Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the Status of Rulemaking Conference Call. At this time all participants are in a listen only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. If you should require assistance during the call, please depress the star followed by the zero. As a reminder, today''s conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to our host, Ms. Jennifer Bowerman.
Good morning and welcome. This is Jennifer Bowerman from the Region Five Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center. I would like to welcome our other two partnering regions, the Mid-Atlantic region and the Pacific region. Today we have a total of 110 sites dialing in for this status of rule making session, and we are honored to have with us David Capozzi the Director of the Office of Technical and Information Services from the U.S. Access Board to discuss the status of rulemaking under the U.S. Access Board. For those of you that have not participated on a conference call such as this before, briefly as the facilitator indicated before, you are in a listen only mode. What we will do for this session is the first half of the session we will open up for presentation by David Capozzi so he can discuss the status of rulemaking by the Access Board, and then the second half of the session we will open up for question and answer. The operator, at that time, will give you instructions. If you have a question that you would like to ask, the operator will give you instruction on how to queue into the system to ask your question. If you are a little shy about asking your question you can go ahead and fax that to us in advance here at the Great Lakes Center. If you want to take down our fax number it is 312-413-1856. And let me also indicate to you that this session, because of our time constraints, will be limited to questions only targeted towards rule making by the access board. If you have specific technical questions on the standards or that, we would encourage you to call your regional DBTAC and ask those questions of the technical assistance specialist there. At this point I would like to introduce David Capozzi, the Director of the Office of Technical and Information Services from the U.S. Access Board. David supervises a staff of 12 at the U.S. Access Board. There, the Board develops accessibility guidelines, provides technical assistance, delivers training and conducts research on accessibility standards. So, David, I would like to turn it over to you, and if you could give us a little update on all of the activity there at the Access Board.
I would like to talk about the rulemaking that is currently pending before the Access Board. There are six different rules that I would like to go over, all of which are in various forms of rulemaking, either a proposed rule or a final rule, or preparation for a proposed rule. So let me start at the beginning. The first rule I would like to talk about is our large revision to the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Guidelines. This rulemaking will revise ADAAG both in content, its structure, format, and figures. We will be updating ADAAG in its entirety. We will also be incorporating the provisions that we have recently issued for prisons and courthouses and children''s facilities into the body of ADAAG , and will be addressing housing accessibility as well. In addition, this rulemaking will revise the guidelines for the Architectural Barriers Act. Back in 1982 the Board issued what are called MGRAD, the Minimum Guidelines and Requirements for Accessible Design . They served as the basis for the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS ). The Board has responsibility to update MGRAD and that is what we are going to be doing with this rulemaking. It will be a two part rulemaking. One will be updating ADAAG , the other part will be updating MGRAD , which will serve as the basis for enforceable standards under the Architectural Barriers Act. When you see the proposed rule it will consist of different scoping sections for each law. There will be a scoping section for the ADA and a scoping section for the ABA, and then there will be a common technical section which will apply to both laws. The reason for us doing this combined rule is so that the federal government will be held to the same standard as state and local governments and the private sector. We think that is long overdue and this rulemaking has been a work in progress for some time. In March of this year the Board approved the text of the proposed rule, and we are preparing the rule to send to the Office of Management and Budget, which we must do, for review. We plan on sending that to them in July. OMB has 90 days by executive order to review both proposed and final rules, and we expect it will probably take the full 90 days. We are anticipating a proposed rule around October, and then we would have a 120 day comment period, and we plan two public hearings right now. We may add a third public hearing if it is published before the first week in November. We are planning on doing an out of town event in Boston in November, and if the proposed rule is published before that then we will add an additional public hearing at our out of town event before Boston conference in November. Tentatively, we will be conducting three public hearings. One in Washington D.C., one in Chicago, and one in Boston. So look for a proposed rule sometime in October or November. It will be a fairly large rule. We will be doing all new figures, all new commentary language. The guidelines will look very different than you are used to, but substantively most of the provisions won''t be changed. Substantive changes will be noted in the preamble. The second rulemaking I would like to talk about is our proposed rule for recreation facilities, and this will be addressing sports facilities, places of amusement or amusement parks, golf, including miniature golf, and boating and fishing facilities. The Board has already approved a proposed rule that has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for a review that was done at the end of February. Again, by executive