Code Council Celebrates 50 Years of Accessibility Standard
In the 1950s, it became clear to many concerned citizens that architectural barriers made it difficult for people with disabilities to access everyday opportunities of education, recreation and employment. In 1959, at the request of a Presidential committee formed to address the issue, a conference was called to gather a diverse team of professionals committed to solving the problem. This would result in the 1961 publication of the A117.1 Standard’s first edition and an integral step towards creating buildings open to everyone. The Code Council has served as the A117.1 Secretariat since 1987.
“The Code Council is proud of its leadership role in shepherding the development of ICC A117.1 over the years,” said Code Council CEO Richard P. Weiland. “These critical updates represent a consensus approach from advocates and industry to promote a more accessible built environment.”
The A117.1 is developed through a public hearing and consensus process supervised by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This open process coupled with dedicated committee members who volunteer their expertise allow the A117.1 to evolve with the needs of the communities it serves. Today, the A117.1 is referenced by many federal documents, state accessibility laws and the International Building Code (IBC) adopted at the state or local level in 50 states plus Washington, D.C. Together, the A117.1 and IBC mesh the federal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing into a single document to streamline design, construction and inspection of accessible buildings. The current version, entitled ICC A117.1-2009 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, is now available in both print and electronic versions for added flexibility.
The Code Council congratulates all who have participated in the development and use of this important standard throughout the last 50 years. www.iccsafe.org/access.
The International Code Council is a member-focused association dedicated to helping the building safety community and construction industry provide safe and sustainable construction through the development of codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.