MAINE BUILDING CODE FOUND TO BE
EQUIVALENT TO FEDERAL ACCESS REQUIREMENTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A decision made today by the Justice
Department will make it easier for building owners, contractors,
and architects in Maine to comply with a federal law requiring
access for people with disabilities.
Today, the Justice Department certified that Maine’s state
building code–the Maine Human Rights Act, as implemented by the
Maine Accessibility Regulations–is compatible with the federal
requirements under the new construction and alterations provisions
of title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Title III of the ADA requires newly built public
accommodations and commercial facilities, including those that are
altered, to be built in accordance with the ADA’s Standards for
Accessible Design. To better coordinate the ADA construction
requirements with established state and local building inspection
procedures, the Justice Department may certify that a building code
is equivalent to the ADA requirements.
“The result of certification is greater voluntary compliance,
less need for ADA lawsuits, and more fully accessible buildings,”
said Isabelle Katz Pinzler, Acting Assistant Attorney General.
“The ultimate benefit of certification is its effect on the lives
of people with disabilities.”
Maine is only the third state in the country to have a
certified building code. The Justice Department previously
certified codes in Washington and Texas.
“Now building inspectors will be able to check compliance
early in the process, when mistakes can be easily corrected,” added
In addition, because certification provides rebuttable
evidence of ADA compliance, builders in Maine will have some
additional legal protection if they build in compliance with the
certified code but are sued under the ADA.”
For further information, members of the public can call the
Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line. The hotline
was established by Attorney General Janet Reno as part of a
nationwide campaign to educate the public about the ADA. The
number is 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TDD). The Justice
Department also has established an ADA home page on the World Wide
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