The U.S. Access Board has released for public comment accessibility guidelines for
temporary housing provided by the government in emergencies and natural
disasters. The proposed guidelines would supplement the Board's Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines, which cover many types of
facilities, including dwelling units, by adding provisions that specifically
address emergency transportable housing. It would also supplement companion
guidelines the Board maintains under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), which
applies to federally funded facilities.
Emergency transportable housing units, which are designed and manufactured
for transport over roadways, have a smaller footprint than other types of
housing and pose unique accessibility challenges. Access to such housing was
found to be problematic in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The
proposed rule would revise certain provisions in the ADA and ABA guidelines to
address these types of units, including requirements for ramps, floor surfaces,
kitchens, showers, and bedrooms. The proposal would require additional features,
such as folding seats in roll-in showers, to improve accessibility. Some changes
are responsive to design constraints and would provide exceptions from certain
technical criteria for elements such as entry ramps under certain conditions.
Accessible communication features, including smoke alarms and weather alert
systems, are also addressed.
The proposed changes are based on consensus recommendations prepared by an
advisory panel organized by the Board, the Emergency Transportable Housing
Advisory Committee. This committee included representatives from disability
groups, industry and code groups, and government agencies, such as the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Housing and Urban
The proposed rule includes a discussion of these requirements that highlights
areas where additional information is sought. The deadline for comments on the
guidelines is August 17. Comments can be submitted or viewed at www.regulations.gov. The
Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed rule in Washington, D.C. on
July 11 that will provide an additional forum for submitting comment and will
offer a call-in option for those unable to attend in person. Additional details
are posted on the Board's website.
For further information, contact Marsha Mazz at email@example.com, (202) 272-0020
(v), or (202) 272-0076 (TTY).
Public Hearing on the Proposed Guidelines for Emergency Transportable
July 11, 9:30 - 11:30
Access Board Conference Center
1331 F Street, NW, Suite 800
Call-in option (listening only):
Dial: (517) 308-9247 or (888)
To submit comments by phone, contact
Kathy Johnson in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org, (202)
272-0041 (voice), or (202) 272-0065 (TTY).