Is Your HOA ADA Compliant? March 15, 2012 deadline

Recent changes were made to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Homeowner associations are required to take certain actions to be ADA compliant.  They must comply with the 2010 Standards by March 15, 2012*. The law has been in effect since March 15, 2011 and to avoid the $55,000.000 fine must be finished no later that the March 15, 2012 deadline, per the Department of Justice.


* the pool lifts requirement was set aside on March 15, 2012  for 60 days.

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The new regulations, which were published in the Federal Register on September 15, 2010, also adopt new ADA Standards for Accessible Design. In addition, the Standards include new requirements for features in recreational facilities such as swimming pools and playgrounds that were not addressed in the 1991 Standards. While the new rules went  into effect on March 15, 2011 a one year grace period is given until  March 15, 2012. NO EXCEPTIONSwww.ada.gov/regs2010/ADAregs2010.htm

 

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The following  has been confirmed with the Department of Justice.  Homeowners Associations must comply with the 2010 Standards’ supplemental requirements in all the following areas:
 
The ADA and other Federal civil rights laws require that accessible features be maintained in working order so that they are accessible to and usable by those people they are intended to benefit. (This is why a battery backup will be required for each of the chair lifts.)  

Areas of Sport Activity:at least one accessible route is required to connect accessible buildings, facilities, elements, and spaces on the same site.  An accessible route must connect the boundary of each area of sport activity (e.g., courts and playing fields, whether indoor or outdoor). In “court” sports the accessible route must directly connect both sides of the court.

Public Entrances.   At least sixty percent (60%) of public entrances are required to be accessible. The revision is intended to achieve the same result as the 1991 Standards.

Parking Spaces  General. Where parking spaces are provided (And they are!) section 208.1 requires a specified number of the parking spaces to be accessible. 

  • accessible parking spaces must be identified by signs that display the International Symbol of Accessibility. Sites that have four or fewer parking spaces are exempt from the signage requirement. (Section 502.6 ).
  • Access aisles must be marked so as to discourage parking in them.(section 502.3.3)
  • an accessible route is required to adjoin each access aisle serving accessible parking spaces. The accessible route connects each access aisle to accessible entrances.(Section 502.3)
  • one in every six accessible parking spaces must be van accessible. The Department does not distinguish between vehicles that are actual “vans” versus other vehicles such as trucks, station wagons, sport utility vehicles, etc. which may be used by individuals with disabilities to transport mobility devices.



Drinking Fountains   must be provided for persons who use wheelchairs and for others who stand.  The 2010 Standards require drinking fountains mounted at a height for wheelchair users to provide clear floor space for a forward approach with knee and toe clearance, and include an exception for a parallel approach for drinking fountains installed at a height to accommodate very small children. The 2010 Standards include a technical requirement for drinking fountains for standing persons.


 Lavatories and Sinks  requires at least five percent (5%) of sinks in each accessible space to comply with the technical requirements for sinks. The technical requirements address clear floor space, height, faucets, and exposed pipes and surfaces. The clear floor space at sinks is required to be positioned for a forward approach and knee and toe clearance to be provided under the sink.

