(The information contained in this foreword is not part of this American National Standard (ANS) and has not been processed in accordance with ANSI’s requirements for an ANS. As such, this foreword may contain material that has not been subjected to public review or a consensus process. In addition, it does not contain requirements necessary for conformance to the standard.)


    The 1961 edition of ANSI Standard A117.1 presented the first criteria for accessibility to be approved as an American National Standard and was the result of research conducted by the University of Illinois under a grant from the Easter Seal Research Foundation. The National Easter Seal Society and the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities became members of the Secretariat, and the 1961 edition was reaffirmed in 1971.

    In 1974, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development joined the Secretariat and sponsored needed research, which resulted in the 1980 edition. After further revision that included a special effort to remove application criteria (scoping requirements), the 1986 edition was published and, when requested in 1987, the Council of American Building Officials (CABO) assumed the Secretariat. Central to the intent of the change in the Secretariat was the development of a standard that, when adopted as part of a building code, would be compatible with the building code and its enforcement. The 1998 edition largely achieved that goal. The 2009 edition of the standard is the latest example of the A117.1 committee’s effort to continue developing a standard that is compatible with the building code. (When CABO was consolidated into the International Code Council (ICC) in 1998, the Secretariat duties were assumed by ICC.)

    2009 Edition

    New to the 2009 edition are coordinated criteria for the various types of dwelling units that provide a step-down between the unit types; technical requirements for Type C (Visitable) Units; Variable Message Signs (i.e., signs that change the information they show such as gate information in train stations and airports); better consistency of sign requirements regarding when raised characters and braille are required; location of toilet paper dispenser (more design options, recessed fixtures addressed, single point of measurement, etc.); a new chapter for a variety of types of recreational facilities; an index and margin markings that will help users find requirements and identify changes from the 2003 edition. In addition, the new standard continued to provide a level of coordination between the accessible provisions of this standard and the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines (FHAG) and the newly released Americans with Disabilities Act and Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADA & ABA AG).

    ANSI Approval

    This Standard was processed and approved for submittal to ANSI by the Accredited Standards Committee A117 on Architectural Features and Site Design of Public Buildings and Residential Structures for Persons with Disabilities. ANSI approved the 2009 edition on October 20, 2010. Committee approval of the Standard does not necessarily imply that all Committee members voted for its approval.


    ICC A117.1–2009 is available for adoption and use by jurisdictions internationally. Its use within a governmental jurisdiction is intended to be accomplished through adoption by reference in accordance with proceedings establishing the jurisdiction’s laws.

    Formal Interpretations

    Requests for Formal Interpretations on the provisions of ICC A117.1–2009 should be addressed to: ICC, Chicago District Office, 4051 W. Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, IL 60478–5795.

    Maintenance—Submittal of Proposals

    All ICC standards are revised as required by ANSI. Proposals for revising this edition are welcome. Please visit the ICC website at www.iccsafe.org for the official “Call for proposals” announcement. A proposal form and instructions can also be downloaded from www.iccsafe.org.

    ICC, its members and those participating in the development of ICC A117.1–2009 do not accept any liability resulting from compliance or noncompliance with the provisions of ICC A117.1–2009. ICC does not have the power or authority to police or enforce compliance with the contents of this standard. Only the governmental body that enacts this standard into law has such authority.

    Marginal Markings

    Solid vertical lines in the margins within the body of the code indicate a technical change from the requirements of the 2003 edition. Deletion indicators in the form of an arrow () are provided in the margin where an entire section, paragraph, exception or table has been deleted or an item in a list of items or a table has been deleted.