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Americans with Disabilities: Access Requirements for Buildings in Florida.

Posted by Helena Grossberg on February 14, 2015
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Americans with Disabilities includes people with hearing or vision impairments, limited physical strength and those who use wheelchairs for mobility. The State of Florida has incorporated the Federal Americans with Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) into the Florida Statutes in Sections 553.501-.553.513, so that the state’s accessibility code is equivalent to federal standards.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a Federal civil rights law that provides important legal rights to some 50 million Americans with disabilities. Title III of the ADA was enacted to eliminate the obstacles faced by persons with disabilities in obtaining the full and equal enjoyment of the goods and services provided by America’s businesses. Title III of the ADA became effective on January 26, 1992 and applies to places of public accommodation.

Any public place that invites the general population is subject to Title III of the ADA. Examples of public accommodations include, but are not limited to, hotels, restaurants, bars, theaters, stadiums, auditoriums, bakeries, grocery stores, shopping centers, banks, shops, dry cleaners, professional offices, gas stations, libraries, museums, parks, schools, gyms and most other business establishments.

Buildings That Must Be Accessible: Most new buildings and remodeled areas are required to be accessible to Americans with Disabilities.

PUBLIC CONSTRUCTIONS – All public areas, where workers and employees must access the building.

CONDOMINIUMS, MULTI-FAMILIES, AND TOWNHOUSES: Units must comply with minimum requirements of the law.

PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION:  When part of a condominium, or new constructions, or renovated area, they must comply with the minimum requirements of the law.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:

  • At least one accessible building entrance on an accessible route.
  • Accessible and usable public and common use areas. All doors designed to allow passage by wheelchair users.
  • Accessible route into and through the dwelling unit.
  • Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls must be accessible.
  • Bathroom walls to contain reinforcements for later installation of grab bars around toilets, tubs, shower stalls and seats.
  • Kitchens and bathrooms must be accessible and contain adequate maneuvering space.

COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS: When remodeled, must have the following minimum access features:

  • At least  one entrance with signs at the inaccessible entrances.
  • A path-of-travel to the remodeled area. Access in the remodeled area itself.
  • Accessible toilet rooms that serve the remodeled areas Accessible drinking water.
  • Accessible parking areas and spaces near entrance area.  

For more information on disable access requirements, on resources, and exemptions, please contact our offices. 

  • Preconstruction Condo Map