Texas Access
State Licensed Registered Accessibility Specialists
Need Help? Call us Toll Free 1 + (800) 880-6986
Serving the greater areas of Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston/Galveston, Austin, and San Antonio
Dallas/Fort Worth: (972) 306-2800  |  Houston/Galveston: (713) 995-1993  |  Austin: (512) 940-4206  | San Antonio: (210) 319-4529

TDLR Related News and Events

September 1st, 2016 NEW
The Texas Dept. of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) proposes amendments to the Architectural Barriers Administrative Rules and the Procedures for Registered Accessibility Specialists.

To view the Proposed Architectural Barriers Administrative Rules, visit:
https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/ab/abprop.htm

To view the proposed amendments to the Procedures for Registered Accessibility Specialists, visit:
https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/ab/2016%20RAS%20Procedures%20Draft.pdf

This effort represents a substantial change.


March 20th, 2012
A revised Architectural Barriers Project Registration Form has been released by the TDLR.

Section 21 on the form asks if the project is funded by the tenant. This is very important since Exception 2 to Section 202.4 provides an exception to the requirement that a tenant alteration include areas along a path of travel under the landlord's control. In other words, alterations that are funded by the tenant and are limited to the tenant's occupied lease space, will not trigger a requirement that areas under the landlord's control also be altered to comply (accessible route, accessible parking, curb ramps, core toilet rooms, core drinking fountains, etc.).


March 16th, 2012
TDLR releases a 681 page document that provides a side by side comparison between the 1994 Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) and the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design which include guidelines issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA). This is the working document developed by the Department in 2010 to be used by the TDLR Architectural Barriers Advisory Board during the review and implementation of the 2012 TAS; therefore, it is intended for informational purposes only since it does not reflect all additions, changes, or revisions made to the final adopted edition of the 2012 TAS.


March 16th, 2012
TDLR issues it's first Technical Memorandum for the new 2012 standards concerning Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.
"Due to the adoption of the 2012 Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) on March 15, 2012, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has re-issued the Technical Memorandum (TM) applicable to electric vehicle charging stations. TM 2012-01 reflects the applicable sections of the 2012 TAS in lieu of sections of the 1994 TAS.  All Technical Memoranda issued prior to March 15, 2012 are now applicable only to construction projects eligible to comply with the 1994 TAS. Additional information about compliance dates for new construction and alterations of buildings and facilities subject to Chapter 469.003 is available on the TDLR's Elimination of Architectural Barriers page." 


March 1st, 2012
March 15th Effective Date of the new 2012 TAS --- Compliance Criteria Restated
Compliance with the 2012 TAS for new construction and alterations of all buildings and facilities subject to Chapter 469.003 is determined by:

•  the date the last application for a building permit or permit extension is certified to be complete by a State, county, or local government;
•  the date the last application for a building permit or permit extension is received by a State, county, or local government, where the government does not certify the completion of applications; or
•  the start of physical construction or alteration, if no building permit is required.


If that date is on or after March 15, 2012, then new construction and alterations must comply with the 2012 TAS. If that date is on or after April 1, 1994, and before March 15, 2012, then new construction and alterations must comply with either the 1994 TAS or the 2012 TAS."


January 13th, 2012
Interesting announcement today by the TDLR via it's email list server, in the form of what is called a "RAS Bulletin". RAS Bulletins are departmental notices that it sends out to RAS's on matters pertaining primarily to the RAS procedures.

Here's what the Bulletin says:

REGISTERED ACCESSIBILITY SPECIALIST BULLETIN - RAS Bulletin 023
January 13, 2012
RE: 2012 Texas Accessibility Standards

"The 2012 Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) will become effective March 15, 2012.

Prior to that time, a Registered Accessibility Specialist (RAS) will be permitted to apply the 2012 TAS to plan review and inspections required by Chapter 469.101 and 469.105 for buildings and facilities subject to compliance with Chapter 469.003 in accordance with the following:

Full Compliance with 2012 TAS: A variance will not be required to apply the 2012 TAS to plan review and inspections for newly constructed buildings and facilities where the scope of work will comply with the 2012 TAS in its entirety.

Partial Compliance with 2012 TAS: A variance will be required from the Department in accordance with the requirements of Rule 68.31 to apply sections of the 2012 TAS to plan review and inspections for any construction projects in which both the 1994 TAS and 2012 TAS are allowed.**

**Partial compliance with 2012 TAS will typically apply only to alteration and addition projects; however, it may also apply to newly constructed buildings and facilities that meet the compliance criteria to allow either the 1994 TAS or 2012 TAS; or may have been granted previous variances resulting in a project that will comply with sections from both standards."


