Architectural Barriers Act (1968)
Introduction to the ABA
The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 mandates that federal buildings be accessible to those with physical disabilities. Enforced by the U.S. Access Board, an independent federal agency responsible for developing accessibility guidelines, the ABA is considered the first federal disability rights legislation.
The Architectural Barriers Act
This law states that all true federal buildings, other than privately owned residential facilities, constructed by or on behalf of, or leased by the United States, or buildings financed in whole or in part by the United States must be physically accessible for people with disabilities. Federal agencies are responsible for ensuring compliance with the ABA standards when funding the design, construction, alteration, or leasing of facilities. The ABA can include federal courthouses, post offices, VA hospitals, federal administration buildings, buildings located in federal parks, and federal prisons. The ABA also covers non-federal facilities that are built with or altered using federal grants or loans, including public housing and public transit systems.