order, they have until June 1st to review the rule. We have met with OMB staff and they have asked us some questions already on the proposed rule. We have given them our answers, and we anticipate they will clear the rule right around June 1st. So we will plan on publishing a proposed rule around the middle of June. We will have a 90 day comment period, and we will have one public hearing on August 24th in Dallas. Again, that is a proposed rule, and we are looking for publication around mid-June. The next rule is play areas, playgrounds. The Board had already issued a proposed rule back in April of last year. We held a public hearing in June in Denver, and we have analyzed the comments and are beginning to write the final rule. We have an ad hoc group of Board members that we are working with to draft the final rule. We anticipate a vote on the final rule at our September Board meeting, and then it would be published early next year. Again, once the Board approves the final rule in September, it has to go to OMB for review, so that is another 90 days, and then it would be published in the federal register early sometime next year. The next rulemaking is outdoor developed areas. This one is a little bit further away from being published. We have a regulatory negotiation committee that has been meeting since June of 1997, and the committee is expecting to present its report to the Access Board in September of this year. Because this is a regulatory negotiation committee, assuming that the committee achieves consensus, the agreement that the board makes with the committee is that the Board will publish their work as is, without change, as a proposed rule. Assuming that happens in September, then the Board would fairly rapidly publish a proposed rule sometime, probably the beginning of 2000 because, again, the rule still has to go through OMB clearance, so that would add another 90 days onto that rule. Right now we are planning on doing one public hearing and providing a 90 day comment period. But, again, this rule is a little bit further away than some of these others that I have already mentioned. Another rulemaking that the Board is working on deals with passenger vessels. And this rule making will address access to ferries, and cruise ships, and excursion boats and other vessels. We created an advisory committee. The committee started meeting in September of 1998, and has been meeting since then, and is expected to present a report with its recommendations for a proposed rule to the Board some time late in 2000. This rule making is much further away than any of the others. We don''t expect to publish a proposed rule until fiscal year 2001, so that is a ways away. When we publish the proposed rule we would conduct a 90 day comment period and hold at least one public hearing during the comment period. The next rulemaking is what we call Section 508, it deals with electronic and information technology purchased by the federal government. This one has been getting a lot of press recently, and some of it not very accurate dealing with how this rule will apply to websites offered by private entities. In fact, it won''t. The application of these standards and this law applies only to the federal government and contractors who contract with the federal government, and people who are seeking information from the federal government. It doesn''t really apply to the private sector at all. The Board is developing standards for electronic and information technology purchased by the federal government. The standards are required to be developed by February 2000. Essentially this applies to computers, software, telephone systems by the federal government, office equipment like fax machines and copier machines and other types of electronic office equipment. We created a federal advisory committee to give us recommendations on what these standards should include. The committee finished its work last week and presented its recommendations to the board on May 12th. We hope to publish a proposed rule in August and offer a 45 day comment period. We won''t be doing any public hearings because we are under a statutory deadline to issue final standards by February 2000. In this case, typically the Board issues guidelines and then another agency, either Department of Transportation or the Department of Justice, adopts them as standards which are then enforceable. In this case the Board was given standard setting authority under the Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998, and there still will be a two step process. The Board will issue standards in February 2000. Then the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, which writes the federal acquisition regulations, which are the bible of procurement offices of the federal government, will be adopting the Board''s standards and incorporating them into the FIRE, the federal acquisition regulations, six months after the Board publishes the standards. In this case the Board has standard setting authority, not guideline setting authority. There are a couple of other issues that are new to the Board that I would like to talk about, one just came up at the board meeting last week. You are going to have news that no one else has right now because we haven''t published this yet. At the Board''s May board meeting, the Board discussed its rulemaking plan for the next two years, including all of these issues that I have just discussed, and added an additional rulemaking on its agenda. That is to address access to public rights of way. And as many of you know, this is not a new rule for the Board. We have actually issued a proposed rule back in 1992, and then an interim final rule back in 1994. But then in 1998 when we issued final guidelines for prisons and courthouses we reserved provisions for public rights of way, meaning essentially that all of that work that preceded it is essentially in not enforceable, and so there is no rule for public rights of way at this point. Because of that lack of certainty and lack of specificity for public rights of way, particularly streets and sidewalks, the Board has agreed to again initiate rulemaking to