January 11th, 2012
The TDLR erred in establishing the compliance criteria noted in the December 8th, 2011, entry below. Today it issued revised criteria that will be consistent with criteria established by the U.S. Department of Justice for public accommodations and commercial facilities. Here's the statement from the TDLR:

"It has been brought to the Department’s attention that buildings and facilities may be constructed or altered in violation of federal accessibility requirements if the Department allows compliance with the 2012 Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) to be based on the date a construction project is registered. Therefore, the compliance criteria for the 2012 TAS has been amended to be consistent with criteria established by the U.S. Department of Justice for public accommodations and commercial facilities.

Compliance with the 2012 TAS for new construction and alterations of all buildings and facilities subject to Chapter 469.003 is determined by:

•  the date the last application for a building permit or permit extension is certified to be complete by a State, county, or local government;
•  the date the last application for a building permit or permit extension is received by a State, county, or local government, where the government does not certify the completion of applications; or
•  the start of physical construction or alteration, if no building permit is required.

If that date is on or after March 15, 2012, then new construction and alterations must comply with the 2012 TAS. If that date is on or after April 1, 1994, and before March 15, 2012, then new construction and alterations must comply with either the 1994 TAS or the 2012 TAS."


December 8th, 2011 (ERROR - SEE ABOVE)
The TDLR issues the following statement:

The final draft of the 2012 Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) was approved for adoption by the Commission on November 1, 2011; however, the revised standards will not become effective until March 15, 2012. Until that time, compliance with the 1994 Texas Accessibility Standards is required.

Compliance with the 2012 TAS will be required on all buildings and facilities subject to Chapter 469.003 when:

- the construction project is registered with the Department on or after March 15, 2012; or
- the application for a building permit is issued by a state, county, or local government on or after March 15, 2012; or
- the commencement of construction begins on or after March 15, 2012.


November 3rd, 2011
In what will be a massive change that building owners, landlords, and property managers will be very happy with, is a last minute change in one of the scoping sections of the new 2012 TAS.

Current Section 4.1.6(2) has long been the triggering mechanism for review and inspection of other areas outside of tenant spaces, including the accessible route (including curb ramps), parking, core restrooms, core drinking fountains, and public pay telephones.

No more under the new standards! TDLR has now added an Exception in the new standards, that is consistent with 28 CFR part 36.403(d). Read Exception 2 below. If you guys aren't dancing a jig after reading this, then there's no hope for any of us.

"202.4 Alterations Affecting Primary Function Areas. In addition to the requirements of 202.3, an alteration that affects or could affect the usability of or access to an area containing a primary function shall be made so as to ensure that, to the maximum extent feasible, the path of travel to the altered area, including the parking areas, rest rooms, telephones, and drinking fountains serving the altered area, are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, unless such alterations are disproportionate to the overall alterations in terms of cost and scope. For purposes of ensuring compliance with requirements of Texas Government Code, Chapter 469, all determinations of maximum extent feasible and disproportionality are made by the Department in accordance with the variance procedures contained in Chapter 68, Texas Administrative Code. If elements of a path of travel at a subject building or facility that have been previously constructed or altered in accordance with the April 1, 1994 Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) they will enjoy safe harbor and are not required to be retrofitted to reflect the incremental changes in the 2012 TAS solely because of an alteration to a primary function area served by that path of travel. Those elements would be subject to compliance with the 2012 TAS only when the elements of a path of travel are being altered.

EXCEPTIONS:
1. Residential dwelling units shall not be required to comply with 202.4.

2. If a tenant is making alterations as defined in 106.5.5 that would trigger the requirements of this section, those alterations by the tenant in areas that only the tenant occupies do not trigger a path of travel obligation upon the landlord with respect to areas of the facility under the landlord´s authority, if those areas are not otherwise being altered."

(IN OTHER WORDS, IF THE PROJECT SCOPE IS LIMITED ONLY TO INTERIOR TENANT IMPROVEMENTS, THEN WE WON'T BE REVIEWING OR INSPECTING ANYTHING OUTSIDE OF THE TENANT SPACE!)


November 1st, 2011 NEW
In a monumental act, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation adopts the 2012 Texas Accessibility Standards as well as amendments to the Administrative Rules of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, 16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 68.


August 17th, 2011
Access Board to Hold Public Meetings in Dallas on September 12
For this year’s annual out-of-town meeting, the Access Board will travel to Dallas to hold public hearings and discussions on various accessibility topics on September 12 at the Sheraton Dallas. The agenda for the day includes a public hearing on the Board’s proposed guidelines for public rights-of-way, panel discussions on ADA certification of state codes and access to self-service transaction machines, and an open forum where members of the public can raise accessibility issues of interest or concern.


September 12, 2011
Sheraton Dallas, Houston Ballrooms A and B
400 North Olive Street Map
Dallas, TX 75201

Agenda
9:00 – 9:30 Welcome by former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and Board Members
9:30 – 11:30 Public Hearing on Proposed Guidelines for Public Rights-of-Way
2:30 – 4:00 Panel Discussions (ADA State Code Certification, Self-Service Machines)
4:00 – 5:00 Open Comment Session

All events are open to the public. Registration is not required. For further information, contact Kathy Johnson at johnson@access-board.gov, (202) 272-0041 (voice), or (202) 272-0065 (TTY).


