Changes coming to the Texas Accessibility Standards

Posted on - Monday, May 2nd, 2022


Changes to the Texas Accessiblity Standards have been proposed and are open for public comments. The new standard, once adopted would be called The 2022 Texas Accessibility Standards.

This newsletter will give you a few proposed changes. These have not been adopted yet, and if you have any comments for TDLR before they implement them, the comments will be accepted until May 9th, 2022 using this link

2022 Texas Accessibility Standards Changes

Here are a few of the changes that are being proposed:

1. Outdoor Developed Areas. There will be a brand new chapter for Outdoor developed areas, Section 245 and Chapter 11. These will include trails, beaches, camping and picnic areas (just to name a few).

2. Advisory. Many of the advisories have become part of the Standards

3. Definition of Alteration. The definition of “alteration” has change slightly to include clarification on “circulation paths”. It now includes flooring as part of the definition:

106.5.5 Alteration. A change to a building or facility that affects or could may affect the usability of the building or facility or portion thereof. Alterations include, but are not limited to, remodeling, renovation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, historic restoration, resurfacing of circulation paths or vehicular ways including carpets, floors, or fields, changes or rearrangement of the structural parts or elements, and changes or rearrangement in the plan configuration of walls and full-height partitions.

Normal maintenance, reroofing, painting or wallpapering, or changes to mechanical and electrical systems are not alterations unless they affect the usability of the building or facility

The exemption for employee work areas clarified what “approach, enter and exit” means

203.9 Employee Work Areas. …..

“Approach, enter, and exit” means that people using wheelchairs must be able to enter and back out of the space. Employee work area doors, doorways, and gates, therefore, must comply with TAS 404 except the maneuvering clearance is limited to the “enter” side unless required for egress by TAS 207.1.

The picture above shows the diagram which explains the requirements for a work area entrance.

4. Licensed Physical and Occupational Therapy spacesused to have to go through a variance process in order to allow them not to be accessible. The proposed changes makes them not required and will no longer need a variance.

203.15 Licensed Physical and Occupational Therapy Training Areas Including Bathrooms and Kitchens. Licensed provider areas that are purposefully inaccessible for the intent of training persons with disabilities to function in a simulated home environment for when they leave therapy and return home shall not be required to comply with accessible features. The user must be able to get to the area but may not necessarily be required to provide an accessible route within the space for training purposes. 

Physical Therapy areas will no longer require a variance not to comply

5. Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations. TDLR has issued many Technical Memos throughout the years. The 2022 TAS will incorporate some as part of the standards. One of them is about Electrical Vehicle parking and charging spaces. The requirements will now be part of the 2022 TAS in section 244, 208 and 502. 

This is the requirements from the Technical Memo for Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations. They will now be part of the new standards


A built example

A charging station. The 2022 TAS will require a clear floor space to reach the accessible one.

6. 208.1 Parking Facilties. TDLR has clarified that parking facilities that are served by valet parking are not exempted from compliance with 208 and must have accessible parking. 

7. Curb ramps at public right of way. THEY’RE BACK!!! Detectable warnings (truncated domes with contrasting color) are being proposed to come back on the Standards. Don’t kill me!

curb ramps located within the public right of way are proposed to have detectable warnings.

Be sure you get involved in the public comments. We need your voices and opinions to be heard to ensure that the Standards are clear and are providing proper guidance for design professionals so we can design and build environments for persons with disabilities that are inclusive and safe.