Engineers and ADA

by Carol J. Patterson, Zetlin & De Chiara; Counselors at Law, 801 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 1, Pg. 73-75

Document Type: Feature article


When it comes to the Americans with Disabilities Act, design professionals have special liability concerns. Engineers not only have to ensure that clients meet the act's stringent design and construction requirements but must also bring their own firms' employment practices into compliance--or face the consequences. Familiarity with the requirements of the statute and recent trends in court decisions will enable firms to comply with the ADA without becoming an early test case. The law is organized in separate sections or titles. The titles of greatest concern to the design and construction industry are Title 1, which prohibits employment discrimination; Title 2, which applies to programs, activities and services of public entities; and Title 3, which covers access to both places of public accommodation and commercial facilities. Companies with at least 15 employees must comply with the employment provisions of the ADA. Titles 2 and 3 establish standards for accessibility to covered facilities and programs that must be satisfied as design and construction proceed. These sections raise special liability concerns for design professionals and the construction industry, since discrimination under the ADA includes a failure to design and construct facilities… [that are] readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

Subject Headings: People with disabilities | Architect/Engineers | Liability | Construction industry | Industrial facilities | Commercial buildings | Client relationships | Construction companies

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