Tag: compliance

Accessibility In Design

Interior of Hunters Point Library New and grand public buildings often open to great fanfare. Typically well received, they offer new and modern solutions to the needs of the organizations and people who use them. However, Universal Design doesn’t always get the attention it deserves in what some might call function following form. The Americans with Disabilities Act has been law for many years, It is reasonable to expect modern public buildings to be free of obvious accessibility oversights. Unfortunately this expectation is not always met. The much anticipated Queens Public Library at Hunters Point is one such case, and unfortunately the oversight has lead to a lawsuit.

“The class action lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, argues that the lack of accessibility amounts to a violation of the three-decade-old legislation known as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, newly constructed public and commercial buildings must meet accessibility standards.”

While opening difficulties are not uncommon for new buildings, situations like this serve as a stark reminder to civic and business leaders that compliance with accessibility laws are a minimum standard. Much can be done to go above and beyond the minimum requirements to create truly inclusive, accessible and welcoming environments.

El Paso County Releases Draft ADA Transition Plan

El Paso County Judicial Complex

Across the nation, federal investigators are continuing their audits of municipalities for ADA violations. From curb ramps and sidewalks to facilities and services, many cities and counties are taking the necessary steps to identify their barriers and update their transition plans.

El Paso County, Colorado, recently completed an ambitious effort with a draft transition plan to set the foundation of their ADA compliance initiative.  “El Paso County is committed to full and equal opportunity for all its citizens, including individuals with disabilities,” said Vince Maciunskas, Infrastructure Project Manager. “The County recognizes that its community’s continued vitality, strength and vibrancy results from the valuable contributions from the entire community.”

El Paso County’s work is critically important to creating an accessible and equitable community for all. For those that haven’t made it a priority, the DOJ is imposing fines of several million dollars and has frozen federal funding from other agencies.

Source: El PAso County Public Notice, October 24, 2019


ADA 101 – Curb or Barrier Edge Protection

ADA 101 info graphic, with ADAS 2010 section  404.2.4.3 code and example pictures2010 ADAS 405.9.2 Curb or Barrier Edge Protection

A curb or barrier shall be provided that prevents the passage of a 4 inch diameter sphere, where any portion of the sphere is within 4 inches of the finish floor or ground surface.

Code according to 2010 ADAS. Check your state’s accessibility laws. Some states such as California, Georgia and Florida have additional requirements and standards.

ADA 101 – Operable Parts

ADA 101 Info-graphic with ADAS 2010 309.4 text and two example pictures.

2010 ADAS 309.4 Operable Parts – Operation

Operable parts shall be operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. The force required to activate operable parts shall be 5 pounds maximum.

EXCEPTION: Gas pump nozzles shall not be required to provide operable parts that have an activating force of 5 pounds maximum.

Code according to 2010 ADAS. Check your state’s accessibility laws. Some states such as California, Georgia and Florida have additional requirements and standards.

ADA 101 – Vertical Clearance

ADA 101 Infographic with ADAS 2010 section 307.4 test and example picturesADAS 2010 307.4 – Vertical Clearance

Vertical clearance shall be 80 inches high minimum. Guardrails or other barriers shall be provided where the vertical clearance is less than 80 inches high. The leading edge of such guardrail or barrier shall be located 27 inches maximum above the finish floor or ground.

EXCEPTION: Door closers and door stops shall be permitted to be 78 inches minimum above the finish floor or ground.

Code according to 2010 ADAS. Check your state’s accessibility laws. Some states such as California, Georgia and Florida have additional requirements and standards.

ADA 101 – Vision Lights

ADA 101 graphic, blue background, top half contains ADAS 2010 section 404.2.11 Vision Lights text in white lettering, bottom half contains two pictures, left picture is of a non compliant glazed panel in a grey door, the right picture is a graphic of two doors with measurement lines showing compliant glazing panels, below the pictures are a disclaimer to check local accessibility laws, the BlueDAG logo and bluedag.com.

2010 ADAS 404.2.11 – Vision Lights

Doors, gates, and side lights adjacent to doors or gates, containing one or more glazing panels that permit viewing through the panels shall have the bottom of at least one glazed panel located 43 inches maximum above the finish floor.

EXCEPTION:Vision lights with the lowest part more than 66 inches from the finish floor or ground shall not be required to comply with 404.2.11.

Code according to 2010 ADAS. Check your state’s accessibility laws. Some states such as California, Georgia and Florida have additional requirements and standards

New York City Settlement requires survey of 162,000 sidewalk curbs

vehicles traveling on road near buildings during daytime in New York City

Photo by Toni Osmundson on Unsplash

Accessible public right-of-ways are good for everyone. Gentle slopes, well defined landings and wide smooth pathways are all convenient for the able user. However, for some, they are more than convenient, they provide a path to independence that would otherwise be unattainable.  

In New York City, municipal administrators are starting important work to identify inaccessible sidewalks and curbs, and integrate them into a remediation plan. This work follows the resolution to two lawsuits. “U.S. District Court Judge George B. Daniels gave the final approval of a class action settlement resolving two separate lawsuits—the first filed by the United Spinal Association and the second by the Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY)—and establishing a plan that will require citywide surveys of all ramps and identify which corners need curb cuts installed or upgraded.”

ADA compliance issues and lawsuits are becoming more common by the day. Municipalities have a choice to be proactive and move toward compliance and inclusiveness, or become the targets of lawsuits and DOJ investigations.

City to make more sidewalk curbs accessible
Lizeth Beltran, Crain’s New York Business  
July 23, 2019



Dutchess County, NY, Awards $112,000 of Accessibility Grants

Dutches County Courthouse, brick building with grey moldings and trim

By Daniel Case, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3357429

Funding public works can be challenging, even more so for smaller cities and towns. However, with a little effort and resolve, ways and means are found.  

Today, we feature Dutchess County, New York, and their 2019 Municipal Innovation Grant Program. The program is a great example of helping smaller municipalities cope with the costs of improving accessibility for everyone and ensuring compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  County Executive Marc Molinaro said in a recent bulletin, “Dutchess County’s pledge to ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ about our friends and neighbors living with disabilities is unparalleled, and these grant awards are the latest fulfillment of that promise.”

We here at BlueDAG hope to see more initiatives like the Dutchess County 2019 Municipal Innovation Grant Program in the future. Don’t you?

Molinaro Announces $112,000 in Accessibility Awards
Dutchess County Bulletin
July 26, 2019

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