The specifications in this standard make facilities, sites, buildings and elements accessible to and usable by people with such physical disabilities as difficulty walking, the inability to walk, reliance on walking aids, visual impairment and blindness, deafness and hearing impairment, reaching and manipulation disabilities, incoordination, difficulty interpreting, lack of stamina and reacting to sensory information, and extremes of physical size. The intent of this standard is to allow people with physical disabilities to independently enter, get to, and use a site, building, facility, or element.
The previous edition was the 1998 edition. New to the 2003 edition are criteria for fixtures and elements primarily for children's use; criteria; enhanced reach range, additional provisions for assembly areas; transportation facilities; and an addition and rearrangement for accessible dwelling and sleeping units. These new criteria are intended to give a level of coordination between the accessible provisions of this standard and the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG).
This standard is intended for adoption by government agencies and by organizations setting model codes to achieve uniformity in the technical design criteria in building regulations and other codes.