How to File a Complaint under the ABA

Filing a Complaint

Complaints under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) can be filed with the Access Board through an on-line form, by e-mail, mail, or fax.

To get an investigation started, the Access Board needs:

Additional information about the facility, such as when it was built or known sources of Federal funding, is helpful but not necessary. Personal information, including one's name, is optional and, where provided, is kept confidential.  Nonetheless, complaints can be filed anonymously.

Filing Options


[We are currently experiencing problems with our on-line complaint form which may prevent our receipt of your complaint. Until the problem is resolved, please submit your complaint using one of the options below.]

By E-mail:

Send a complaint by e-mail to the Board at

Mail and Fax:

A complaint can be submitted by mail or fax.  You can print out a complaint form to use our print form to provide the necessary information.  Send to:

Compliance and Enforcement
U.S. Access Board
1331 F Street, N.W., Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20004-1111
Fax: (202) 272-0081

How Complaints are Investigated

The Board's first step in an investigation is to determine whether the facility is covered by the law. Where a facility is covered by the ABA, the next step is to verify whether the facility meets the applicable accessibility standards. If it does not, then the Board will work with the responsible entities to develop a plan to bring the facility into compliance. Cases are closed only after the necessary correction action is completed.  If we find that the facility is not subject to the ABA and our jurisdiction or if we find that it meets the applicable access standards, we we will advise you of our findings. You then will have a chance to respond with any information you have that does not agree with ours before we close the case.

Referral to Another Agency

There are times when the Barriers Act does not apply to a facility but when another accessibility law may. In these situations, we will not open a case but will give you information on which agency to contact about your complaint.

Inquiry/ Analysis

If the ABA does cover the facility, we start an in-depth inquiry about when and how Federal funds were used. This may involve our request and review of architectural drawings, design plans, and other documents. With limited travel funds and a very small staff located only in Washington, D.C., we rely primarily on written correspondence to collect the necessary information. Therefore, our investigations may take a few weeks to several months to complete.

Periodic Updates

We will send you periodic updates on actions being taken in response to your complaint. But, you may call the compliance specialist handling your complaint any time you want information or have a question.

Corrective Actions

If we learn that Federal accessibility standards were not met, we notify the responsible agency and request a plan and schedule to remove the barrier(s). Once we receive and accept this corrective action plan, we will notify you.

Monitoring These Actions

We monitor these corrective actions until their completion is confirmed. Then we notify you and give you a chance to review the reasons why we are planning to close the case.

Voluntary Actions

There are times when we have no jurisdiction over a facility, but the responsible agency agrees to take corrective action. In these cases, we also work with the agency to develop a corrective action plan to remove the barrier(s).

Legal Proceedings

Sometimes a complaint cannot be resolved. In these very rare cases, we can begin legal proceedings to get the required corrective action.