Accessibility Resource Library
Each office in the Federal Highway Administration is responsible for maintaining accessibility information as it relates to its own program. This page supports the effort to organize and make available all information that relates to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other accessibility resources that may affect research, planning, design, construction, or operations of any Federal Highway Administration project.
If there is a resource that should be included on this page, please contact Web.Master@dot.gov.
The DOT and other modes maintain separate ADA resources. See:
Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity and access for persons with disabilities.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 7(20), shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended
Agencies must give employees with disabilities and members of the public access to information and communication technology (ICT) that is comparable to the access available to others.
Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use ICT. See FHWA's Section 508 site for more information.
Title 49, Subtitle A, Part 27
Nondiscrimination on The Basis of Disability in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance.
The mission of the Office of Civil Rights is to protect the rights of those employed in, benefiting from, or affected by FHWA or the programs, policies and activities of its recipients, sub-recipients, and contractors.
- Department of Justice/Department of Transportation Joint Technical Assistance1 on the Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements to Provide Curb Ramps when Streets, Roads, or Highways are Altered through Resurfacing
- Glossary of Terms for DOJ/FHWA Joint Technical Assistance on the ADA Title II Requirements to Provide Curb Ramps When Streets Roads or Highways are Altered Through Resurfacing
- Information Memorandum - Clarification of FHWA's Oversight Role in Accessibility - September 12, 2006
- Public Rights-of-Way Access Advisory, January 23, 2006
Notice of availability of the Access Board's November 2005 Draft Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines
The Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty serves as FHWA's advocate and national leader for environment protection and enhancement, comprehensive intermodal and multi-modal transportation planning, and for fair and prudent acquisition and management of real property. This office includes FHWA's Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, and some of the funding programs frequently used to develop accessible pedestrian facilities and trails: the Transportation Enhancement Activities, the Recreational Trails Program, the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, and the National Scenic Byways Program.
Announcement of USDOT Accessibility Regulations: 49 CFR Part 37--Transportation Services for Individuals with Disabilities: Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 209 / Monday, October 30, 2006 / Rules and Regulations / Page 63263. HTML / PDF
Recommends accessibility guidelines for sidewalks, street crossings, and intersections.
Special Report: Accessible Public Rights-of-Way Planning and Design for Alterations
ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines - http://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/buildings-and-sites/about-the-ada-standards/background/ada-aba-accessibility-guidelines-2004
Accessibility guidelines for buildings.
FHWA/FTA Memorandum (September 25, 2000)
The Americans with Disabilities Act Policy promotes universal design and the development of a fully accessible transportation system. This document calls for mainstreaming facilities for people with disabilities in our nation's transportation system.
Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access
FHWA's two-part report on pedestrian and trail accessibility, produced for FHWA by Beneficial Designs Inc.
Note: these two reports were published in 1999 and 2001, respectively. Accessibility guidelines and practices, and construction and maintenance techniques have evolved, and more current information may be available in other reports. For example, related information is provided in the US Access Board's Special Report: Accessible Public Rights of Way Planning and Designing for Alterations and other reports available at https://www.access-board.gov/prowag/.
Part 1, Review of Existing Guidelines and Practices (1999), lays out the history and the practices of applying accessibility concepts to sidewalks and pedestrian trails. (Out of print, available online only)
Part 2, Best Practices Design Guide (2001), provides recommendations on how to design sidewalks, street crossings, intersections, shared use paths, and recreational pedestrian trails. (Out of print, available online only)
See also Transmittal Memorandum, Detectable Warnings Memorandum (July 2004), Detectable Warnings Memorandum (May 2002), and Errata Sheet.
- The Final Report of the Regulatory Negotiation Committee on Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas - www.access-board.gov/files/aba/guides/outdoor-guide.pdf
Proposes accessibility guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act for trails, outdoor recreation access routes, beach access routes, and picnic and camping facilities.
Accessible Pedestrian Signals
Synthesis and Guide to Best Practices Website - this website provides overall information on installation criteria and design considerations.
Synthesis and Guide to Best Practices Article - this article provides the latest recommended technical specifications for installing accessible pedestrian signals.
- Framework for Considering Motorized Use on Nonmotorized Trails and Pedestrian Walkways under 23 U.S.C. § 217
The documents listed in this section are linked from the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, Recreational Trails Program, and Transportation Enhancement Activities guidance pages.
- Resource Index for Publications, Resources, and Services
- Technical Resources: Communities: Americans with Disabilities Act: Publications and Links
- Peer Program Reports: Comprehensive Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Paratransit Eligibility Determinations (NTI)
This course provides a basic overview of ADA paratransit and eligibility determination requirements and issues.
The Office of Infrastructure provides leadership, technical expertise, and program assistance in highway Program Administration; Asset Management; Pavements; and Bridges to help sustain America's mobility.
FHWA Program Administration Policy on Pedestrians and Accessible Design
The Office of Program Administration is concerned with the design of the pedestrian environment in the public right of way for disabled individuals.
Detectable Warnings Memorandum (July 30, 2004)
Detectable Warnings Memorandum (May 6, 2002)
FHWA and the US Access Board encourage the use of the latest recommended design for truncated domes.
Guidelines and Standards
- Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board).
- ADA Regulations and Technical Assistance Materials (US Department of Justice)
- Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)
- Mary Peters' November 21, 2001 Memorandum; INFORMATION: Research and Guidance Report: Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access, Part II, Best Practices Design Guide
Regulations and Standards
The Office of Safety's mission is to reduce highway fatalities by making our roads safer through a data-driven, systematic approach and addressing all "4Es" of safety: engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services. This office has responsibility for Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety, and includes the Safe Routes to School program, which provides funds than can used to develop accessible pedestrian facilities and trails providing access to elementary and middle schools.
National Highway Institute (NHI) provides leadership and resources to guide the development and delivery of transportation-related training in many formats including both classroom based and distance based learning.