In addition to the revised and new requirements, the Department is preparing several regulatory proposals. The regulatory proposals can be grouped into five different categories: 1) those modifying 2004 ADAAG requirements for barrier removal in an effort to decrease the burden on businesses, 2) additional requirements similar to the 2004 ADAAG for certain equipment or facilities, 3) new proposals regarding effective communications, 4) codifications of existing law, and 5) proposals expected to have no cost impact. Regulatory proposals in the first three categories have been incorporated into the benefit-cost model and calculations for the revised 2004 ADAAG, a discussion of the costs, benefits, and scope of the regulatory proposals regarding effective communication is included below. The codifications of existing law and the proposals expected to have no cost impact have not been analyzed here.
Regulatory Proposals Modeled with Revised Requirements
Due to concern for the potentially high burden on businesses, the Department is considering modifying the scope of two of the revised 2004 ADAAG requirements, and is considering three special exemptions. Specifically, the Department is proposing:
(1) To reduce the scoping for existing play areas by allowing existing play areas that provide elevated play components the ability to substitute an additional number of accessible ground level play components for the number of elevated play components that would have been required to be made accessible.
(2) Reducing from two to one the number of accessible means of entry that will be required in existing large swimming pools (those 300 or more linear feet).
(3) For small businesses:
The revisions and exemptions to the requirements for play areas and pools have been incorporated into the analysis. The "readily achievable presumption" for small businesses is treated as another scenario as to what is readily achievable.
Other regulatory proposals affecting certain types of facilities have also been incorporated into the analysis. As discussed below, sports stadiums with seating capacities over 25,000 would be required to provide captioning of safety and emergency information on scoreboards and video monitors. Regulatory proposals would also modify requirements for several other specific types of facilities such as: dormitories on public school campuses (by subjecting such dormitories to the requirements for transient lodging); social service establishments (by subjecting social service establishments that provide sleeping accommodations to the requirements for residential dwelling units), and detention facilities (by requiring fewer accessible cells in newly constructed and altered detention facilities).
Proposals relating to effective communication and technology
Captioning at Sports Stadiums
Commenters who are deaf or hard of hearing have expressed concerns to the Department that they are unaware of information that is provided over the public address systems. Therefore, the Department's regulatory proposal requires sports stadiums with seating capacities of 25,000 or more spectators to provide captioning of safety and emergency information announcements made over the public address system for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing. The proposed regulation requires sports facilities to provide captioning of public safety and emergency announcements on scoreboards and video monitors within one year of the effective date of the regulation.
Reservations and ticketing for accessible rooms/seats
In response to public comments, the Department is clarifying the requirements for entities that take reservations for overnight lodging and entities that take seating reservations for events (such as theaters, stadiums and auditoriums). Facilities of this type that allow people to make reservations for a non-accessible room or seat must also allow persons with disabilities to reserve an accessible room or seat, essentially with the same ease as a non-disabled visitor.
For hotels and motels, the Department has determined that most large chains already offer this service; indeed many complaints to the Department relate to the fact that reservations for an accessible room were made but upon arrival, such a room was unavailable. These situations reflect a lack of accurate information internally regarding availability for many establishments. Even calls directly to hotels do not always result in accurate communication regarding the availability of accessible rooms.
This analysis has identified more than 66 thousand such establishments with more than 2.5 billion visits annually. The costs to businesses are most likely to depend on costs to improve information and communication systems, which may vary significantly by facility type, size, and perhaps age (as newer establishments are more likely to have newer systems. Users will benefits both from both greater reliability in reservations made on existing systems as well as from time savings generated by entities which newly provide accessible reservations.
Codifications of current law and Proposals without significant cost implications
The Regulatory Proposals include what the Department describes as codifications of current law. Since these are not new requirements, but, rather, a clarification of interpretations of existing ones, they are not incorporated into the benefit-cost analysis. The Department has also included several proposals, which it concludes will not have significant cost implications.
Codifications of Current Law
Although these codifications are not being included in the analysis, it can be reasonably expected that some entities may now incur some costs due to new actions towards compliance spurred by these clarifications. Any costs due to the codifications are costs that should have been incurred earlier and are due to earlier rules and standards. Any new actions towards compliance will also lead to benefits, which also should be attributable to previous rules.
Proposals without significant cost implications
 The number of condo-hotels and timeshare which operate as hotels was estimated and added to the number of hotels for the analysis.
last updated December 9, 2010