If you are concerned about access to a facility that may have been federally funded, you can file a complaint about it with the Access Board under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA). The ABA requires access to facilities designed, built or altered with Federal dollars or leased by Federal agencies. The law covers a wide range of facilities, including post offices, social security offices, prisons, and national parks. It also applies to non-government facilities that have received Federal funding, such as certain schools, public housing, and mass transit systems. Passed in 1968, the ABA stands as the first measure by Congress to ensure access to the built environment. Facilities that predate the law generally are not covered, but alterations or leases undertaken after the law took effect can trigger coverage.
The Board enforces the ABA by investigating complaints concerning particular facilities. Filing an ABA complaint with the Board is simple to do. All the Board needs is the name and address of the facility and a brief description of the barriers to accessibility. Additional information about the facility, such as when it was built or known sources of Federal funding, is helpful but not necessary. Personal information, including one’s name, is optional and, where provided, is kept confidential. Complaints can be submitted through this website, by e-mail, mail or fax.
The first step of an investigation is to determine whether the facility is covered by the law. Where a facility is covered by the ABA, the next step is to verify whether the facility meets the applicable accessibility standards. If it does not, then the Board will work with the responsible entities to develop a plan to bring the facility into compliance. Cases are closed only after the necessary correction action is completed.
If you are concerned about access to other types of facilities or to issues unrelated to building design, the Board can help direct you to the right resource.
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