tackle the issue of access to streets and sidewalks. We plan on doing yet another advisory committee. We will probably start that advisory committee around October, and it would meet for between six and eight months. Then the Board would issue a proposed rule after that committee finished its work. So that is a new item on our agenda, and one that we are trying to somewhat fast track because of its importance. There are a couple of pieces of legislation that we are keeping an eye on that might give us even yet more rule making responsibility. One is amendment to the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicap Act of 1984. You will recall that is an old law that applies to polling places and making polling places accessible. There is not a lot of teeth to it. In fact there is no teeth to enforce that law. Advocates are trying to structure amendments to the Voting Accessibility Act to improve the enforcement of the law, and also give the Board guideline setting authority for polling place accessibility and also the methods of voting. Right now the bill is S511. It was introduced in the Senate, and it gives the Board nine months to develop guidelines and the Department of Justice 12 months to develop standards. We have heard, through the grapevine, there has been some resistance on the part of both Democratic and Republican Senate members to this bill. So, it may not go as quickly as some would like it to go. In fact it may not go at all this session. There is some talk of a hearing in June. There is a plan for sort of what we would call an information meeting where the Senate is going to be inviting disability organizations, representatives from each state, and also manufacturers of loading equipment to come together and discuss some of the issues before there is action on the bill. So this one may actually be longer than some would like. There is another bill that could impact the Board, that is amendments to the Air Carrier Access Act. Again, some disability organizations are attempting to strengthen the enforcement of the Air Carrier Access Act. There is a small provision in a Senate bill that would require that the Department of Transportation to consult with the Board in developing a technical systems program. So that would not actually be rulemaking responsibilities, but it would somewhat impact on our programs. Those are the rulemaking issues that are before the Board. There is one other issue that I would like to talk about that is not really rulemaking but could have been, but isn''t. I would like to just explain why that is. We had received a petition for rulemaking about a year ago from a parent of a child with hearing impairment in Atlanta, Georgia. The petition asked the Board to develop accessibility requirements for schools for acoustics so that children with hearing impairments could benefit more from educational environments in primary schools and elementary schools. The Board issued what is called a request for information. We didn''t say that we would initiate rulemaking or that we wouldn''t initiate rulemaking, but we asked for information on what the options are, what research is in this area, opinions of educators, disability organizations, and others on these whole sets of issues. As a result of the requests for information, and also as a result of a new standard setting body within the Acoustical Society of America, the Board is going to work with this standard setting group called the Acoustical Society of America Working Group on Classroom Acoustics to develop voluntary private sector standards for acoustics in classrooms. Once that process is completed we have made a commitment to making sure that those standards are then enforceable through a variety of ways. We could work with the Department of Education to make compliance with those standards a part of Section 504 compliance or compliance with IDEA, or any other of a host of other ways of making sure those are enforceable. As soon as those are finalized, and we expect that will take about two years, then we will make sure that those voluntary private sector standards are enforceable. So that is a sort of a non-rulemaking approach that we are taking to classroom acoustics and we will see how that goes. Those are the rules that the Board has before it. I would be happy to take any questions, if my voice will hold out.
David, thank you for the information. That is exciting that we got to hear something first on the public rights of way. Maybe if you could go back a second and talk about originally how the public rights of way was reserved, and the outreach you had been planning and what communities might look to do in the interim of the development of those standards.
Sure, as I said we have already issued a proposed rule and an interim final rule. Then in 1995 the Board decided not to issue a final rule on public rights of way, but rather work with the voluntary standard setting groups like ASHTO, American Association of Street and Highway Transportation Officials, Federal Highway Administration and others involved in streets and sidewalk issues and pedestrian issues to provide them with training and technical assistance. We have done a great deal of that. Lois Thibalt has been on the road and providing training at most of the major trade conferences for the industry over the last few years, and has been developing public rights of way manual with help from the Federal Highway Administration. We expect that will be out soon. I know the second draft is on the street, and it has to go through one more review at Federal Highways before they publish that. That will be technical assistance that people can use in the interim before there are enforceable standards on access to public rights of way. So when you see that document, and we will make sure the DBTAC''s get it, that is probably the best source of information to follow when engineers and others are designing new streets and sidewalks, or making alterations to existing ones. So keep an eye out for that document.
Great. Let''s go to our AT&T moderator there. If you could come on and give instructions for people to dial in and ask questions.
Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to ask a question please depress the one on your touch tone phone. You will hear a tone indicating you have been placed in queue. You may remove yourself from queue at anytime by depressing the pound key on your touch tone phone. If you are using a speaker phone please pick up your handset before depressing the numbers. One moment please for our first question. We have a question from Universal Designers and Consultants. Please go ahead. Universal Designers, your line is open.
Yes, can you tell me, David, what is the name and where is that document available regarding public rights of way, the proposed standard at present?
Hi John. There is a second draft that is just about to be released and I don''t believe it has been circulated yet, but it is a second draft of a fairly lengthy manual on public rights of way. As I said, I will make sure all the DBTAC''s get that. It is a review copy right now.
Great, thanks John. Our next question.
We have a follow up question from Universal Designer Consultants. Please go ahead.
Thank you. David, what criteria does OMB use for the review and approval of the standards that you submit to them? How do they determine whether if they can go ahead or not?
Okay, it is essentially cost benefit analysis, and it is true for every federal agency. When they issue significant proposed or final rules, proposed and final rules have to go through OMB clearance. They make sure they adhere to administration policy and that the cost of the rules doesn''t outweigh the benefits. There is no magical formula to making sure that it passes OMB muster. We do a regulatory assessment, essentially outlining the impacts of the rule that it will have on various entities. Then cost out the rule as it relates to a baseline. Take, for example, our revisions to ADAAG . The price tag of this rule actually will be fairly small although the rule will be fairly large because the baseline against which we measure it is existing ADAAG , and so you already have an existing requirement. The only costs that are imposed are those that are in addition to what is already required. Baselines can be flexible so there is not only just one baseline. And again, in this case with ADAAG , the baseline is ADAAG . It is also UFAS because we are addressing the federal sector. Anything that is greater than what is currently required in UFAS would be a cost. Then you also look at industry practice. If industry practice would require something more than ADAAG currently requires, then maybe it is not a cost. There are multiple baselines that you have to look at. That is often the hardest thing to do is identify what the baseline is, and then measure how you have increased the proposed rule, or the final rule, over the baseline. We have a very good relationship with OMB and have never had a problem in getting our rules through.
Thanks John. David, I am wondering, while we are waiting for the next question to queue in, if you could possibly wet our whistle a little bit with any of the changes to look for in the new ADAAG .
I can''t comment too specifically on what the provisions are going to be, but I can say pay attention to certain areas. You will see that there is going to be significant changes to the alarms section. There will be significant changes to ATMs. There will be specific changes to assembly area seating. Our guess is that particular issue is going to be one of the most hotly debated, and so positive comments will be appreciated when you see the proposed rule for assembly areas. We are expecting that the industry is gearing up, and we know that they are. They are collecting data on usage of wheelchair seats and companion seats. They are going to be attacking the scoping provisions, not necessarily the technical provisions. That will be an area that we are expecting a lot of comment on. Those are the primary areas that we are expecting lots of comment on. Again, when you see the proposed rule it will look very different than ADAAG does now. It will have a completely new numbering system, a whole new organization, and all new figures as well. We are going to be laying it out differently so that the appendix material, which we will be calling Advisory Notes, will be located right near the provision instead of in the back of the book. The figures will also be located right next to the provision. There will be a provision figure and an appendix note all, hopefully, on the same page, or if not on the same page, very closely located. The appendix material, or the advisory notes, will be set off in a box and be shaded so that it is clearly labeled as advisory. It will be a whole new look to the guidelines.
And really one of the goals there was to make it a much more user friendly document.
Exactly. It parallels the new 1998 ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard. In fact the figures that are in the new ANSI standard, are figures that we developed and we have given them to ANSI so there would be more harmony between the ANSI standards and the Board''s guidelines. You will see that in the proposed rule too. In many regards it looks very much like ANSI. It will have the same numbering system. Many of the provisions will be the same. There will be some differences, and we will identify where those differences are. The main difference is that we are incorporating provisions dealing with prisons, courthouses, and children''s elements. Those weren''t covered by ANSI.
Do we have any more questions out there?
We do have a question from ADAInc. Please go ahead.
Yes, David, I wanted to ask a question about a publication that came out regarding access to pedestrian signals for people with visual or hearing disabilities. Is that information going to be incorporated in the public rights of way and proposed rules?
