What is "Accessibility" and who is responsible for compliance?
Accessibility is the combination of various elements in a building, facility, site, or area, or portion thereof which allows access, circulation and the full use of the building and facilities by persons with disabilities. The goal of accessibility is to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.
The term “disability” means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual. Major life activities include functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
There are both Federal and State government standards for accessibility. Designers, contractors, business owners and public entities are responsible to design, build and maintain accessibility features for both federal and state regulations as applicable to their project.
Quite often, all “accessibility requirements” are inaccurately labeled or stated as “ADA” requirements. As a designer, a government agency, a public accommodation owner or leasor, a commercial facility owner or leasor and/or contractor, it is important to understand and correctly apply the Federal (ADA) and State (Title 24) accessibility requirements and to verify the most restrictive of either standard are designed and constructed, as applicable to the project.
Enforcement of Federal accessibility requirements quite often occurs via the court system, where an individual may sue for discrimination based upon inability to enter or use the facility.
Enforcement of state government (Title 24) accessibility requirements is by “The Authority Having Jurisdiction” (AHJ) - typically the Building Division of the city, county or town.
Accessibility compliance requires knowledge and a thorough understanding of the codes, as well as appropriately detailed design documentation to be used as an effective method of communication to achieve a fully compliant building or facility. Complete and effective accessibility plans shall be incorporated into the design documentation.
Contact the Town of Truckee Building and Safety Division (530) 582-7820 for questions regarding questions you may have about accessibility requirements for your project within the Town of Truckee .