Saturday, May 10, 2008

History of Accessibility

Sometime it helps to learn about the past before pressing into the future. Accessibility is presently considered a civil right in the United States of America. I received the e-mail below from one of the most knowledgeable people in California on the subject.

From: Mankin, Michael []
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:51 AM
Well, no online history – just the Attorney General's site:

CA has little institutional memory, yet archives exist in various agency records where the law requires retention.  One of the best timelines is online at DREDF:

DSA had a ANSI standard applied to new state funded buildings from 1969 until 1982, but no path of travel for existing buildings until after that. Local enforcement followed suit in 1970.

I find that every administration develops its own version of history according to the current political agenda.

Here is federal timeline:



1961 ANSI publishes ANSI A117.1, Making Buildings Accessible to and Usable by the Physically Handicapped.

1965 Congress passes the Vocational Rehabilitation Amendment Act (P.L. 89-333).

1968 Congress passes the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) (P.L. 90-480).

1973 Congress passes the Rehabilitation Act (P.L. 93-112).

1978 Sections 502 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-112) are amended.

1980 ANSI publishes a revised version of ANSI A117.1, designated ANSI A117.1-1980.

1982 U.S. Access Board publishes Minimum Guidelines and Requirements for Accessible Design (MGRAD).

1984 Federal ABA rule-making agencies (HEW, DOD, HUD, USPO) publish Uniform Federal Accessibility Standard (UFAS).

1986 ANSI publishes revised version of ANSI A117.1, designated ANSI A117.1-1986.

1988 Congress passes the Fair Housing Amendments Act (P.L. 100-430).

1990 Congress passes the Americans with Disabilities Act (P.L. 101-336).

1991 U.S. Access Board publishes Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for  Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG).

1991 U.S. Departments of Justice and Transportation publish the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

1992 ANSI publishes a revised version of ANSI A117.1, designated CABO/ANSI A117.1-1992.

1995 Congress passes the Congressional Accountability Act.

1998 ANSI publishes a revised version of ANSI A117.1, designated CABO/ANSI A117.1-1998.

1998 Congress reauthorizes the Rehabilitation Act.

2004 U.S. Access Board publishes new Americans with Disabilities Act / Architectural Barriers Act   Accessibility Guideline (36 CFR Parts 1190 and 1191)

 Michael J. Mankin

Supervising Architect

Division of the State Architect, Headquarters Office

Department of General Services

1102 Q Street, Suite 5100

Sacramento, CA 95811-6550


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