August 16th, 2011
The Texas Department of Licensing has revised TM 08-01 which addresses the surface texture and contrast for curb ramps and issued TM 11-01 which addresses the accessibility requirements for electric vehicle charging stations. These Technical Memoranda become effective August 16, 2011 and are available on the TDLR website at http://www.license.state.tx.us/ab/techmemos.htm.


August 11th, 2011
During the Architectural Barriers Advisory Committee meeting, TDLR Executive Director William Kuntz announced that the new Standards and Rules will be posted at the department's website on August 22nd. The 30-day open public comment period will be from September 2nd through October 2nd. Also...

- The Board adopted TM 11-01 which addresses the requirements for electric vehicle charging stations. This new Technical Memorandum should be released soon.

- Upon recommendation by the Texas Society of Architects, the Board voted and approved the inclusion of the Safe Harbor provisions in the draft of the 2012 TAS.

- Upon recommendation by TDLR staff, the Board approved Registered Accessibility Specialists assisting with the preparation of variance applications. TDLR Rule 68.76(e)(4) will be modified to reflect the change in the revised Rules.

- The Board established March 15th, 2012, as the effective date of the new 2012 Texas Accessibility Standards.


August 5th, 2011
The Architectural Barriers Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet Thursday, August 11 at 10:00 a.m. at TDLR's North Campus in Austin.

The agenda is now available on TDLR's web site.

The meeting will be broadcast and available for viewing on RealPlayer.


May 31st, 2011
An advanced posting of the proposed 2012 state accessibility standards is now available on TDLR's web site. The direct link to the PDF is http://www.license.state.tx.us/ab/TAS%202012%20Draft.pdf. The file is 2.7MB.

Should you wish to offer comment on the proposed standards, they may be addressed to erule.comments@license.state.tx.us.

The proposed standards will be formally posted with the Texas Register as required by the Administrative Procedures Act later this summer.

If you have difficulty accessing the above PDF from TDLR's website, click here.


November 15th, 2010
The U.S. Department of Justice has assembled an official online version, in HTML and PDF, of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards) to bring together the information in one easy-to-access location. It provides the scoping and technical requirements for new construction and alterations resulting from the adoption of revised 2010 Standards in the final rules for Title II (28 CFR part 35) and Title III (28 CFR part 36).

The Department has also compiled guidance on the 2010 Standards from the revised regulations for Titles II and III. This explanatory information from the regulations addresses the scoping and technical provisions of the 2010 Standards.

The direct link to the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and the Guidance is: http://www.ada.gov/2010ADAstandards_index.htm.


September 15th, 2010
Today, the Department’s revised ADA regulations were published in the Federal Register. The revised regulations amend the Department’s title II regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35 for State and local governments, and the title III regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 36 for places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.

These final rules will take effect March 15, 2011. Compliance with the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design is permitted as of September 15, 2010, but not required until March 15, 2012. The Department has prepared fact sheets identifying the major changes in the rules.

Links to the HTML and PDF versions of the revised ADA regulations and fact sheets are available at this link.


July 26th, 2010
Revised ADA Regulations Implementing Title II and Title III

On Friday, July 23, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder signed final regulations revising the Department’s ADA regulations, including its ADA Standards for Accessible Design. These regulations will be published in the Federal Register. The revised regulations will amend the Department’s Title II regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35, and the Title III regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 36. Appendix A to each regulation includes a section by section analysis of the rule and responses to public comments on the proposed rule. Appendix B to the Title III regulation discusses major changes in the ADA Standards for Accessible Design and responds to public comments received on the proposed rules. The Department’s Final Regulatory Impact Analysis will be posted on this page as soon as it is available.

In general, these final rules will take effect 6 months after the date on which they are published in the Federal Register. Compliance with the 2010 Standards for Accessible design is permitted after that date, but not required until 18 months after the date of publication. The Department has prepared fact sheets identifying the major changes in the rules.

2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design Section-by-Section Analysis:
http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/titleIII_2010/reg3_2010_appendix_b.htm

Adoption of the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design:
http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/factsheets/2010_Standards_factsheet.html

Highlights of the Final Rule:
http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/factsheets/title3_factsheet.html

Excerpt: Effective Date. The rule will become effective six months after publication in the Federal Register. Eighteen months after publication, compliance with the 2010 Standards will be required for new construction and alterations and barrier removal. In the period between the effective date and the compliance date, covered entities may choose between the 1991 Standards and the 2010 Standards. Covered entities that should have complied with the 1991 Standards during any new construction or alteration of facilities or elements, but have not done so by 18 months after the date of publication of the final rule, must comply with the 2010 Standards."

