1994 Architectural Barriers Texas Accessibility Standards (1994 TAS)

Please note: The 2012 TAS became effective March 15, 2012. The 1994 TAS appears below for your convenience.

Section 1 - Purpose, Authority and Application

1.1 Purpose. This document sets standards for accessibility to: public buildings and facilities; privately owned buildings and facilities leased or occupied by state agencies; places of public accommodation; and commercial facilities by individuals with disabilities. Subject buildings and facilities are addressed in more detail in Rule 68.21. These standards are to be applied during the design, construction, and alteration of such buildings and facilities to the extent required by regulations issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, under the Architectural Barriers Act, codified as Article 9102, Texas Civil Statutes.

These standards closely follow the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), and are intended to facilitate equivalency certification of the state program for the elimination of architectural barriers by the United States Department of Justice by:

  • Bringing the state Architectural Barriers Act into alignment with the scoping requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), (P. L. 101-336).
  • Expanding ADAAG with additional state scoping requirements and standards.
  • Encouraging compliance by using common standards.
  • Speeding the dissemination of required standards to owners, design professionals, and related user groups.

Some of the illustrations and text of ANSI A117.1-1980, and ANSI A117.1-1986, are included in this document and are reproduced with permission from the American National Standards Institute. Copies of those standards may be purchased from the American National Standards Institute at 11 West 42nd Street, New York, New York 10036.

1.2 Authority. Section 5(c), Article 9102, Texas Civil Statues, requires the commissioner to adopt standards and specifications that are consistent in effect to those adopted by the American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI), or its federally recognized successor in function. Section 5(c) also requires adopted standards and specifications be consistent to those adopted under federal law. These standards, including the appendix, are intended to be consistent to those contained in ADAAG, and are generally the same as ADAAG except as noted by italics.

1.3 Application.

1.3.1 Minimum Requirements. The standards contained in this document shall be considered the minimum requirements for complying with the intent of Article 9102, Texas Civil Statutes. They are common to all spaces and elements of buildings and facilities constructed on or after April 1, 1994, and shall have both interior and exterior application. It is not the intent of these standards to prohibit or discourage the development and use of sites with extreme conditions. However, excavation or other site modifications, even contrary to natural terrain, may be necessary to comply with the intent of the law.

1.3.2 Equal Access. The application of these standards is to further the concept of equal treatment for people with disabilities to the maximum extent possible and reasonable.

1.3.3 Alternative Standards. For purposes of complying with Article 9102, Texas Civil Statutes, the standards set forth in this document must be followed. In state owned buildings and facilities that are constructed or renovated with federal funds, compliance with accessibility standards prescribed by the sponsoring federal agency may be required. In regard to other buildings and facilities subject to Texas Civil Statutes, Article 9102, architects, engineers, designers, developers and owners should be aware that other accessibility standards may also apply to their projects and should take precautions necessary to satisfy all jurisdictions. However, a building owner's obligation to comply with the provisions of the Act, and the standards set out herein, may not be satisfied by a simple showing of compliance with local building codes and ordinances.