Friday, September 7, 2012

BOMA International Advocacy Update - Accessibility Proposals

BOMA Weighs Accessibility Proposals

BOMA International’s codes consultant, Ron Burton, recently attended the ANSI/ICC A117.1 accessibility standard development committee meetings in Washington, D.C. The meetings began the discussion about proposed modifications to the latest edition of the standard: A117.1-2009. Over 300 proposed changes were received and must be processed by the committee.

During the meetings, some major issues of concern to BOMA members emerged. The majority of these issues were included in proposals to change the dimensions used to accommodate persons using wheeled mobility devices, including the latest motorized wheelchairs and scooters. In the development of the initial Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), following the enactment of the ADA in 1991, primary consideration was given only to the dimensions of manually operated wheelchairs. The latest proposed changes were triggered by the recent publication of a study of wheeled mobility devices by the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center) in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Buffalo. Accommodating various kinds of motorized mobility devices poses a major impact to the design of spaces within buildings and the location of “operating parts” such as light switches, electrical outlets, various wall mounted dispensers, plumbing fixture locations and heights, reach ranges over counters and more.

For a complete list of 2012 major proposed changes that have a direct effect on BOMA members, please refer to the Building Code and Voluntary Standards Committee team site at

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