Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans  with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to restoration  of damaged facilities under the Stafford Act. ADA requires that any building  or facility that is accessible to the public or any residence or workplace be  accessible to and useable by disabled persons.
   When FEMA provides assistance to replace a  damaged facility, the facility must meet applicable access requirements. FEMA  will provide funds to comply with ADA when replacing a facility, whether or  not the facility met compliance prior to the disaster. However, a new  facility funded as an alternate or improved project is limited to the  eligible funding for the original facility even when the new facility has to  comply with additional ADA requirements.
   For buildings eligible for repair, FEMA will  fund the cost of ADA compliance requirements to the damaged elements of the  facility. In addition, FEMA may fund ADA compliance requirements for  non-damaged elements associated with a path of travel for a primary function  area that is damaged. A primary function area is where a major activity  occurs for which the facility is intended, such as the dining area of a  cafeteria. For primary function areas, FEMA will fund ADA compliance  requirements for providing an accessible travel path and service facilities  up to 20 percent of the total cost of repair to the primary function  area.
   Non-damaged areas of a damaged facility are not  required to meet ADA requirements unless they are part of the travel path or  service facility to a damaged primary function area, as described  above.
   Applicants notified of an ADA violation prior to  the disaster and required to bring the facility into compliance are not  eligible to receive FEMA funding to comply with accessibility requirements  related to that violation.
   References: 44 CFR §206.226(d)
   36 CFR Part 1190
   28 CFR Part 35
   American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Access  Requirements, FEMA Policy 9525.5, dated October 26, 2000
   Public Assistance Guide, FEMA 322, pages 35-36


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