Board Rulemaking

The Board develops and maintains accessibility requirements for the built environment, transportation vehicles, telecommunications equipment, electronic and information technology, and medical diagnostic equipment.


The Board develops its guidelines and standards under several laws and follows a process common to most Federal regulations which provides an opportunity for public comment. It has become standard practice for the Board to establish advisory or regulatory negotiation committees to help develop or update its accessibility guidelines and standards. This is the typical process the Board follows in developing rules:

Advisory and "Reg-Neg" Committees

Advisory committees and regulatory negotiation committees allow interested groups, including those representing designers, industry, and people with disabilities, to play a substantive role in the Board’s development of guidelines which are then proposed for public comment. Regulatory negotiation or "reg-neg" committees are similar to advisory committees in their structure and work; the main difference with a regulatory negotiation is a commitment on the government’s part to propose a rule based on the committee’s work without any substantive change. The Board has established committees covering:

Guidelines and Standards

In most cases, the Board develops "guidelines," which do not directly affect the public but instead serve as the basis for "standards" issued by other agencies, which do. (The Board is responsible for standards covering electronic and information technology in the Federal sector and medical diagnostic equipment). In this sense, Board guidelines serve as the minimum baseline for the enforceable standards. Board guidelines and standards include:

The Board is currently developing:

For more information, visit the guidelines and standards homepage.

Coordination with Private Organizations

The Board routinely coordinates with private sector standards organizations. Such coordination has a two-fold purpose: it allows the Board to encourage or enhance the coverage of accessibility by industry standards and also advances the harmonization of Board guidelines and industry standards.