New facility guidelines that the Access Board issued in 2004 are serving to update design standards used to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA). Several different agencies are involved in adopting new standards which apply to various classes of facilities. Last year, the U.S. Postal Service and the General Services Administration (GSA) adopted new standards under the ABA, which applies to federally funded facilities. The standards adopted by the Postal Service apply to post offices and other postal facilities, while the GSA standards apply to most other federal buildings (except military and housing facilities). Standards for facilities covered by the ADA will be updated by the departments of Justice and Transportation.
To facilitate the implementation of the new standards, the Board is providing extensive training on the new specifications as contained in its updated guidelines. The Board offers a variety of programs on the new guidelines, including a day-long session that outlines changes from the previous standards. Training sessions are often tailored to the interests or focus of each audience. Training programs have been conducted in partnership with other agencies, including those that have issued new ABA standards. Last year, the Board trained Postal Service facilities personnel at eight regional locations across the country. The Board is currently preparing plans for similar training programs in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration and the GSA.
This information was reprinted with permission from the Access Board. For further information on training opportunities, contact the Board’s training coordinator, Peggy Greenwell, by e-mailing (firstname.lastname@example.org), calling (202) 272-0017 (v) or (202) 272-0082 (TTY), or visitin (www.access-board.gov/training.htm).