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721932-1 Report Abstract

Americans with Disabilities Act: Considerations for Sensory and Mentally Impaired Individuals in Public Accommodations

Joseph J. Sifferman and Rodger J. Koppa, Texas A&M University, August 1996, 57 pp. (721932-1)

In this aspect of the study, “Incorporation of ADA Requirements into Transit Guidance Information,” the more general question of access to information in public accommodations for those with sensory or mental disabilities was addressed. Regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, together with standards and design considerations are summarized in this report. Elimination of structural barriers to communications for hearing impaired persons includes modifications such as visual alarms and signals. Visual impairment accommodation includes eliminating physical hazards such as protruding objects and uneven walking surfaces. Braille, raised lettering, environmental audio cues and assistive listening devices can also be employed. There is little specific guidance for assisting information transfer for cognitively impaired individuals. Even with federal standards as a guide, choosing the proper methods and tools to insure satisfactory communication is a challenging task. Designing accessible facilities for the physically and mentally impaired has many benefits beyond that of merely adhering to federal guidelines, including ease-of-use and safety effectiveness of facilities for the general public.

Keywords: Disabilities, ADA, Public, Accommodations, Facilities, Transit

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Reference Report #721932-1