Identifying Accessibility Standards

 When conducting a self-assessment or preparing for an on-site review, it is important to identify the accessibility standard that will be used to judge compliance for each of your facilities.  Each building or building modification will be judged based on the accessibility standard that was applicable at the time of its construction (groundbreaking) or at the time of alteration.  The following information will assist in identifying the proper accessibility standard for each facility.  Links to the text of each standard are embedded.  Please note, when corrective actions are required due to violations, all changes must be made to the most current standard (2010 ADA).

The accessibility standards are determined by the date the facility was constructed or last renovated by the institution.

  • Existing facilities: construction or alteration initiated before 6/4/77 – Readily Accessible Standard
  • New construction: construction or alteration initiated between 6/4/77 and 1/17/91 – ANSI A117, 1-1961 (R 197)
  • New construction: construction or alteration initiated on or after 1/18/91 – 1/27/92 –UFAS
  • New construction: construction on or after 1/28/92 – ADA AG or UFAS
  • New construction: construction on or after 3/15/2012 – 2010 ADA

Arrow Chart for Visual Representation of Compliance Standards and Associated Construction Dates
https://icsps.illinoisstate.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Accessibility-Arrow-Standards-chart.pdf

 

New or Existing Construction?

One significant factor in interpreting the standards provided is the identification of facilities as either new or existing construction.  The following guidance may be of assistance.

Under Section 504, all construction since June 1977 is new.
Under Title II, construction that began after January 26, 1992 is new.
Between these dates, the standard of new construction under Section 504 always applies.

 

Documentation

When preparing for an on-site review LEA's will be required to provide building information that allows the review team to accurately identify the accessibility standard associated with each building.  The LEA should be prepared to provided the following documents.

  • Date each building was originally construction
  • Date each building was most recently renovated
  • Maps showing location of modified vocational facilities
  • Maps showing location of CTE facilities
  • Enrollment demographics for each facility
  • Demographics of communities surrounding the facilities
  • Student demographics before and after facility modification
  • Blueprints and building plans
  • Renovation schedules
  • Maintenance records
  • Work orders or contracts indicating construction start dates
  • Location and description of separate facilities for students with disabilities
  • Location and description of accessible facilities in which public events are held (e.g. graduation exercises, plays)

 

Web Accessibility

As the internet continues to reshape the landscape of education, it is a LEA's duty to ensure that all information provided in an electronic format is accessible to all students.  The following are guidelines and resources to help you judge online accessibility and produce accessible online communications. This section is provided as a reference only.  Web accessibility is not currently within the scope of a civil rights review, however, inaccessible electronic content can create violations related to access for individuals with disabilities.  

The current legislative standards for online accessibility are outlined in the Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/communications-and-it/about-the-section-508-standards/section-508-standards

The World Wide Web Consortium document referenced in the 508 standards provides more specificity on providing the greatest accessibility:
https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/