the ICC ANSI A117.1-2003.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following web pages:

U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
Universal Design Principles and Heuristic Guidelines


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.