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The Important Work of the U.S. Access Board

Blog 26, March 2024

US Access Board

The American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM) is proud of its support for the work of the U.S. Access Board. This independent federal agency promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of accessibility guidelines and standards. First created in 1973 to ensure access to federally funded facilities, the Access Board is now a leading source of information on accessible design.

In 2022, we spoke with Scott Windley, technical assistance coordinator at the Access Board, when he encouraged AAADM members to engage more with people with disabilities to discuss how the industry can improve the use of automatic doors. He also said, "I would also encourage AAADM to get involved with ANSI [American National Standards Institute] and contribute to its work on the Accessible Buildings Standard A117.1, which is the standard for accessibility requirements that is referenced in the International Building Code (IBC)."

The year before, in 2021, AAADM played a critical role in securing an accessibility victory with an update to IBC 1105.1.1, covering accessible entrances. It now stipulates that, in facilities meeting building occupant load thresholds for a number of common occupancies, public entrances that are required to be accessible shall have one door be either a full power-operated door or a low-energy power-operated door.

As part of its guide to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Access Board includes a chapter covering related IBC standards in depth.

Accessible building design is obviously a far-reaching subject, and automatic doors play a vital role in advancing these goals. For this reason, the Government Affairs Committee of AAADM is heavily involved in supporting the work and mission of the Access Board. That mission is to develop accessibility guidelines and standards so that people with disabilities can live independently when it comes to physical (and online) access.

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