Commercial Construction & Renovation

MAY-JUN 2017

Commercial Construction & Renovation helps our subscribers design, build and maintain better commercial facilities by delivering content to meet the information needs of today's high-level executives.

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ADA Q&A If you have questions, we have answers. AskBrad is an ADA Q&A designed to be your resource for Title III ADA questions. To submit a question, visit us at Disclaimer: "AskBrad" is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is provided with the understanding that Brad is not an attorney and is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services. Additionally, the ADA is subject to interpretation of the courts and the Department of Justice. If legal advice or other expert professional assistance is required, you must seek competent legal and professional advice. Brad Gaskins, AIA, CASp is a partner at The McIntosh Group and a leading expert on acces- sibility and Title III ADA Standards. He also is a continuing education provider and regularly leads presentations, seminars and webinars for profes- sional groups regarding accessibility nationwide. What percentage of U.S. businesses are compliant with the ADA? Further, what are some of the major common violations that cause issues? – Chase B. My guess would be around .01 percent. There is not a single building that The McIntosh Group has surveyed that has not had some sort of violation. Some of our clients are among the best in the nation, although, their buildings have only become compliant after our surveys and making adjustments. it does not have to be removed. But that does not excuse one from not providing access in some other manner. As far as in parking lots, you do have a bar- rier removal obligation, regardless of whether you repave. The trigger for removal of a barrier is simply that the barrier exists. You should ab- solutely make sure the lot is compliant. Do state ADA guidelines act as a companion document or extension to the national guidelines? – Paul A. There are no state ADA guidelines. There are building codes such as the ANSI A117.1, CBC Chapter 11, Florida Accessibility Standards, and Texas Accessibility Standards that must be complied with as part of the construction process. For example, California and Mas- sachusetts, also have a state civil rights law that mimics and in some instances exceeds the ADA. The requirement would be that the most stringent requirement of the ADA Standards, the state standards or local building code would need to be complied with. Must a complaint must be filed by someone in order for the Department of Justice to investigate an ADA violation? – Andrew A. No. A complaint is not required for the DOJ to take action. The DOJ can take ac- tion at any time on its own authority. If the handrail on the side of the toilet is 30 inches in lieu of 42 caused by a door location conflict, what process can we use to modify the ADA dimensional requirements? Is there a waiver of such a minor dimensional oversight? – Connie M. There is no provision for a waiver of the ADA Standards. It is a civil rights law and one cannot dis- criminate. The only option is to relocate the door. Can you elaborate on examples of when ADA compliance isn't required? – Zack R. As a civil rights law, ADA compliance is always required, but there are two reasons that barrier re- moval does not have to take place. These are when the barrier removals are "Technically Infeasible" and "Not Readily Achievable." • Technically infeasible has little likelihood of being accomplished (i.e., existing physical/ site constraints that prohibit compliance). • Readily achievable is easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense. Even though these sound simple, the determination actually is very complex and depends on many factors. If the barrier is "technically infeasible" or "not readily achievable" to remove, then COMMERCIAL TRANSFORMATIONS MAY/JUNE 2017 ISSUE 1 MCINTOSHTRANSFORMS.COM 182

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