Access Board Releases Proposed Guidelines for Passenger Vessels

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) has released for public comment proposed guidelines for passenger vessels. Developed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the guidelines provide design criteria for newly constructed or newly altered large vessels to ensure that they are accessible to people with disabilities.  As proposed, the guidelines would apply to cruise ships and other vessels that carry over 150 passengers or at least 50 overnight passengers.  They also cover ferries designed to carry 100 or more passengers and tenders allowed to carry 60 or more passengers.  The Board is not proposing requirements for smaller vessels due to design challenges, space constraints, and other factors.  The Access board is also holding a hearing on the proposed guidelines on July 10, 2013, from 9:30 a.m. to Noon at the Access Board Conference Room, 1331 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004. Members of the public may participate in person, call-in testimony, or listen in to the hearing.  Comments on the proposed guidelines are due September 12, 2013.