Reference: http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/ADAregs2010.htm


June 23rd, 2010
Justice Department Advances Update of ADA Regulations

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is moving to issue final rules that would update its ADA regulations, including standards governing the construction and alteration of facilities covered by the law. On April 26, DOJ submitted final rules to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval. If cleared within OMB's standard 90-day review period, DOJ may publish the updated regulations in late July or early August.

DOJ's new rules will update its ADA regulations for state and local governments under title II and those for public accommodations and commercial entities covered by title III. The pending regulations will implement with effective dates new ADA standards for title II and title III facilities that are closely based on updated guidelines previously issued by the Board. In addition, the final rules, which DOJ made available for public comment in 2008, will revise or supplement other sections of DOJ's regulations, including those covering existing facilities, service animals, policies and programs, maintenance of accessible features, auxiliary aids and services, and effective communication. DOJ had planned to issue the regulations in early 2009 but delayed publication in order to give officials of the incoming Obama Administration an opportunity to review them. For more information, visit DOJ's website at www.ada.gov. Visitors to the site can subscribe to email updates from DOJ on this and other Department activities.

DOJ's standards apply to all facilities covered by the ADA except transportation facilities, which are subject to standards issued by the Department of Transportation (DOT). DOT has already implemented updated ADA standards for transportation facilities. Similar standards are also in place under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) for most federally funded facilities. Housing facilities covered by the ABA currently remain subject to earlier standards pending the adoption of new standards by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Further information on the status of ADA and ABA standards is available on the Board's website at www.access-board.gov/ada-aba/guide.htm.


January 28th, 2010
During the Texas Registered Accessibility Specialists (TRASA) Annual Meeting in Round Rock, Texas, Sally Conway, Director of the ADA Technical Assistance and Mediation Program for the U.S. Dept of Justice, estimated that we are still about a year away from publication of the proposed revisions to the ADA Standards. An implementation date would add another 6 to 12 months, so at minimum we are 2 years away from mandatory application of any new standards.


September 5th, 2009
Great news for design professionals!

From the TDLR: House Bill 1055, passed by the 81st Texas Legislature, amends Texas Government Code, Chapter 469, §469.102(b) relating to the procedure for submitting certain plans and specifications of buildings or facilities for the purpose of eliminating architectural barriers encountered by persons with disabilities. Plans and specifications are to submitted not later than the 20th day after the date the plans and specifications are issued. If plans and specifications are issued on more than one date, they shall also be submitted not later than the 20th day after each date the plans and specifications are issued.


September 2nd, 2009
From the TDLR: The Architectural Barriers Program will issue revisions to Administrative Rule 68.50(a) changing the requirement for design professionals to submit construction documents from five days to twenty days following the date the drawings are issued. This change is required by HB-1055 and goes into effect September 1, 2009.


September 1st, 2009
The TDLR Architectural Barriers project registration system begins assigning the prefix letter "B" to elimination of architectural barriers project numbers. As an example, EABPRJ A1234567 now becomes EABPRJ B1234567.


January 21, 2009
Proposed ADA Regulations Withdrawn from OMB Review

On January 21, 2009, the Department of Justice notified the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that the Department has withdrawn its draft final rules to amend the Department’s regulations implementing title II and title III from the OMB review process. This action was taken in response to a memorandum from the President’s Chief of Staff directing the Executive Branch agencies to defer publication of any new regulations until the rules are reviewed and approved by officials appointed by President Obama. No final action will be taken by the Department with respect to these rules until the incoming officials have had the opportunity to review the rulemaking record. Incoming officials will have the full range of rule-making options available to them under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Withdrawal of the draft final rules does not affect existing ADA regulations. Title II and title III entities must continue to follow the Department's existing ADA regulations, including the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.


January 8th, 2009
Justice Department Submits Revised ADA Regulations to OMB

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently completed a major step in the update of its ADA regulations by submitting final rules to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance. The rules include updated regulations for state and local governments covered by title II and revised regulations for places of public accommodation and commercial facilities subject to title III.

DOJ finalized the rules according to public comment it received on proposed versions published last June. The new rules would update enforceable standards for title II and title III facilities according to the Board’s revised ADA guidelines.

OMB must approve the rules before DOJ can proceed to publish them in the Federal Register. Information on the status of OMB’s review is available online at www.reginfo.gov. Further updates on this rulemaking will be posted on the Board’s website. For more information, contact DOJ at 800-514-0301 (v) or 800-514-0383 (TTY).


October 9th, 2008
Official TDLR News Release:

For Immediate Release
October 8, 2008
Media Contact: Susan Stanford
(512) 463-3208

Online AB Project Registration and Payment Available October 15th - New Payment Option Quick and Easy

Starting October 15th the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation will accept Architectural Barrier (AB) project registration payment online. Online payment must be made using a credit or debit card.