Toilet and Bathing Facilities, Rooms, and Compartments

 Where toilet facilities and bathing facilities are provided, they must comply 

  • Ambulatory Accessible Toilet Compartments.   multi-user men´s toilet rooms, where the total of toilet compartments and urinals is six or more, must contain at least one ambulatory accessible compartment.  The 2010 Standards establish parity between multi-user women´s toilet rooms and multi-user men´s toilet rooms with respect to ambulatory accessible toilet compartments.
  • Urinals. Mens toilet rooms with only one urinal are not required to provide an accessible urinal. However, such toilet rooms will still be required to provide an accessible toilet compartment.
  • Multiple Single-User Toilet Rooms. Where multiple single-user toilet rooms are clustered in a single location,  one hundred percent (100%) are required to be accessible (Exception: accessible single-user toilet rooms must be identified by the International Symbol of Accessibility where all single-user toilet rooms are not accessible.)
  • Water Closet Location and Rear Grab Bar. permits a shorter grab bar on the rear wall where there is not enough wall space due to special circumstances (e.g., when a lavatory or other recessed fixture is located next to the water closet and the wall behind the lavatory is recessed so that the lavatory does not overlap the required clear floor space at the water closet).The 2010 Standards requirement allows the centerline to be between 16 and 18 inches from the side wall in wheelchair accessible toilet compartments and 17 to 19 inches in ambulatory accessible toilet compartments.
  • Water Closet Clearance.  a change in the accessibility requirements where a lavatory is installed adjacent to the water closet. Locating the lavatory  close to the water closet prohibits many individuals with disabilities from using a side transfer. To allow greater transfer options, including side transfers, lavatories are prohibited from overlapping the clear floor space at water closets.
  • Toilet Room Doors.  Section 603.2.3 of the 2010 Standards permit the doors of all toilet or bathing rooms with in-swinging doors to swing into the required turning space, but not into the clear floor space required at any fixture. In single-user toilet rooms or bathing rooms, Section 603.2.3 Exception 2 of the 2010 Standards permits the door to swing into the clear floor space of an accessible fixture if a clear floor space that measures at least 30 inches by 48 inches is provided outside of the door swing.
  • Toilet Paper Dispensers.   require the dispenser to be located seven inches minimum and nine inches maximum in front of the water closet measured to the centerline of the dispenser. The paper outlet of the dispenser must be located 15 inches minimum and 48 inches maximum above the finish floor. The mounting location of the toilet paper dispenser is determined by the centerline of the dispenser and the location of the outlet for the toilet paper.



There is difficulty in using large roll toilet paper dispensers and dispensers with two standard size rolls stacked on top of each other. The size of the large dispensers can block access to the grab bar and the outlet for the toilet paper can be too low or too high to be usable. Some dispensers also control the delivery of the toilet paper which can make it impossible to get the toilet paper. Toilet paper dispensers that control delivery or do not allow continuous paper flow are not permitted by the 2010 Standards. Also, many of the large roll toilet paper dispensers do not comply with the 2010 Standards since their large size does not allow them to be mounted 12 inches above or 1 1/2 inches below the side grab bar as required by section 609.3.







  • Detectable Warnings   provide a distinctively textured surface of truncated domes. The 2010 Standards at sections 218, 810.5, 705.1, and 705.2  require detectable warnings at transit platform edges.(Sound on can contact from adjoining walking surfaces.)
  • Dressing rooms, fitting rooms, and locker rooms are required to comply with the accessibility requirements of sections 222 and 803 of the 2010 Standards. Where these types of rooms are provided in clusters, five percent (5%) but at least one room in each cluster must comply.
  • Dining Surfaces Section 226.1 of the 2010 Standards require that where dining surfaces are provided for the consumption of food or drink, at least five percent (5%) of the seating spaces and standing spaces at the dining surfaces comply with section 902. Section 902.2 requires the provision of accessible knee and toe clearance.
  • Service Counters. The 2010 Standards, at section 904.4, contain technical requirements for service counters.  The nondiscrimination requirements of the ADA regulations require the level of service provided at the accessible portion of any  service counter to be the same as the level of service provided at the inaccessible portions of the counter.
  • Accessible Means of Entry to Wading Pools:at least one sloped means of entry is required into the deepest part of each wading pool.
  • Floor or Ground Surfaces floor or ground surfaces along accessible routes and in accessible rooms and spaces must be stable, firm, slip-resistant, and comply with either section 4.5 in the case of the 1991 Standards or section 302 in the case of the 2010 Standards. 
  • Turning Space Section to be either a circular space or a T-shaped space. Section 304.3 permits turning space to include knee and toe clearance complying with section 306. 





Thresholds at Doorways.  2010 Standards require

    • the height of thresholds at all doorways that are part of an accessible route not to exceed 1/2 inch.  
    • raised thresholds that exceed ¼ inch in height to be beveled on each side with a slope not steeper than 1:2. 
    • include an exception that exempts existing and altered thresholds that do not exceed 3/4 inch in height and are beveled on each side from the requirement.







Handrails Along Walkways.  where handrails are provided along walkways that are not ramps, they shall comply with certain technical requirements.

