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Community and Internet Resources

Housing: Accessibility and the ADA

For information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Voice) 1-800-514-0301 or (TTY) 1-800-514-0383

Regional Listings:    New England States
State Listings:   IL / WI    (Official USPS State Abbreviations)


New Sign The Access Board is an independent Federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities. It operates with about 30 staff and a governing board of representatives from Federal departments and public members appointed by the President. Key responsibilities of the Board include:

For guidance on design requirements applicable to housing covered by the ADA, or to federally funded housing subject to the Architectural Barriers Act, contact the Board at (800) 872-2253 (voice), (800) 993-2822 (TTY), ta@access-board.gov (e-mail), or visit their website.

The Board regularly receives inquiries on accessible housing and the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, while the ADA does address a wide range of facilities, it does not apply to all types of housing. Public housing and other types of housing constructed or altered by state or local governments are subject to the ADA. The ADA also applies to facilities used on a transient basis, such as dormitories and hotels. Private housing, including apartments and condominiums, are not generally covered by the ADA, except for those portions that serve as places of public accommodations, such as sales and rental offices.

The ADA's limited coverage of housing is due in part to an existing law, the Fair Housing Amendments Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of disability, as well as race, color, gender, and religion. It covers housing in the public and private sectors and bans discrimination in any aspect of selling or renting housing. Under the law, new multifamily housing must be able to be adapted for accessibility according to established guidelines known as the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enforces the act and maintains the guidelines. See below.

Accessibility Guidelines Questions and Answers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

New Sign Institute for Human Centered Design, a nonprofit organization in Boston that promotes accessibility and universal design, founded in Boston in 1978 as Adaptive Environments, is an international non-governmental educational organization (NGO) committed to advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities through excellence in design. IHCD's work balances expertise in legally required accessibility with promotion of best practices in human-centered or universal design. For more information contact the Institute for Human Centered Design 200 Portland Street Suite 1 Boston, MA 02114 Phone: 617-695-1225 (v/tty) Fax: 617-482-8099 E-mail: info@HumanCenteredDesign.org

New Sign Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST is an initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and designed to promote compliance with the Fair Housing Act design and construction requirements. The program offers comprehensive and detailed instruction programs, useful online web resources, and a toll-free information line for technical guidance and support. Questions? Call our toll-free Design and Construction Resource Center: (888) 341-7781 (V/TTY). A training curriculum developed by a team of architects and housing accessibility experts includes modules covering the requirements of the act and other disability rights laws, enforcement, common design violations and solutions, and access to kitchens, bathrooms, and other spaces. Toll-free technical assistance is available by calling (888) 341-7781 (voice or TTY) on weekdays from 9 to 5 (ET), New England ADA & Accessible IT Center: 1-800-949-4232 (v/tty) or by sending an e-mail to mailto:contact@fairhousingfirst.org. HUD developed the program through a contract with BearingPoint, Inc., a business consulting and systems integration firm. Technical assistance is provided by Adaptive Environments, a nonprofit organization in Boston that promotes accessibility and universal design.

Standards for Accessible Design standards for new construction and alterations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for state and local government facilities. In addition, these are a good source for universal design concepts when building or remodeling private homes.

Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) is one of two standards (along with the Standards for Accessible Design) for new construction and alterations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for state and local government facilities. In addition, these are a good source for universal design concepts when building or remodeling private homes.

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Regional Listings

New Sign New England ADA & Accessible IT Center: 1-800-949-4232 (v/tty)

State Listings


Illinois Accessibility Code is available here for download in five PDF documents, the text, the illustrations, and the appendices. Also information on filing a complaint is available on this page.

Illinois Accessibility Code: Site Inspection Checklist includes information about what to take to make an accessibility evaluation and who to contact to file a complaint.


Official Website of the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services List of Administrative Codes. Accessibility Code - ADA Standards (WI Commercial Building Code, Chapter 62). State Document Sales, (800) 362-7253 or online at the link above.

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