The new payment option allows a TDLR project number to be assigned immediately and ensures the property/facility owner can conveniently register their project in accordance with state law.

AB projects may still be registered by downloading, completing and submitting by mail a Project Registration Form with the applicable fees.


June 16th, 2008
TDLR issues Technical Memorandum 08-01, regarding Curb Ramps – Surface Texture/Contrast, Administrative Rule 68.102(b)(2) and TAS 4.7.4.

This very important Technical Memorandum provides critical clarifications of the requirements for curb ramps located in the Public Right-of-Way, and curb ramps NOT located in the Public Right-of-Way.

Also of great importance is that this Technical Memorandum supersedes TM 99-15, which is now no longer effective. That Technical Memorandum provided, in part, guidance for achieving foot detectability through the use of grooves on curb ramp surfaces. In short, grooves are no longer acceptable in lieu of providing a compliant detectable warning surface (truncated domes complying with TAS 4.29.2).

As an internal policy, Texas Access will begin requiring compliance with TAS 4.29.2 on all projects registered with the Texas Dept. of Licensing and Regulation on or after July 1st, 2008.


May 2nd, 2008
The TDLR has issued notice that the Architectural Barriers Project Registration Form and the AB Project Registration Confirmation page no longer require an Owner's signature!

The state has updated its online project registration process to remove the signature portion from the resulting confirmation page, and has update the registration form to remove any signature requirement.

We have posted the revised Architectural Barriers Project Registration Form on the Forms page.


January 25th, 2008
On Thursday, January 24th, Mr. Robert Posey, Architectural Barriers Program Manager for the Texas Dept. of Licensing and Regulation, informed the members of the Texas Registered Accessibility Specialist Association (TRASA) at its annual meeting in Austin, Texas, that the following changes are effective immediately:

(1) The TDLR Proof of Submission Form (POS) has been updated by the TDLR and a link to the form is provided on the Forms page at this website.

(2) TDLR forms may now by submitted to us by mail, courier, fax, photocopy, or email in pdf format. There are NO restrictions except that, as always, the forms MUST BE FULLY COMPLETED, SIGNED AND DATED, or your project may be delayed.


April 1st, 2007
The revised Administrative Rules and RAS Procedures of the Texas Dept. of Licensing and Regulation are now in effect.


February 14th, 2007
Effective date of the new Administrative Rules of the TDLR is March 1st, 2007


November 14th, 2006
The Architectural Barriers Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. in the 7th Floor Public Meeting Room of the E.O. Thompson State Office Building, located at 920 Colorado Street in Austin. This meeting will be broadcast on Real Audio. The agenda is available online at http://www.license.state.tx.us/Agendas/AdvisoryBrdAgendas/abagenda112806.htm


October 20, 2006
Today the Texas Dept. of Licensing and Regulation issued formal notice that the proposed Rules have been published in the October 20, 2006, issue of the Texas Register at 31 TexReg 8603. TDLR is accepting comments on the proposal until November 20, 2006.

The changes are very substantial in nature and affect design professionals and property owners as well as Registered Accessibility Specialists. See the July 18th posting below for more details. To view the proposed Rule changes, visit the TDLR's website at: http://www.license.state.tx.us/ab/abprop.htm

Written comments should be submitted by the November 20th deadline to:

Caroline Jackson, Legal Assistant
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
P.O. Box 12157
Austin, Texas 78711

Submit by Email to: erule.comments@license.state.tx.us
or by facsimile to: (512) 475-3032


July 18th, 2006
Some significant changes are coming to the TDLR Administrative Rules. TDLR staff has made recommendations to the AB Advisory Board pending the results of the open public comment period, which should begin mid-August. We'll update this site when they become effective down the road, but here's an early peek.

(1) Changes to the Definitions section as well as the Exemptions.

(2) The design professional or Owner must include a "Proof of Submission" form with the construction documents.

(3) The fees and Architectural Barriers Project Registration Confirmation Page may no longer be submitted within 14 days of submitting the documents. Fees must be included at the time of submittal.

(4) The Owner will be advised of the plan review findings, where before, only the design professional typically received the plan review results.

(5) It appears that RAS's may no longer be allowed to issue Conditional Approvals resulting from a plan review, and that reviews will either be approved or disapproved.

(6) The requirement that the Owner request the final inspection within 30 days of project completion is being removed from the language. The Owner must obtain the inspection not later than the first anniversary of the completion of construction.

(7) A new Request for Inspection form is being proposed. This new form will be required by the inspecting RAS, from the Owner, prior to proceeding with the inspection.

(8) A new Notice of Substantial Compliance Request Form is being created, that Owner's must submit to the TDLR in order to obtain a Notice of Substantial Compliance.

(9) Registered Accessibility Specialists will be required to acquire Continuing Education credits.