Yes, that will be an area that the advisory committee will be asked to address, as well as detectable warnings at intersections. It will be a fairly contentious group, I think, because they will have to deal with pedestrian, audible pedestrian signals, the technical warnings, curb ramps and other issues along the public right of way.
Our next question is from the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University. Please go ahead.
Yes, hi David. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about the attempt to amend the Voting Access Act. Who is working on the amendment, why you think it won''t pass this session, and what we might be able to do to support that effort?
The lead organization that is lobbying for this is Paralyzed Veterans of America. The person to talk to is Lee Page. They are also working through a coalition of groups. PVA is taking the lead on it with a lot of assistance from the Independent Living Center in New Hampshire, the Granite State Independent Living Center, and other groups as well. PVA has always taken a lead on this particular law. They were the lead organization back in 1984 when the law was originally enacted. My assessment of where it is at is based on what I have heard from PVA and from the Senate staffers that are working on this. The bill is in the Senate Rules Committee. I talked with the Chief Counsel of the Senate Rules Committee last week, on Thursday I believe it was. He was the one who indicated that they were planning on doing this meeting and that there was some level of opposition from members to vigorously enforce the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicap Act. I am not sure what will come of it, but I know there is some opposition already.
Thank you. Our next question.
Our next question is from Lawrence Field. Please go ahead.
The Board was working this past year on an ADAAG manual, a technical guide to the American with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines. Given that we are now moving fairly rapidly to a new ADAAG , does the Board still plan on producing and distributing that manual, or in fact is it already out and available?
Sorry, Larry, I will send you one. It is and most of the DBTAC''s should have theirs by now. It is being sold through the government printing office, but I will make sure you get a copy.
For those of you who are not familiar with the ADAAG technical assistance manual, it is a great resource manual to have. You can call your regional DBTAC at the phone number (800) 949-4232 and each of the DBTAC''s does have that available to order. Our next question.
Our next question comes from Carol County Government. Please go ahead.
Yes, David, I was wondering if you could give us, a two part question really. Any update on detectable warnings and if the Board is doing anything also with swimming pools, public swimming pools?
Detectable warnings, we had issued a final rule sometime ago suspending the requirements for detectable warnings until July 2001. So the only place that detectable warnings are required is along transit platform edges. But as I said, that issue will be dealt with in the advisory committee for public rights of way to determine whether or not, and if so, where detectable warnings should be required on a public right of way. As far as swimming pools, the proposed rule on recreation, which is at OMB now and should be cleared by June, will deal extensively with access into swimming pools. That is based on a research report that we had done by Indiana University, the National Center for Accessibility. When you see the proposed rule you will see there is a lot of attention paid to the variety of ways to access swimming pools. So, in fact, that takes up a good chunk of the proposed rule.
Great, our next question.
Our next question comes from Indiana ADA Steering Committee. Please go ahead.
I thank you for your time. The ADAAG Technical Assistance Manual that you were talking about earlier, what is in that and how are these proposed rules going to be affecting what is in that?
It is essentially a TA manual on existing ADAAG , sections 1-10. It is sort of a long overdue document, but it explains using some of the questions that we have gotten over the years, sort of the common questions that we get on application of ADAAG . We plan on updating it once we have a more stable document. When we have final rules for a new ADAAG , which won''t be for a couple of years, we would then do a new manual. The shelf life of this should be a good couple of years, and perhaps even longer because even if the Board publishes final rules, those are not enforceable until the Department of Justice, or Department of Transportation adopts them as standards. I should have noted that that is the case for prisons, courthouses and children''s facilities. We issued final rules on each of those, but they haven''t yet been adopted by the Department of Justice.
Thanks David. I am going to sneak in two questions here that we had faxed by the Maryland''s Code Administration. Actually for the Maryland''s Code Administration, one of your questions is a technical question on elevator and lifts that I would refer you back to your original center and have someone call you that can discuss that technical question. But the other question here is, David, if you could talk a little bit, you have several advisory committees, and you have had two regulatory negotiating committees, and you have the board working together. Can you discuss the issue of getting to consensus amongst those committees? How do you determine by what point you have gotten to consensus because so many times you have people coming from their various areas of vested interest and how do you bring all those groups together to come to your rulemaking?
