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Access board Releases Draft Guidelines


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Good news folks -- the Access Board actually released the draft guidelines for passenger vessels!



In any case they are available on-line at :



Yeah, I know they are pretty cumbersome. But these regs will affect everybody so it’s worth reading them and commenting on them.


At first glance it looks like the Access Board did a really good job on them. I'm particularly pleased that they went against the PVAAC's recommendation re: the exemption for wide doorways on *all* rooms. They are going straight with the ADAAG ( 224.1.2, which requires doors to and within guest rooms that are not required to provide mobility features to have a 32 inch clear opening width). This is great news for visitability and integration.


Anyway, I plan to make public comments and post them on my blog. I can't find any deadline for public comments, although they are having a Jan 10 public meeting in DC. I have e-mailed the Access Board to ask about the deadline for public comments. I will post that deadline here when I get it.


Let your voice be heard on this matter. The Access Board *really* listens to public comments so please take the time to send in your opinion to them


Edited to add:

The Access Board will accept comments until March 28, 2005.



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I'll be honest in that I don't fully understand your post. Are you stating that this group is in favor of increasing the door width on all passenger cabins? If this is so, it will reduce the number of cabins on the ship and increase fares. Isn't this, in effect, reverse discrimination since able-bodied inndividuals would be required to pay for something that they don't need or want?


Maybe I'm not understanding your post.........please straoghten me out.



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Let me try and clarify


The Access Board (which was created by the ADA to determine architectural guidelines) is currently drafting access guidelines for cruise ships (currently none exist -- it's just taken them this long to do it). The guidelines, like those for land-based businesses, would cover newly built cruise ships or those that had major structural renovations. The Access Board is in favor of proposing a 32-inch doorway clearance on all staterooms, not just the accessible ones (just like the ADAAG requires that all newly constructed hotels have to have a 32 inch doorway clearance on all guestrooms).


These staterooms do not have to have any other access features (like more room or pathway access). They just have to have wide doors. The allows for integration and visitability.


Also, it will allow slow walkers (who only need to be able to get a scooter inside the stateroom) the ability to reserve any (non-accessible) stateroom, not just an accessible one (therefore freeing up accessible staterooms for people who also need adapted bathrooms and pathway access). Currently slow walkers who use scooters have to reserve an accessible stateroom because you cannot store a scooter in the hallway and most will not fit through the doorways of standard cabins.


The cost of access modifications is passed along to all customers, just like it is in hotels, restaurants, airlines and stores. That is the reason for civil rights legislation like the ADA, to integrate a group into society that has previously been denied access. Because of this previously denied access, society as a whole foots the bill for the fix.



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  • 2 weeks later...

As promised here’s a link to my public comments on the draft guidelines for passenger vessels.



Information about how you can submit public comments is also included. Contrary to my first impression, the draft guidelines do *not* contain that all important provision that requires all stateroom doorways (not just the accessible stateroom doorways) to have a clearance of at least 32 inches. My public comments focus on why it is essential to include this provision.


I also encourage everyone who may be affected by these rules to submit their own public comments. This is your chance to be a part of the process.


Candy Harrington

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