December, 2005
New Accessibility Standards Adopted for Federal Facilities

The General Services Administration (GSA) has adopted new accessibility standards for federally funded facilities based on updated guidelines the Board issued in 2004. The adopted standards will apply to a wide range of new or altered buildings under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), which requires access to facilities designed, built, altered or leased with Federal money. “GSA was eager to adopt the new standards,” noted David L. Bibb, Acting GSA Administrator and Vice Chair of the Board, “because they will ensure greater access to all types of Federal buildings while making compliance easier.”

The standards apply to the design and construction of new facilities, altered areas of existing facilities, and leased facilities. As indicated in a notice GSA published in the Federal Register on November 8, the new standards will apply to construction and alterations that commence after May 8, 2006, and to leases entered into after this date. Compliance with the previous standards, the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards, will be permitted for construction and alterations that begin before this date and for projects whose design is substantially complete by this date.

As adopted by the GSA, the standards apply to all federally funded facilities, except residential, postal, and military facilities, which are covered by standards maintained by other Federal agencies. Last May, the U.S. Postal Service similarly updated its standards which govern post offices and other postal facilities. The departments of Housing and Urban Development and Defense will follow suit and complete the implementation of new standards under the ABA.

New standards based on the Board’s guidelines also must be adopted under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which complements the ABA by ensuring access to facilities in the private and state and local government sectors. ADA standards are maintained by the Department of Justice and, in the case of transit facilities, the Department of Transportation. The Board updated its ABA and ADA guidelines jointly in order to establish a uniform level of accessibility under both laws.

Further information on the status of efforts to issue new standards under the ABA and ADA, including the recent action by GSA and links to its notice, is posted on the Board’s website at www.access-board.gov/ada-aba/standards-update.htm


July 1st, 2005
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation readopts 16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 68, Elimination of Architectural Barriers in accordance with Texas Government Code, §2001.039.

The rule review adoption was filed with the Texas Register on July 1, 2005, and will be published in the July 15, 2005, issue of the Texas Register.


June 16th, 2005
TDLR releases a power point presentation titled Overview of Changes, that was utilized on April 4th and 5th for the purposes of clarifying the recent Rules changes.


January 18th, 2005 IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM TDLR!
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation adopts amendments to 16 Texas Administrative Code ("TAC), Chapter 68, Elimination of Architectural Barriers, §§68.1, 68.10, 68.20, 68.30, 68.31, 68.50, 68.51, 68.52, 68.53, 68.54, 68.65, 68.70, 68.74, 68.75, 68.76, 68.79, 68.80, 68.90, 68.93, 68.100, and 68.101 and new rules §68.102 and §68.103 concerning project filing and inspection filing fees, and updating and clarifying key terms in the architectural barriers rules.

The adoption was filed with the Texas Register on January 12, 2005, and will be published in the January 28, 2005, issue of the Texas Register. The rules became effective February 1, 2005.

The justification and the adopted rule may be viewed ( http://www.license.state.tx.us/ab/abprop.htm ) by visiting TDLR's website.

Here is a partial list of the new changes:

- The review filing fee and inspection filing fee has been eliminated. A new onetime Project Filing Fee of $175.00 has been established. This fee must be paid at time of project submittal. See the revised Fee Schedule for the new fees.

- Several definitions have been added and clarified.

- Exemptions have been added and clarified.

- Requires the TDLR Project Registration Form and applicable fees to be submitted within 14 calendar days after the design professional or owner submits the construction documents.

- Clarifies RAS involvement in submitting or preparing a variance for which they have provided review or inspections services.

- Scoping and application provisions for public right-of-way projects have been added.

- Allows specific alternative standards to be accepted as meeting or exceeding the requirements of TAS for detention and correctional facilities.


September 30th, 2004
The Department of Justice has published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to begin the process of revising the Department's ADA regulations to adopt design standards that are consistent with the revised ADA Accessibility Guidelines published by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (also known as the Access Board) on July 23, 2004. Members of the public may submit comments until January 28, 2005. Click here to learn more.


September 8th, 2004
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is proposing amendments to existing rules of the architectural barriers program. The proposed changes may be viewed online at TDLR's website.


August 31st, 2004
Highlights of the Architectural Barriers Advisory Committee Meeting held today at the E.O. Thompson Building in Austin:

- David Gonzales has left the Program Manager position and is now the Building & Mechanical Manager. Gary Olivares has replaced Mr. Gonzales.

- Continuing education program for licensed RAS's is currently under development.

- Revisions to the Administrative Rules will be published this Friday in the Texas Register.

- The TDLR will be lowering the Plan Review Filing Fee and Inspection Filing Fees. They will be combined into one filing fee ($175.00), which must be paid at time of initial project submittal.

- The online project registration process at the Dept.'s website is undergoing significant changes, roll out is expected soon.

