S1323 / An act relative to the Architectural Access Board (AAB)
This legislation extends the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (AAB) to make it coextensive with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The bill would update the AAB’s jurisdiction where it falls short of ADA standards (AAB does not cover employee-only spaces that are covered by ADA). This change also provides for federal certification of the AAB code, meaning building owners and designers can ensure federal compliance when meeting state regulations.
Current Status: The bill has been ordered to a third reading in the Senate, where it will be checked for legal technicalities and proper citations. The Chapter is advocating in the Senate for final passage over to the House chamber.
The Architectural Access Board (“AAB”) is a regulatory agency within the Massachusetts Office of Public Safety. The AAB promulgates regulations that are designed to make public buildings accessible to, functional for and safe for use by persons with disabilities. The AAB’s regulations are designed to provide full and free use of buildings and facilities so that persons with disabilities may have the education, employment, living and recreational opportunities necessary to be as self-sufficient as possible and to assume full responsibilities as citizens. Although the purpose of the AAB’s regulations, in part, is to provide access to persons with disabilities so that they have employment opportunities, the AAB’s jurisdiction is flawed in that it does not cover areas of employment.