That is a difficult one. We have employed advisory committees pretty extensively, really since I came here in 1992. We have been using advisory committees. Part of the reason for that is because before I joined the Board, I was involved in several advisory committees of regulatory negotiation on the Air Carrier Access Act, Advisory Committee on Handicap Parking with DOT, and then I chaired DOT''s advisory committee to do their ADA rules on vehicles and transportation service. I saw the benefit of bringing together various groups to have an impact on federal rule making because otherwise it is the agency doing it by themselves, and you as an advocate, or you as an industry representative don''t have input until it is too late, until the proposed rule is issued, and by then so much time has been invested in what is already written that the agency isn''t really open that much to change. I came at it from my past work as an advocate, and knowing that was the way to get inflow and to get your voice heard was by participating early rather than later. One of the reasons we use advisory committees also is for the buy in, to make sure that groups buy into the proposed rule, or the final rule, and then we will promote it. Hopefully you will see more voluntary compliance because of people''s participation in these advisory committees. Already on this call we have two of our former advisory committee members asking questions, Larry Field and John Salmen. They were involved in our ADAAG advisory committee. Consensus is sometimes hard to reach but usually not that difficult, if you give it time and let people discuss their issues in sort of a non-trapping way. We haven''t yet had a committee that has failed to reach consensus, and hopefully that will continue to be the case. I am not sure why that is. Some committees don''t meet consensus. What we try to do is not push them too hard. Or if there is a strong minority held position, our advisory committees can issue minority reports so that there is still a consensus report, and then maybe there is minority opinion attached to it. There are lots of ways of achieving consensus, and we think there are lots of benefits of using advisory committees. They take longer. They cost us more money. But we think there is a real benefit involving people. We know that we don''t have all the answers, and we know that most of the answers lie outside the Beltway. This is just a good way for us to get buy in and support and help when we need it. If we run into roadblocks at OMB or Congress, we can always turn back to our advisory committee members for help.
Thanks David. Do we have another question out there?
We do have a question from the League for the Blind and Disabled. Please go ahead.
Yes, the question is for the ADAAG technical assistance manual. First of all, can it be downloaded off the Access Board''s website? And second, if not, is it available in accessible format?
We don''t have it on our website yet. We haven''t made a decision on whether to put it up there. Yes it is available on accessible formats and you can get that from us.
Great, thank you. I am going to sneak one other fax question in here, David. This comes from Grusham Smith and Partners. Their question reads, you stated that Section 508 will not apply to the private sector, however we are a multi-disciplinary A&E firm who does work with the federal government. How will this affect us and others like us regarding the type of work we do, the electronic files we transfer, or any other type of day to day electronic communications that are required?
That is a good question. Section 508 essentially applies to the operations of federal agencies. That is the easy situation that computers and office machines, and what have you, that are purchased, maintained, used or developed by federal agencies have to meet the standards that the Access Board issues. If they are not then an individual can file a compliant with the agency, or they can go right to court and sue the agency. Now that is the easy situation. The more difficult situation is a contractor who is doing business with the federal government. Essentially the answer is if the contractor is using equipment that is necessary for the performance of the contract with the federal government, then that equipment that is necessary for that contract has to be accessible. But if, say, a group has a contract with the federal government to do, I don''t know, a technical systems brochure, and the product they are delivering to the government is a brochure, the fact that they developed it on a computer doesn''t mean the computer needs to be accessible. On the other hand the product they were delivering to a federal agency was a website, or a group was maintaining a website for the federal government, then website would have to be accessible even though it wasn''t done by the federal government, it was done by contract through a private organization for the federal government. Other stuff that a group has that they haven''t acquired as a result of a federal contract wouldn''t be covered. For example, if you are an architectural firm and you have 20 computers. Then you enter into a contract with the federal government to put up a website, not all of your computers have to be accessible, but at least the computer that is hosting that website would have to be. It is not a black or white situation for the contractors. It is a little bit more murky. Then in addition, not only the equipment that the federal government is purchasing, or leasing, or using, or maintaining, or developing has to be accessible, but also information that the federal government provides to the public has to be accessible to people that are seeking that information. If there is a kiosk, that is run by the post office. And through that kiosk you can buy stamps, or get information about zip codes, then that kiosk would have to meet the standard that websites that provide information, would have to be accessible as well.
Thanks David. We have time for a couple more questions.
Our next question is from Transcend ADA Info Center, Mid-Atlantic Region. Please go ahead.
