Access New England Logo
 A publication of the New England ADA Center                                                             February 2012
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2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design Graphic DOJ's 2010 ADA Standards Become Mandatory March 15
Text provided by the U.S. Access Board


On March 15, the Department of Justice's updated ADA Standards (2010) will become mandatory for new construction and alterations covered by the ADA.  On the date, optional use of the original 1991 ADA standards will no longer be allowed.  DOJ adopted the updated standards in September 2010, but permitted continued use of the 1991 standards for 18 months to allow time for transitioning to the 2010 edition.  


Under DOJ's ADA regulations, the March 15 effective date applies to the date of the permit application or, where no permit is required, to the physical start of construction or alteration.  For public accommodations and commercial facilities covered by title III of the ADA, compliance with the 2010 standards is required where:

  • the date the last application for a building permit or permit extension is certified to be complete by a State, county, or local government is on or after March 15, 2012;
  • the date the last application for a building permit or permit extension is received by a State, county, or local government (where the government does not certify the completion of applications) is on or after March 15, 2012; or 
  • the start of physical construction or alteration (if no permit is required) is on or after March 15, 2012.

For state and local government facilities covered by title II, compliance with the 2010 standards is required where the physical start of construction or alteration occurs on or after March 15, 2012.  However, public transportation facilities, including bus stops and rail stations, are subject to ADA standards issued by the Department of Transportation (DOT), not DOJ.  DOT's updated ADA standards (2006), which are very similar to DOJ's 2010 edition, are already mandatory for public transportation facilities. 

Copies of the 2010 standards and related information are available on DOJ's website at
Snow in New England
Stories from Around New England 

Vermont Center for Independent Living Logo

Accessibility Group Forms in Burlington, Vermont  

Queen City to Focus on Access


Story courtesy of the Vermont Center for Independent Living


BURLINGTON - The Vermont Center for Independent Living announces the formation of the Burlington Access Focus Group to improve access for people with disabilities in downtown Burlington.


A recent compliance review by the U.S. Department of Justice of several Church Street Marketplace restaurants, as well as the publication of new DOJ standards for achieving accessibility, have spurred this group of community partners and citizens into action.


The Burlington Access Group is bringing together citizens, city government and local businesses to remove physical barriers experienced by people using wheelchairs, walkers and strollers, and increase access to programs and services for people who are Blind, Deaf, may have developmental disabilities, or compromised immune systems.

Sarah Launderville, VCIL's executive director, said, "Twenty years after the Americans with Disabilities Act, VCIL still receives calls from upset Vermonters and disappointed vacationers who cannot access local businesses. We hope that by bringing people together now, more small businesses will become accessible and more people will spend their money supporting our local economy."


Assessments are being conducted. Specific areas not meeting compliance with the ADA are being identified for enforcement. Sam Abel-Palmer, staff attorney with the Disability Law Project at Vermont Legal Aid, notes, "Accessibility has been the law for businesses and local governments for more than 20 years. The first goal is always to work together to achieve voluntary compliance. When that doesn't work, we need to look toward legal enforcement to ensure equal access for all people."


Burlington really needs to step up and take action, said former downtown resident Ian Smith. He recently relocated to Colchester because he feared for his safety when walking the few blocks from his Queen City apartment to the co-op."People were always bumping into me and my guide dog on Church Street. Some even yelled at me, asking if I was blind or something."I am blind!"


Business owners and individuals interested in joining the Burlington Access Focus Group should contact Mike Charron at VCIL: 1 800-639-1522 or  or 1-800-639-1522.


The Vermont Center for Independent Living, a nonprofit organization directed and staffed by individuals with disabilities, works to promote the dignity, independence and civil rights of Vermonters with disabilities. Like other independent living centers across the country, VCIL is committed to cross-disability services, the promotion of active citizenship and working with others to create services that support self-determination and full participation in community life.  


For more information you can also call Sarah Launderville at 1-800-639-1522.  

MV-! Accessible Taxi Cab Image Metro Taxi Rolls Out 'MV-1' Mobility Vehicle: Powered by Compressed Natural Gas and Wheelchair-Accessible

Story from

West Haven Connecticut's Metro Taxi, the state's largest, full-service taxicab company that spurred new legislation and brought the first wheelchair-accessible taxi cab to Connecticut in 2009, today rolled out the new "MV-1" mobility vehicle. The MV-1 is the world's first vehicle to be designed from the ground up as a wheelchair-accessible taxi and is powered by domestically-produced Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The MV-1 is also the only domestically-built cab that meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


Read the full story.

Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation Logo  "Quiet Day" at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation for children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

On the last Sunday of each month, The Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation in Waltham, Massachusetts hosts "Quiet Day" for children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), which affects a variety of disabilities.  


During Quiet Day, the museum will disable any exhibit that produces uncomfortable noise levels, equipment such as sound block headphones and weighted blankets will be offered, and a separate space for reducing stimuli will be available.  


