DOJ’s New ADA Rules Effective March 15, 2011
WASHINGTON – Revised regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) went into effect March 15, 2011. The revised rules are the first major revisions from the Department of Justice in 20 years.
The regulations apply to the activities of more than 80,000 units of state and local government and more than seven million places of public accommodation, including stores, restaurants, shopping malls, libraries, museums, sporting arenas, movie theaters, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, hotels, jails and prisons, polling places, and emergency preparedness shelters. The rules were signed by Attorney General Eric Holder on July 23, 2010, and the official text was published in the Federal Register on September 15, 2010.
The department also released an ADA Update: A Primer for Small Business to help small businesses understand the new and updated accessibility requirements, as well as ADA 2010 Revised Requirements: Effective Date and Compliance Date, explaining when the various provisions of its amended regulations will take effect for both businesses and state and local government agencies.
“The new rules usher in a new day for the more than 50 million individuals with disabilities in this country,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. “The rules will expand accessibility in a number of areas and, for the first time, provide detailed guidance on how to make recreation facilities, including parks and swimming pools, accessible.”
The new ADA rules adopt the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which have been retooled to be more user-friendly for building code officials, builders, and architects, and have been harmonized with state and local accessibility codes. The new standards also include, for the first time, standards on making swimming pools, golf courses, boating facilities, and other recreation facilities accessible for individuals with disabilities.
The amended regulations also contain many new or expanded provisions on general nondiscrimination policies, including the use of service animals, the use of wheelchairs and other power-driven mobility devices, selling tickets for wheelchair-accessible seating at sports and performance venues, reserving and guaranteeing accessible rooms at hotels, providing interpreter services through video conferencing, and the effect of the new regulations on existing facilities.
For more information about the ADA , call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY), or access the department’s ADA website at www.ada.gov You may also contact your local ADA Center at 800-949-4232 with any questions regarding these revised regulations.