Hi, this is Teresa Lompiski from Pittsburgh. I have a question regarding kiosks. I am wondering if there is a committee involved in standards for kiosks, and what might be happening in that arena right now.
When you see the proposed revisions to ADAAG , we will be dealing somewhat with ATM machines and interactive transaction machines in that. In addition our rule on Section 508 will address a whole variety of types of information dissemination equipment including kiosks. Then you can also look at our telecommunication guidelines. Those sort of broadly looked at can apply to information kiosks. In addition we did a research project with the Trace Center at the University of Wisconsin. They have a website on kiosk access, and that is the research report they did for the Board. There is a lot of good information there as well. That has been incorporated into our proposed rule on ADAAG .
That question kind of went back to the new ADAAG revisions. We have another question here that was faxed in from the Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living. The question is specific to the new ADAAG revisions. Are they going to take into consideration the BOCA standards and how will those work with the other model codes? I think you might have answered that a little bit as far as the new format, David.
Yes, they are going to be pretty consistent with the new ANSI standards, and we are looking at the new ICC scoping provisions. Keep in mind also this is just sort of serendipity that the chairman of the ANSI committee is also now a board member of the Access Board. There is a good deal of cross fertilization that will be going on to make sure that the private sector standards and the federal standards are much, much more consistent than they have been in the past.
Great. Let''s take one more question and then we will start to wrap up.
Thank you. Our final question is from Universal Designer and Consultants. Please go ahead.
This is related to the DOJ question that was asked earlier about adoption. I applaud your efforts here to combine ADAAG and ABA , and think it will make it a lot simpler for designers and owners and operators to follow the regulations. But relative to the adoption process, I was always under the impression that the Access Board has actually enforcement authority under the ABA , but not under ADAAG . So are there any plans on how to resolve this relative to the time frames it might take for DOJ to consider adoption?
Yes, and that is a good question. It is a little bit complicated with that particular rule, but all of our other rules, it is really DOJ that we have to worry about. But because we are combining this rule to deal with both ADAAG and the Architectural Barriers Act, you have essentially six standard setting agencies that we have to deal with. There are four standard setting agencies that develop the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards. That is the Postal Service, Defense, HUD , and the General Services Administration. Then you have got two standard setting agencies under the ADA Department of Justice and Department of Transportation. To get new standards for the ABA, Department of Justice and Department of Transportation would take the ADA scoping provisions and the common technical provisions and then adopt those. Then the four standard setting agencies of the Architectural Barriers Act would take the scoping provisions for the Architectural Barriers Act and the common technical provisions and adopt those, and then do a new rule. So that standard adoption process is going to be tricky. The good thing is that all of those agencies are on our Board, and so this is no surprise to any of them and I know Department of Justice, at least, is working on its proposed rule to amend the ABA standards. As far as the other agencies, I really can''t comment on where they are at, or what the time frame is going to be. You are right. We enforce the Architectural Barriers Act, but we only have rulemaking authority to issue the guidelines, the minimum guidelines or requirements for accessible design, and then the four standard setting agencies, adopt. We enforce the rule. So we can''t just issue a new rule. But we can issue new guidelines upon which the rule will be based. There is going to be political pressure, obviously, on each of these agencies to move and move quickly. When you have these new guidelines out, assuming that they are well received by people, and I think there is going to be a lot of pressure, especially on the feds to move forward on the new rule to make sure the federal government is held to the same standard as others are.
And that is certainly a point to make to look towards that notice of proposed rule making, and especially the period of public comment for organizations, whether or not it is professional architects and engineers, or advocacy organization like centers for independent living to put in their public comment. Well, David, I would like to thank you very much for this status of rulemaking update. We will certainly be connecting with you again in the future so you can continue to update us. For those sites that have dialed in, I would like to encourage you to complete your session evaluation. Your feedback is very important to us as we continue to develop this series. Next month, June 21st, we have a session featuring Sharon Rennert, attorney advisor from the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, and she is going to be discussing the new EEOC guidance on reasonable accommodation. So if you have not registered for that session I would encourage you to call your regional DBTAC and get more information on that. I know a lot of you had more questions out there, so please do feel free to call your regional center at (800) 949-4232 and also look to our websites for follow up information and continuing sessions. So, David, thank you and thank you to all of our 110 sites that dialed in today.
Thank you Jennifer.
That does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for your participation and for using the AT&T Executive Teleconference Service. You may now disconnect.