Volume VI  Number 1            January 2011

Happy New year!!!  2011 is going to be an exciting year for us designers.  This is the year when the 2004 ADAAG/2010 Standards of Accessible Design become effective. We hope to make the transition easier by sharing with you highlights throughtout the year.

Save the dates

March 15, 2011

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is making the adopted the 2004 ADAAG and added some new provisions which then became the 2010 Standards of Accessible Design . March 15, 2011 is when these new Standards become EFFECTIVE.


Design professionals and building owners can choose to design and build per the 1991 ADAAG or the 2010 Standards


  • If you choose one of the guidelines to follow, you have to consistently use that guideline. You can't pick some rules from one and also the other.  
  • In an alteration, you can decide to alter an element per the 2010 Standards without triggering everything else to be upgraded.  For example if you want to remodel a water closet in a restroom, and follow the 2010 guidelines, you don't have to make the entire bathroom follow the guidelines.

 March 15, 2012


The Department of Justice is making the 2010 Standards of Accessible Design  MANDATORY for all commercial facilities and places of public accommodations.

  • If you apply for permit by March 15, 2012 you must use the 2010 Standards
  • Existing buildings that are already meeting the 1991 ADAAG are considererd a "Safe Harbour".  This means that an existing building that has been compliant per the original guidelines does not have to be brought up to compliance until such time that it is altered.
  • New scoped sections (like courtrooms and recreational facilities) are not a "safe harbour" because they were not part of the 1991 ADAAG and those will have to be brought up to compliance.  The DOJ will be helpful on how to do this.
Even though these Standards will be Federally mandatory, each State is still able to use and adopt their own standard or adopt this one.  Make sure you are aware what your State  is going to do as you start implementing the new guidelines on your project.
In This Issue
Milestone Dates
The ADA: Change you can believe in
Quick Links

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The ADA: Change you can believe in

This movie is a satire about President Obama and President Bush speaking on the old and new ADA. It was created on a website called ExtraNormal.com

Click here to view the movie


Need more information on the new ADA? Look for my commentary and explanations at my new book "The ADA Companion Guide" published by Wiley.

We are giving the following classess in the DFW area:

January 13, 2011
Women in Architecture Social Media and Architects
6:00 p.m. at the Center of Architecture in Dallas, Tx
January 19
FKP Architects: Understanding the 2010 Standards of Accessible Design
January 21
TRASA Annual Meeting.  Panel discussion on the 2010 Standards of Accessible Design
10:00 a.m. Round Rock Texas
January 25
TAID Class: Understanding the 2010 Standards of Accessible Design for Interior Designers
9:40 World Trade Center
 If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714