- The Dept.'s enforcement activities are increasing.

- Some RAS's have been forced to surrender their licenses as a result of violations of Dept. policies and procedures.

- A new Technical Memorandum authorizing a Parallel Approach at Kitchen (and wet bar) Sinks in very defined use areas, without variance approval, is under consideration. This new TM will be added to our Codes & TM's page if it becomes effective.

- The Dept. will be consolidating the Variance Application and Post Variance Application forms and including an instruction sheet.

- A draft of the Registered Accessibility Specialist Audit Procedures is currently being reviewed by Audit & Oversight.


August 6th, 2004
Access Board releases new ADA Accessibility Guidelines; Texas Accessibility Standards still effective

New Federal Accessibility Guidelines - The U.S. Access Board has published new federal accessibility guidelines that cover access for people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act ( ADA ) of 1990. The guidelines will become effective on September 21, 2004, however they are not enforceable under federal law until adopted by the U. S. Department of Justice. For more information about the new ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), visit The Access Board’s website at www.access-board.gov.

Applicable State Accessibility Standards - In accordance with the Texas Architectural Barriers Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 469, the applicable state standards are the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) which became effective April 1, 1994. TAS is effective until new state standards are adopted.

Plans to Update State Accessibility Standards - Last year, in anticipation of revisions to the federal accessibility guidelines, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) appointed a taskforce and coordinated the review of a proposal for a new ADAAG. Currently, TDLR is reviewing the new ADAAG.

Soon, TDLR will begin requesting input from interested parties, coordinating public hearings throughout the state, and initiating discussion on proposals to update the state accessibility standards. If you are interested in keeping apprized of these matters, you may wish to monitor TDLR's website or subscribe to TDLR's E-mail Notification List for future updates.

For further information contact:

Mr. Gary Olivares, Architectural Barriers Program Manager
Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation
P.O. Box 12157
Austin , Texas 78711
Voice (512) 463-6599
Toll Free in Texas (877) 278–0999
Architectural.barriers@license.state.tx.us


July 23rd, 2004
The U.S. Access Board announces the release of new design guidelines that cover access for people with disabilities under the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

We have added a page titled New ADAAG that will be regularly updated to include the latest activities surrounding the big changes that are coming.


June 29th, 2004
New ADA Accessibility Guidelines Cleared for July Publication
Click here to visit the Access Board's website for this important announcement.


May 17th, 2004
Today the U.S. Supreme Court, in a major victory for disabled Americans, ruled they deserve equal access and accommodation at government buildings, such as courthouses and schools, in all states. The proceedings considered what circumstances the ADA would apply to states. A divided Court concluded states were not exempt from provisions of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), such as those requiring elevators or ramps in public facilities. The 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act properly gives private citizens the right to seek money in court if a state fails to live up to the law's requirements, a 5-to-4 majority ruled. At issue was the right of private citizens to try to pursue alleged violations of the ADA in federal courts. Advocates for the disabled claimed that the fear of hefty damage awards was a powerful tool to force state governments to follow the requirements of the ADA. The ADA, passed in 1990, requires the government, businesses and other private groups to accommodate the disabled. There have been legal disputes ever since over whether states have 11th Amendment immunity to provisions of the ADA. In previous cases, the high court has repeatedly limited the effect of the ADA, so Monday's outcome was unexpected.


March 18th, 2004
On January 14, 2004, the Access Board unanimously approved the new final guidelines covering access to facilities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The Access Board was expected to hand deliver the final Federal Standards to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on February 23rd. Once cleared by OMB, the guidelines will be published in final form. Other Federal departments responsible for the standards used to enforce the ADA and ABA must then similarly modify their standards so that they are consistent with the updated guidelines. Until then, the current standards remain in effect. They are not enforceable until they are adopted by the Department of Justice.

Design professionals must continue to apply the current Texas Accessibility Standards until the new state standards are released. At this time Texas Access unable to reveal the projected date of issuance.

Click here to view the Final Draft of the ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines (756kb - Word format).


December 3rd, 2003
BUILDING OFFICIALS AND OTHER PERSONS ISSUING BUILDING PERMITS IN THE STATE OF TEXAS: See the Building Officials page for an important message.


December 1st, 2003
Toilet Room Door vs. Plumbing Fixture Clear Floor Space REVISITED. To all Design Professionals. See Technical Memorandum 03-02 (Issue Date: June 6, 2003) and our graphical illustration on the Technical page for the latest TDLR application. This is a very important and highly beneficial release for space planners and others that need to squeeze every inch out of their projects.


August 2003
House Bill 3507, 78th Legislature (2003), enacted a nonsubstantive revision of the Architectural Barriers statute administered by the Department. The revisions are effective September 1, 2003 and are codified in the Texas Government Code.

