August 12, 2004

USAID Issues New Access Policy for Overseas Projects

In July, the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a new policy to ensure access to construction projects it funds worldwide.

USAID operates programs and services in over 100 countries to help improve economic growth, agriculture, trade, governance, education, and health. Some of these projects involve the construction or renovation of facilities.

The new policy promotes universal design, which focuses on accommodating the broadest range of people, including those with disabilities, and recognizes available standards used in a host country. However, USAID will also require that the level access provided meet or exceed the one specified in the Board's new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) accessibility guidelines. Under this policy, the Board will serve as USAID's consultative partner in developing and maintaining accessibility requirements and providing technical assistance and training on accessibility criteria.

The policy applies to all construction activities funded by USAID, including those undertaken by contractors and other government agencies through inter-agency agreements. It also recognizes certain exceptions, such as emergency construction that is temporary in nature, and sets up a waiver process.

For further information on this policy, contact USAID at (202) 789-1500.

Posted by rollingrains at August 12, 2004 11:30 PM | TrackBack