  • handrail gripping surfaces with a circular cross section to have an outside diameter of 1 ¼ inches to 2 inches. Handrail gripping surfaces with a non-circular cross section must have a perimeter dimension of 4 inches to 6 ¼ inches, and a cross section dimension of 2 ¼ inches maximum.
  •  handrail gripping surfaces must be continuous along their length and not to be obstructed along their tops or sides. The bottoms of handrail gripping surfaces must not be obstructed for more than twenty percent (20%) of their length. Where provided, horizontal projections must occur at least 1 1/2 inches below the bottom of the handrail gripping surface. An exception permits the distance between the horizontal projections and the bottom of the gripping surface to be reduced by 1/8 inch for each 1/2 inch of additional handrail perimeter dimension that exceeds 4 inches.
  • handrail gripping surfaces must have rounded edges.
  •  handrail gripping surfaces must be continuous along their length and not to be obstructed along their tops or sides. The bottoms of handrail gripping surfaces must not be obstructed for more than twenty percent (20%) of their length. Where provided, horizontal projections must occur at least 1 1/2 inches below the bottom of the handrail gripping surface. An exception permits the distance between the horizontal projections and the bottom of the gripping surface to be reduced by 1/8 inch for each 1/2 inch of additional handrail perimeter dimension that exceeds 4 inches.
  • handrail gripping surfaces must have rounded edges.

Accessible Routes

  • Slope. The cross slope of walking surfaces may not be steeper than 1:48 to prevent imperfections in concrete surfaces from ponding water.
  • Floor and ground surfaces shall be stable, firm, and slip resistant and shall comply with 302.   A firm surface resists deformation by indentations on its surface.
  • Ramps.  Turning spaces, for wheelchairs and other mobility devices must park their mobility aids such as in wheelchair spaces, or maneuver to use elements such as at doors, fixtures, and telephones.
  •  Changes in level* greater than 1/2 inch (13 mm) high shall be ramped. “changes in level” refers to surfaces with slopes and to surfaces with abrupt rise exceeding that permitted in Section 303.3. Such changes in level are prohibited in required clear floor and ground spaces, turning spaces, and in similar spaces where people using wheelchairs and other mobility devices must park their mobility aids such as in wheelchair spaces, or maneuver to use elements such as at doors, fixtures, and telephones. The exception permits slopes not steeper than 1:48.

Failure to meet ADA standards can result in fines and lawsuits. This can be verified by calling the Department of Justice which enforces the law: (800) 514-0301 (voice); (800) 514-0383 (TTY)  www.ada.gov 

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One response to “Is Your HOA ADA Compliant? March 15, 2012 deadline”

  1. Dan Brandenstein says :

    http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/titleII_2010/titleII_2010_regulations.htm

    § 35.172 Investigations and compliance reviews.

    (a) The designated agency shall investigate complaints for which it is responsible under § 35.171.
    (b) The designated agency may conduct compliance reviews of public entities in order to ascertain whether there has been a failure to comply with the nondiscrimination requirements of this part.
    (c) Where appropriate, the designated agency shall attempt informal resolution of any matter being investigated under this section, and, if resolution is not achieved and a violation is found, issue to the public entity and the complainant, if any, a Letter of Findings that shall include—
    (1) Findings of fact and conclusions of law;
    (2) A description of a remedy for each violation found (including compensatory damages where appropriate); and
    (3) Notice of the rights and procedures available under paragraph (d) of this section and §§ 35.173 and 35.174.
    (d) At any time, the complainant may file a private suit pursuant to section 203 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 12133, whether or not the designated agency finds a violation.

    § 35.173 Voluntary compliance agreements

    (a) When the designated agency issues a noncompliance Letter of Findings, the designated agency shall—
    (1) Notify the Assistant Attorney General by forwarding a copy of the Letter of Findings to the Assistant Attorney General; and
    (2) Initiate negotiations with the public entity to secure compliance by voluntary means.
    (b) Where the designated agency is able to secure voluntary compliance, the voluntary compliance agreement shall—
    (1) Be in writing and signed by the parties;
    (2) Address each cited violation;
    (3) Specify the corrective or remedial action to be taken, within a stated period of time, to come into compliance;
    (4) Provide assurance that discrimination will not recur; and
    (5) Provide for enforcement by the Attorney General.

    § 35.174 Referral.

    If the public entity declines to enter into voluntary compliance negotiations or if negotiations are unsuccessful, the designated agency shall refer the matter to the Attorney General with a recommendation for appropriate action.

    § 35.175 Attorney’s fees.
    In any action or administrative proceeding commenced pursuant to the Act or this part, the court or agency, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee, including litigation expenses, and costs, and the United States shall be liable for the foregoing the same as a private individual.

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