The ADA requires the Access Board to ‘‘issue minimum guidelines that shall supplement the existing Minimum Guidelines and Requirements for Accessible Design for purposes of subchapters II and III of this chapter * * * to ensure that buildings, facilities, rail passenger cars, and vehicles are accessible, in terms of architecture and design, transportation, and communication, to individuals with disabilities.'' 42 U. Because the Department has adopted the 2004 ADAAG as part of its title II and title III regulations, once the Department's final rules become effective, the 2004 ADAAG will have legal effect with respect to the Department's title II and title III regulations and will cease to be mere guidance for those areas regulated by the Department. With respect to those areas regulated by DOT, these guidelines, as adopted by DOT have had legal effect since 2006. The passage of the ADA expanded the Access Board's responsibilities. For the purposes of title II, the Department's revised standards are entitled ‘‘The 2010 Standards for Accessible Design'' and consist of the 2004 ADAAG and the requirements in § 35.151. Under the Department's 1991 title III regulation, places of public accommodation and commercial facilities currently are required to comply with the 1991 Standards with respect to newly constructed or altered facilities. Appendix A of the 1991 title III regulation, which is republished as Appendix D to 28 CFR part 36, contains the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (1991 Standards), which were based upon the version of the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (1991 ADAAG) published by the Access Board on the same date. On July 26, 1991, the Department issued rules implementing title II and title III, which are codified at 28 CFR part 35 (title II) and part 36 (title III).The ANPRM dealt with the Department's responsibilities under both title II and title III. The Department extended the comment deadline by four months at the public's request. Many of the commenters responded to questions posed specifically by the Department, including questions regarding the Department's application of the 2004 ADAAG once adopted by the Department and the Department's regulatory assessment of the costs and benefits of particular elements. ADA Chapter 1 and ADA Chapter 2 of the 2004 ADA/ABA Guidelines provided scoping requirements for facilities subject to the ADA; ‘‘scoping'' is a term used in the 2004 ADA/ABA Guidelines to describe requirements that prescribe which elements and spaces— and, in some cases, how many—must comply with the technical specifications.
A public hearing was held on July 15, 2008, in Washington, D. Forty-five individuals testified in person or by phone. By the end of the 60- day comment period, the Department had received 4,435 comments addressing a broad range of issues many of which were common to the title II and title III NPRMs, from representatives of businesses and industries, State and local government agencies, disability advocacy organizations, and private individuals, many of which addressed issues common to both NPRMs.The Department notes that this rulemaking was unusual in that much of the proposed regulatory text and many of the questions asked across titles II and III were the same.Consequently, many of the commenters did not provide separate sets of documents for the proposed title II and title III rules, and in many instances, the commenters did not specify which title was being commented upon.Concurrently with the publication of this final rule for title II, the Department is publishing a final rule amending its ADA title III regulation, which covers nondiscrimination on the basis of disability by public accommodations and in commercial facilities. You may obtain copies of this rule in large print or on computer disk by calling the ADA Information Line listed above. While underscoring that the Department, as a member of the Access Board, already had reviewed comments provided to the Access Board during its development of the 2004 ADAAG, the Department specifically requested public comment on the potential application of the 2004 ADAAG to existing facilities.The Access Board was established by section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The extent to which the 2004 ADAAG is used with respect to the program access requirement in title II (as well as with respect to the barrier removal requirement applicable to existing facilities under title III) is within the sole discretion of the Department. By the end of the extended comment period, the Department had received more than 900 comments covering a broad range of issues. In 1998, the Access Board added specific guidelines on State and local government facilities, 63 FR 2000 (Jan. In 2000, the Access Board added specific guidelines on play areas. In September of 2002, the Access Board set forth specific guidelines on recreational facilities. The Access Board received more than 2,500 comments from individuals with disabilities, affected industries, State and local governments, and others.