Texas Accessibility Standards .

Every development has its challenges. Meeting accessibility requirements is one of those that can affect the rest of the site and the building in terms of function and cost. It is important to be familiar with these requirements and identify them early.

What is TAS?

TAS, or Texas Accessibility Standards, are set by the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration Elimination of Architectural Barriers Program. These standards are intended to ensure access to facilities by people who have disabilities. TAS takes into account the number of people served, location, function, and similar facilities nearby.

What Does TAS Do?

TAS determines what must be done to keep your site accessible to disabled persons. TAS determines how many accessible parking spaces you must have, how accessible entrances must be built, seating requirements, which spaces within the building must be accessible and which do not need to be, how many water fountains must be provided, how restrooms must be set up, and much more: TAS contains over 112 different regulations, ranging from signage to telephones to restrooms to elevators.

Are TAS and ADA the Same Thing?

No, TAS is not the same as ADA. However, TAS has been certified as a reasonable substitute for ADA compliance, which means that it meets or exceeds the federal ADA Accessibility Guidelines. This means that if your project follows TAS, there shouldn’t be any issues with ADAAG compliance.

What Happens if My Project Does Not Meet TAS Requirements?

TDLR can issue fines ranging from $500 to $5000 to the business owner, depending on the severity of the offense and how many times that offense has been committed. TDLR will also look at whether the violation was intentional or accidental, whether the owner acts in good faith to come into compliance once he is aware of the violation, and what penalty they believe is necessary to deter other violations. Do note that while projects with a value of less than $50,000 do not need to be registered, they must be in compliance with TAS.

The full 2012 TAS can be found here.