The next Quiet Day we be held on February 29, 2012th,10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7.00 per adult and $5.00 per child, student or senior. Free to children under 6, active and retired US Military, and Museum members. For more information  or call 781 893 5410 or 617 823 5081.

Twitter Follow Me GraphicFebruary's Most Popular Stories from the @NewEngalndADA Twitter Feed

Steven Bassett, IHCD's Accessible ICT Specialist and Social Media Coordinator, has compiled a list of February's most popular stories from the New England ADA Center's Twitter feed. Click on the links below to learn more!


1. Video on Youtube. "Why do accessible parking spaces have to be level and what does 'level' mean?" @NWADACenter   

Why do accessible parking spaces have to be level?

'There's no such thing as a disability'   


Rachel Scdoris speaking at an elementary school on overcoming hardships
Rachel Scdo
3. National initiative to make disability history public and accessible. "It's Our Story" video series.

"It's Our Story is a national initiative to make disability history public and accessible; we've collected over 1,000 video interviews from disability leaders across the country. Now, we're making this critical aspect of American history public, accessible and interactive."


4.    Amelia Rivera, Mentally Disabled, May Get Kidney Transplant After All.

Amelia "Mia" Rivera needs a kidney transplant to live, but according to her mother, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has not recommended she be eligible.


Amelia Rivera
Amelia Rivera


 5.  "Apps aid aging and impaired" @AJC  #AT #a11y

 VaShaun Jones, who is legally blind, uses a Bluetooth keyboard and speech apps to surf the Web on his iPhone in his Atlanta apartment.

VaShuan Jones
VaShuan Jones
U S Falg
Stories from Other States 

U.S. Access Board Logo Upcoming Webinar on the ADA Standards to Address Common Questions

The next scheduled webinar in the U.S. Access Board's free monthly series will be held March 1 from 2:30 - 4:00 (ET) and review new provisions in the 2010 ADA Standards with a focus on areas where guidance or clarification is often requested. 

Board accessibility specialists will address frequently asked questions about the standards which become mandatory March 15 under Department of Justice regulations.  The webinar series is made available in cooperation with the national network of ADA Centers. 

For more information, including registration instructions, visit  Questions for the webinar can be submitted in advance through this website.  Archived copies of previous Board webinars are also available on the site.
Department of Justice Seal Information is Available from the Department of Justice about Requirements for Access to Swimming Pools

Whether hotels, motels, campgrounds and other businesses and organization that have swimming pools are required to install pool lifts by March 15 has been a controversial issue. Learn more by reading the following from the Department of Justice:

NCIL 30th Anniversary Conference Graphic Registration Now Open for NCILs 2012 Annual Conference on Independent Living  

The 2012 Annual Conference on Independent Living celebrates NCIL's 30th Anniversary!  If you are interested in attending, you can open the Annual Conference Guide in PDF or plain text to find everything you need to know about the 2012 Annual Conference.


You can then use the registration form or visit NCIL's online store, which gives you the ability to register multiple attendees with one transaction and accepts Discover, American Express, Visa and MasterCard.


 All registrations received and paid before March 11, 2012 are "Early Bird" registrations.

Transportation Security Administration Logo TSA Announces Helpline for Travelers with Disabilities      

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the launch of TSA Cares, a new helpline number designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions, prior to getting to the airport. Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787 2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.


When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance, either with information about screening that is relevant to the passenger's specific disability or medical condition, or the passenger may be referred to disability experts at TSA. TSA recommends that passengers call approximately 72 hours ahead of travel so that, when necessary, TSA Cares has the opportunity to coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager located at the airport.

Northeast ADA Center Logo Ten Points for Veterans to Consider When Returning to Work with a Disability


The Northeast ADA Center Employment & Disability Institute has a new ten-point fact sheet titled, You have a lot to Offer: Ten Points for Veterans to Consider When Returning to Work with a Disability. The fact sheet is available online and presents lots of useful information and links to additional resources. Fact sheet topics include:


  1. Focus on the right stuff.
  2. What about working and benefits?
  3. Some disabilities are obvious to others; some are not.
  4. Telling others about a disability when applying for a job-- It's a choice.
  5. Telling about a disability: Making a decision that's right for you.
  6. What is an accommodation?
  7. Asking for an accommodation.
  8. Think through what accommodations you might need.
  9. Getting an accommodation on the job is a right, not a "special favor" or a weakness.
  10. Myths about workers with disabilities-Don't buy into them!

 See the full fact sheet.

EEOC Logo  ADA, High School Diplomas and Employment Requirements


Office of Management and Budget Seal  President Obama Proposes 2013 Budget Priorities for People with Disabilities 

The Office of Management and Budget has released a fact sheet outlining President Obama's proposed 2013 budget priorities related to expanding opportunities for people with disabilities. Some of the fact sheet topics include support for workers with disabilities, disability related medical research and expanded passenger rail options.


Read the full fact sheet.