Ever since the federal government signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law in 1990, design and construction firms have struggled comply with the numerous stringent requirements and to understand the specific federal accessibility code with which their facility is required to comply.
There are numerous accessibility codes based on the ADA with which buildings and facilities are currently required to comply. The two most prominent effective building codes are the ADA Guidelines and Fair Housing Act Guidelines (FHAG). The ADA Guidelines was developed in 2004 to replace the outdated Americans with Disabilites Act Guidelines (ADAAG) of 1991. The ADA Guidelines is the primary enforcement code for all buildings that are not residential, and the FHAG is the primary enforcement code for all residential buildings.
Additional accessibility codes include ANSI 117.1, which was developed to assist in coordinating between the model codes, the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS), which is the accessibility code specifically written for federally funded buildings, and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), which federal buildings can opt to use in lieu of the UFAS.
ADA and accessibility design requires a tremendous amount of attention to detail and a deep understanding of the plight of disabled individuals. Zari Consulting Group provides complete ADA and accessibility consulting services, includuing analysis of: building access from public ways, building access from public transportation, building access from parking lots, number and location of ADA compliant entrances, ramp locations and slopes, access to elevators, access to all public areas within a building, ADA compliant restrooms and kitchens, areas of refuge, fire alarm strobe locations and speaker (horn) audibility, review of architectural details, and development of design approaches for ADA / accessibility code compliance.