This post is a follow–up to our recent post on ramp slope requirements. This post will guide you through additional obligations for width, handrails, length and landings under the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board’s (MAAB) rules and regulations and the Americans with Disabilities Act Design Standards (ADA Design Standards).
The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) is pleased to announce the opening of the Municipal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Improvement Grant Program application and selection process. These grants will support capital improvements specifically dedicated to improving programmatic access for persons with disabilities.
Eligible applicants include any Massachusetts city, town, special purpose district and/or regional governmental organization. Grants of up to $250,000 will be awarded to successful applicants to remove barriers and to create and improve accessible features in cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth. Examples of eligible projects include the addition of features such as ramps, elevators, power lifts, signage, communication access devices, and curb cuts.
As MOD’s Assistant Director of Community Services, I wanted to spend some time discussing automatic door openers. This is a very common topic that I get asked about. To paraphrase Shakespeare, “Are automatic door openers required or not required at entrances?”
A new, “dynamic” design featuring the image of a person with a disability actively engaged in forward motion has been proposed. Advocates for this symbol argue that the International Symbol is outdated, portraying people with disabilities as passive and dependent on wheelchairs. Although many places and institutions are already using the active symbol, no alternative to the International Symbol has been formally adopted. In May 2015, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released an official interpretation of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) on alternative designs of the accessibility symbol.
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