Find out what accessibility compliance changes may be coming your way

by Brianna Crandall — July 10, 2017 — The International Code Council (ICC) has released an update to the 2009 ICC A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities standard that provides greater accessibility to buildings for persons with physical disabilities and incorporates new elements of building design.

The 2017 standard is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) American National Standard and was developed through a consensus-based process that brings together all the stakeholders, including disability-rights groups, code officials, product manufacturers, design professionals, and facilities owners and managers.

The ICC A117.1 standard helps achieve uniformity in the technical design criteria in building codes that allow a person with a physical disability — such as the inability to walk, blindness or deafness — to independently get to, enter and use a facility. The standard is intended for adoption by government agencies and organizations to use in updating local building codes.

ICC Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO, stated:

ICC staff worked tirelessly to shepherd the 2017 version of the accessibility standard through the approval process. We’re pleased to present this updated standard, which takes into account the latest technology, such as powered wheelchairs and electric vehicles.

This updated edition of the standard continues to meet or exceed provisions with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines and the Fair Housing Design Guidelines. The standard includes:

  • For new buildings and additions, enhanced dimensions for clear floor space, turning space, and accessible routes for new buildings and additions;
  • Provisions incorporating many of the latest public right-of-way criteria for curb cuts, blended transitions, detectable warnings, diagonal parking and street parking;
  • New provisions to improve safety for accessible routes through parking lots, and to address accessibility at electric vehicle charging stations;
  • New provisions to facilitate the charging of powered wheelchairs in areas such as accessible hotel rooms and wheelchair seating in assembly spaces;
  • New provisions for water bottle filling stations, and spaces for sign language interpreter stations and video booths; and
  • A new section addressing classroom acoustics to reduce the intrusion of noises from outside the classroom and improve room acoustics.

To learn more about the new ICC A117.1-2017 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities standard, visit the ICC Web site.