The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently considering revisions to
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards (the most recent version was
issued in July 2004), which some say could be "burdensome" for some
small businesses, reported the Wall Street Journal.
The revisions were proposed by the Access Board, the federal agency that created
the guidelines after the act was passed in 1990, and are currently being considered
by the DOJ. The Wall Street Journal reported that if accepted it would stand as
"the first sweeping revision of the landmark civil rights law designed to
make public facilities and employment more accessible to the disabled." The
revisions would apply to new construction only.
The changes, however, could be a concern for some small businesses.
"Small businesses are struggling to comply with ADA now under existing
requirements," said Thomas Sullivan, chief counsel of the office of Advocacy
for the U.S. Small Business Administration in the Wall Street Journal article.
"The specter of having a whole new layer piled on top of an already confusing
set of regulations terrifies small businesses
there is grave concern that
once small businesses have achieved compliance they will have to start all over
According to the article, the DOJ is considering the changes for a number of
reasons, including the fact that some disabled people believe the original ADA
rules "did not go far enough," as there are still many barriers to their
use in public facilities.