The Architectural Barriers Act and the Federal Government

Learn lessons from the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards for federal buildings to deepen your knowledge and application of universal design.

Did you know? The Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards (ABAAS) are the most widely applied physical access requirements for the design and construction of Federal facilities. The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (ABA), was a signature achievement in the history of disability rights as the first Federal legislation mandating that buildings be accessible. But the ABA is relatively unknown beyond the Federal Government. Familiarize yourself with the ABA and its relationship to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and how the ABA applies to your work designing federal facilities. 

We highlight the critical differences between the ABAAS and the 2010 ADA Standards, and key ABAAS requirements and common mistakes affecting the interior design of workspaces. Learn how important the ABAAS is to interior design, with lessons you can apply in a wide range of projects implementing universal and accessible design. Presented by Rex Pace, U.S. General Services Administration. This is a recording of a webinar presented on March 24, 2020.


What You Will Learn
  • Understand the relationship of the ABA to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Explain critical differences between the ABAAS and the 2010 ADA Standards.
  • Identify the key ABAAS requirements and common mistakes affecting the interior design of workspaces.
  • Provide a general explanation of the ABA and insights on key aspects of the ABAAS important to interior design.

Continuing Education Approvals

  • 1 IDCEC CEU | HSW-Barrier-Free | CC-111091 (Your CEU will be reported to IDCEC on your behalf)
  • 1 AIA LU | HSW | ASIDABA (AIA Members: Please contact education@asid.org to have your completion reported)


Access period: One year from registration date.

Rex Pace

Manager, National Accessibility Program, U.S. General Services Administration

Rex Pace has over 30 years of experience making the built environment accessible to people with disabilities and currently manages the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) National Accessibility Program. He leads the Agency’s mission to provide quality and efficiently designed accessible facilities meeting the needs of all ages and abilities. A critical aspect of his role is to ensure the Agency’s obligations under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) are achieved. Rex came to GSA from the U.S. Access Board where he was a senior accessibility specialist and oversaw the technical assistance program. Prior to the Board, Rex worked at the U.S. Department of Justice's Disability Rights Section providing technical support and architectural assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design.  

Bryan Soukup, Esq. (Moderator)

Vice President, Government & Public Affairs, ASID

As Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for ASID, Bryan J. Soukup, Esq., leads the Society's strategic efforts to advocate for the interior design profession from a legislative, regulatory, and policy perspective before the federal and state governments. He is the Society's sole registered federal lobbyist and chief advocate at the state and local levels. Prior to joining ASID in summer 2018, Bryan served as Director of Resilience Initiatives and as a registered federal and state lobbyist for the International Code Council (ICC).  He is a licensed attorney in the District of Columbia and in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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The Architectural Barriers Act and the Federal Government - Welcome Video
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Please view this 50 second video for information on earning continuing education credit and course instructions. (THIS VIDEO HAS NO SOUND)
The Architectural Barriers Act and the Federal Government Slides
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Download the PDF of the slides presented during the March 24, 2020 webinar to guide you through each part of the presentation.
The Architectural Barriers Act and the Federal Government - Part One
Open to view video.
Open to view video. View part one of the recording of a live webinar presented on March 24, 2020, featuring Rex Pace, U.S. General Services Administration. Part One is 13 minutes long and includes an introduction and background on the Architectural Barriers Act and related standards.
The Architectural Barriers Act and the Federal Government - Part Two
Open to view video.
Open to view video. View part two of the recording of a live webinar presented on March 24, 2020, featuring Rex Pace, U.S. General Services Administration. Part Two is 15 minutes long and covers the difference between the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and other legislation.
The Architectural Barriers Act and the Federal Government - Part Three
Open to view video.
Open to view video. View part three of the recording of a live webinar presented on March 24, 2020, featuring Rex Pace, U.S. General Services Administration. Part Three is eight minutes long and covers various workspace issues when implementing the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards, including accessible routes, turning space and maneuvering, and obstructed reach.
The Architectural Barriers Act and the Federal Government - Part Four
Open to view video.
Open to view video. View part four of the recording of a live webinar presented on March 24, 2020, featuring Rex Pace, U.S. General Services Administration. Part Four is 18 minutes long and includes the conclusion of workspace issues when implementing the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards, audience Q&A, and wrap-up.
The Architectural Barriers Act and the Federal Government Course Survey
9 Questions
9 Questions Please complete the survey to receive your course completion certificate.
The Architectural Barriers Act and the Federal Government Course Quiz
10 Questions  |  5 attempts  |  10/13 points to pass
10 Questions  |  5 attempts  |  10/13 points to pass You must score a minimum of 80% to pass this quiz and complete the course. You will have 5 attempts.
Course Completion and Credit Certificate
1.00 CEU   |  Certificate available
1.00 CEU   |  Certificate available 1 IDCEC CEU | HSW-Barrier-Free and 1 AIA LU | HSW awarded upon successful completion of the course. REPORTING: ASID will report CEUs earned directly to IDCEC on your behalf if you are an ASID member. AIA Members: Upon completion, please notify education@asid.org, including your AIA member number, the course name, and date completed. We will report your completion to AIA on your behalf.