Per the Texas Legislative Council and acts of the 78th Legislature, Regular Session, 2003 the Texas Architectural Barriers Act (TABA), Texas Civil Statutes, Article 9102 has been re-codified as Chapter 469 of the Texas Government Code. The re-codification is effective September 1, 2003. The scope of Chapter 469 remains essentially the same as Article 9102, ensuring that each building and facility subject to this chapter is accessible to and functional for persons with disabilities without causing the loss of function, space, or facilities. Chapter 469 may be viewed in its entirety at the Texas Legislative Council's web site.

The re-codification (required by Section 323.007, Government Code) is intended to clarify and simplify statutes, making them more accessible, understandable, and usable without altering their sense, meaning, or effect. The non-substantive revisions are expected to reclassify and rearrange the statutes in a more logical order, use a numbering system and format which accommodates future expansion of the law, and eliminate repealed, duplicative, and ineffective provisions.

Over the next few weeks TDLR forms, documents, and other correspondence, as well as this website, will be modified to reflect the above referenced changes.


July 26th, 2003
President Bush marks 13th anniversary of Americans With Disability Act in weekly radio address. Click here to read the transcript.


July 25th, 2003
TDLR issues a revised Inspection Response Form (Form AB b029). See the Forms page to obtain a copy of this latest form.


June 6, 2003
Three new Technical Memorandums were issued by the TDLR today regarding Sinks and Lavatories, Toilet Rooms and Bathrooms, Dressing and Fitting Rooms. Click on the Codes & TM's link on the left to learn more.


May, 2003
Architectural Barriers (AB) will be conducting a training session for Building Officials on August 25, 2003 at Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) Headquarters in Austin. The deadline for registering is August 4, 2003.


February, 2003
Recycled News: Department staff is available to provide specialized training for design professionals, building owners / agents, building officials, contractors and others responsible for applying accessibility guidelines to new construction and alterations covered by the TABA. Contact the Communication / Education / Training (CET) Manager, Rick Baudoin, for more information, toll-free in Texas at (877) 278-0999 or (512) 462-3211 or via e-mail at architectural.barriers@license.state.tx.us.


December, 2002
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) has filed a notice of intent to review and consider for re-adoption, revision, or repeal Title 16, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 68, Architectural Barriers.

New State Accessibility Standards Request for Task Force Participants:

The Standards Subcommittee of the Architectural Barriers Advisory Committee, has requested Department assistance in establishing a 25-30 person task force that will participate in reviewing, editing, and recommending draft language for new state accessibility standards. The task force will be comprised of persons with disabilities, design professionals, and other individuals who represent the affected population and who have experience with accessibility requirements. Their efforts will require much coordination, so those chosen to participate will need to be committed to accomplishing the task as directed by the Standards Subcommittee. Persons interested in being considered to join this task force may obtain more information from the TDLR Architectural Barriers website.


September 25th, 2002
TDLR issues Technical Memorandum number 02-03, regarding technical requirements for building fire alarm systems. This much awaited action by TDLR will provide instant relief for design professionals and fire alarm contractors, since compliance with NFPA 72-1999, Chapter 4, will now be acceptable in lieu of or in addition to compliance with TAS 4.28 (see exception). A TDLR Variance approval is no longer required in order to locate visual appliances on ceilings.


July 18th, 2002
TDLR issues Technical Memorandum number 02-02, regarding areas of Rescue Assistance in Open Parking Garages.


May 9, 2002
Regarding buildings or facilities leased (not owned) by the State of Texas, Texas Access is suspending these services to our clients until the department releases procedures for processing these projects, as provided in RAS Procedures, Section VII (Jan, 1, 2002).


April 18th, 2002
TDLR issues Technical Memorandum number 02-01, regarding variances for Platform Lifts.


March 12, 2002
TDLR assesses a $40,000 administrative penalty against a building contractor for failure to register the project with the Department before the start of construction; failure to submit plans and specifications to the Dept. before the start of construction; failure to submit plan review fees to the Dept. before the start of construction; and failure to pay an inspection fee and provide a point of contact within 30 days of completion of project.


January 2, 2002
TDLR has released a completely new Architectural Barriers Project Registration Form available on our Forms page. YOU MUST BEGIN UTILIZING THIS NEW FORM IMMEDIATELY. Also a new Inspection Response Form has been added to the Forms page.


December 20, 2001
Today the TDLR issued CONTRACT PROVIDER BULLETIN No. 45 which serves official notice to all Municipal and Independent Contract Providers that all contracts with individuals will be terminated effective December 31, 2001. "Beginning January 1, 2002, ICP's will no longer be authorized to perform plan reviews or inspections on behalf of TDLR. To perform the Department’s review and/or inspection function, an individual will have to be certified as a Registered Accessibility Specialist (RAS)." Texas Access is pleased to announce that all of our members have now received certification by the Texas Dept. of Licensing and Regulation under the new designation of "Registered Accessibility Specialist" (RAS).