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Facility and building accessibility for state and local governments

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to state and local governments. The law requires their buildings and facilities be accessible and usable by people with disabilities.

If you are a business or nonprofit, you need to follow the rules for Title III. 

Buildings are structures with walls and floors. Facilities are places like parking lots, parks, and recreation areas. We often use the word facilities to mean both buildings and facilities.

ADA Standards for Accessible Design

The ADA Standards for Accessible Design (ADA Standards) apply to Title II facilities. The accessibility requirements for Title II facilities will depend on the year it was built, as well as the dates that parts of the facilities are changed or updated. 

ADA standards and regulations

The ADA Standards for Accessible Design (ADA Standards) apply to Title II facilities. The accessibility requirements for Title II facilities will depend on the year it was built, as well as the dates that parts of the facilities are changed or updated.

You can also find more specific information in the Title II regulations.

Accessible features

Accessible buildings and facilities usually have:

  • Ramps or flat entrances
  • Wider doors that are easy to open
  • Wide hallways
  • Accessible restrooms
  • Braille and tactile signage
  • Elevators to reach higher floors

Program accessibility

The ADA refers to state and local governments as public entities. If you are a public entity, you need to make sure people with disabilities can access your services and programs. This is called program accessibility. It applies to your facilities that existed on or after January 26, 1992.

This doesn’t mean that every building or facility you have needs to be accessible. There are different ways to provide access to your services and programs, such as:

  • Making an existing facility accessible
  • Buying or building accessible facilities 
  • Moving a service or program to an accessible site
  • Providing a service or program at an accessible site

Examples

  • State, city, or county programs like housing and food voucher assistance provided at accessible facilities
  • Swimming lessons for children at recreation centers with accessible pools
  • Programs at sites with accessible paths that lead to the sports fields
  • Parks with features like accessible picnic tables, fishing piers, and trails
  • Libraries with accessible meeting rooms 
  • Computers with assistive technology that adults can use for research

Public right-of-way

Learn more about public right-of-way guidelines for the ADA and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) from the U.S. Access Board. The guidelines cover items like sidewalks and street access, crosswalks, curb ramps, bicycle paths and more.

Ask us

If you have questions about the building accessibility, we can help.

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