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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Illinois Legislators approves legislation to improve accessibility, SB 2956 heads to Governor's desk

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the Illinois House of Representatives passed legislation SB 2956, to improve accessibility for people with disabilities in Illinois.

In a statement from Attorney General Lisa Madigan;
"People with disabilities are consumers, business owners, professionals, renters and students, and they have the right to access the buildings in their communities," Madigan said. "This legislation will make it easier for architects, businesses and property owners to comply with the law and provide equal access to all Illinois residents."
The Illinois Environmental Barriers Act (EBA), which "authorizes the Attorney General's Office to enforce accessibility laws which mandate that public buildings and multi-story housing units in Illinois must be fully accessible to individuals with disabilities," according to a news release from Madigan's office.

Changes to the Environmental Barriers Act under SB 2956 include:
  • Updating definitions to conform with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and corresponding updates to the Illinois Accessibility Code;
  • Replacing an outdated state standard for alterations with an easier-to-use standard that mirrors the ADA;
  • Clarifying which version of the EBA and the Illinois Accessibility Code applies to new construction and alterations;
  • Updating the enforcement provisions to reflect the current emphasis on working with businesses to resolve issues and alleviate future barriers for individuals with disabilities.

The legislation will now be sent to Governor Rauner for final approval.

In Illinois complaints about accessibility can be submitted to Attorney General's  Office online, or by contacting the Disability Rights Bureau at 312-814-5684 (Chicago) or 217=524-2660 (Springfield).

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