New ADA Standards for Accessible Design Are In Effect

As of March 15th, the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design are in full effect. The implementation of these rules represents an extension of the spirit and the strength of the American with Disabilities Act into the realm of recreation, thereby helping to ensure that people with disabilities will have equitable access to the mental and physical benefits of an active lifestyle. Though a couple provisions regarding pools and lifts have yet to go into effect due to a misunderstanding over their requirements, all other rules are now backed by the force of law. (You can read the full text of the standards here.)

This is a big moment for everyone who supports disability rights. BlazeSports is dedicated to the notion that everyone, regardless of the presence or absence of a disability, is entitled to pursue a vigorous, physically active life. Whether through elite sport or casual recreation, we all deserve the opportunity to play. These standards represent a codification of our values of equality and accessibility, and we couldn’t be happier.

It is important to note that these changes in no way represent a rollback of the original provisions of the ADA, nor do they open the floodgates to revisions that could imperil past legislative victories. Quite the contrary. They solidify the power of the ADA by making alterations that reflect the real challenges and needs of the disability community. This is truly a step forward, not just people with disabilities but for all of us with an interest in civil rights.

BlazeSports is happy to provide technical advice and to answer questions about the new standards. Please feel free to contact our policy staff at  202-312-7419 or acody@blazesports.org. If you believe that facilities in your community are not in compliance, you can also contact the Department of Justice’s ADA hotline at 1-800-514-0301.

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