THE NEW STANDARDS AS THEY APPLY TO COURTROOMS

The Department of Justice and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Revised the Standards for Accessible design on September 15, 2010.

 

Accessibility

The two primary sources for accessibility information are:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – Architectural Barriers Act (ABA)Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG).
  • The American National Standards Institute (ICC/ANSI A117.1).

Many people use the term “ADA compliant” generically even if they mean compliant to a different accessibility guide or code that applies to their specific building. ADA is a federal civil rights statute, not a building code. Though not enforced by building code officials, failure to comply is enforced through legal action from the Department of Justice.

 

ADA 2010 Revisions Summarized

2010 Standards for State and Local Government Facilities: Title II

  • Compliance date for Title II; If construction starts on or after March 15, 2012 the courtroom must meet the ADA standards of 2010.
  • New construction and Alterations between September 15, 2010 and March 15, 2012 must either meet the 1991 standards, Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) or the 2010 Standards. *

2010 Standards for Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities: Title III

  • Compliance date for Title III; Compliance for new construction is Determined by;
    • The date the last application for a building permit or extension is certified to be complete by a state, county, or local government.
    • The date the last application for a building permit or extension is received by a state, county, or local government.
    • The start of physical construction or alternation, if no permit is required.
  • New construction and Alterations between September 15, 2010 and March 15, 2012 must either meet the 1991 standards or the 2010 Standards. *

 

Title II Program Accessibility

  • If construction changes begin on or after March 15, 2012 the courtroom must meet the ADA standards of 2010.
  • Alterations between September 15, 2010 and March 15, 2012 must either meet the 1991 standards, Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) or the 2010 Standards. *

 

* NOTE: For alterations, all elements in the entire facility must use only one standard for removing barriers in the facility. For example, it cannot choose the 1991 Standards for accessible routes and the 2010 Standards for courtroom lifts.

EXCEPTION: If elements in existing facilities already comply with corresponding elements in the 1991 Standards or UFAS and are not being altered, then title II entities are not required to make changes to those elements to bring them into compliance with the 2010 Standards.